3 Ply Tires are for Sissies* (Post #489) 4/24/2014

My good friend JagGuy, who you may know from his site XM381.com or my frequent mentions of his genius when it comes to automotive knowledge, has an interesting hobby. He has a business where he bobs the venerable Duece and a Half’s that were so prevalent in the last century with our military. I drove one at the 1984 Combined Arms Exercise at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

Fun story. We were sent out to the vehicle pasture to “pick one that will start”. This was a National Guard base and they allowed us to use their vehicles for the exercise. The problem with that was the vehicles they had were barely serviceable. The first one I got in that started I drove up the rise to the inspection tent. When I rolled into the inspection tent the truck would not stop and I rolled on out the other side. I yelled out my window to the mechanic that I’d be back! We fixed their trucks for them and left them with working trucks.

So the M35 has served this country well and are now being surplused through GOVLIQUIDATION.COM. (Warning: don’t go to that site if you don’t have any money to spend or are a compulsive collector of militaria. You were warned.) JagGuy buys them and M105 trailers and bobs them by removing an axle and replacing the bed with a M105 trailer bed. He then custom paints them and modifies them to the buyer’s needs.

He has of late been upgrading the wheels and tires on his creations. Yesterday he sent me a picture of the wheels and tires he is using.

38 bolts just to mount the tire on the rim. Load range G, 9470 lbs per tire at 95psi. Goodyear MVT 395/20 about 48″ tall.

My first thought was back to Bill Burke‘s tire repair lecture at S.C.A.R.R. 2014. He recommended tires with at least a 3 ply sidewall. My Firestone A/T have a 2 ply sidewall. The BF Goodrich tires Bill runs on his Defender are 3 ply.

So as a cheeky response I asked JagGuy if they were 3 ply sidewalls. His response was “5 ply”. Good Grief!

If I remember him correctly an assembled rim and tire weighs in at just under 500 pounds. I often chuckle to myself when I read the message board posts about how big a tire someone is trying to stuff up under their Range Rover or Discovery.

Go big or go home!

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

*3 ply tires are not for sissies. They are in fact recommended off-road equipment. That is unless you are driving a monster truck.