Springtime in Central Ontario has two seasonal promises: mud & bugs.
We couldn’t wait to get out and shoot the follow up to our Ridge Grappler Winter test and, as you’ll see in the video, we definitely found the mud and got eaten alive by the bugs. But it was worth it to properly run these Ridge Grapplers through some rough terrain at our testing site.
Getting the Dirt
For our test we ran the tires on some light trails, dirt roads, pavement, rocks and a nice mud pit. We’ve also had these tires on our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Outdoorsman since December of 2016, so these tires aren’t brand new at this point. They have approximately 10,000 kms on them now, most of which has been commuting to work on city streets. This is worth noting because we haven’t notice a change in performance from new until now, including no visible tread depth change, performance, or acoustic variations.
On the pavement these tires still impress us. Quiet and smooth. Over the miles we’ve come up with an average of 0.7L/100km more fuel consumption compared to the stock Goodyear Wrangler tires that came with our RAM 1500.
Dirt, Gravel, and unpaved roads? No problem. The Ridge Grapplers hook up with the loose top surfaces nearly the same as dry pavement. A feeling of confidence and not white knuckling when you transfer from one surface to another is certainly a selling feature for us. The stepped block edges and stone ejectors keep the tires free of debris and provide grip regardless of whats underneath.
In the mud no other word is fitting except: HOLYFRICKINGGRIP! (yes, we know that’s not a word). After you try them yourselves you’ll understand our addition to the dictionary. Several times during our test video we brought the truck to a total stop in deep water pooling over thick mud and slimey rocks. The Ridge Grapplers just stick; they find something to grab and pull you out.
The staggered shoulder lugs help in the mud, and in the skinny ruts we ran through, the biting edges on the sidewall of the tire were certainly pulling us forward as well. No matter the terrain we couldn’t find a real challenge for these tires.
And with very little compromise on road, it’s hard to find a real fault with the Ridge Grapplers.
The Nitto Ridge Grappler is an excellent example of what a hybrid tire should be. Quiet and comfortable with few sacrifices for in-town driving or the commute to work combined with capability to work, tow, and play off-road.
Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for something a little more aggressive and fun!