Product Review No.1 - Toyo Open Country MT tyres (285/75-R16) & Speedie 16x8 "Sunraysia" steel rims

Saturday, Dec 18, 2010 at 13:51


As I purchased and used so many different products and components in the build of the 79 series ute, I thought I would provide some assessment and review of those products from a users point of view.

The vehicle now has a total of 81,000 kilometres on the clock and 5 years use. The shakedown trip of 2010 covered a total of 14,000 km over a three month period of June through to late August. As with most extended expeditions, the vehicle is fully loaded and I tow a trailer and Arctic Cat Quad (say 1100kgs all up). Roughly broken down, as at June, 2015 I would equated the kilometres into three distinct categories;

22,000 km Bitumen
48, 000 km Dirt/gravel/sand tracks and outback roads
10,000 km Off track (no track - deserts and Pilbara rock country).

In 2013 I moved to larger diameter Open Country MT tyres being 315/75-R16 suited to an engineered 4" lift.

Temperatures for the travel period ranged from -3C thru to 39C. We also encountered several extreme thunderstorms and water and very sloppy conditions as a result.

I make the clear distinction here and now that while I have some experience as an outback traveller, I am not a technical expert by any stretch of the imagination. It is my personal experience upon which I base my reviews. I will, on occasion, compare these products against a similar product that I am familiar with through personal experience. This is factual based and not anecdotal (someone telling me about it) experience.

The prices I have quoted are purely a retail range of current prices.

A disclaimer of sorts;

These reviews are not designed to influence you towards any particular product. I’m not receiving any financial advantage in doing this, rather I am providing my personal opinion on the quality and suitability of the products I have purchased and used. Any decision about purchasing a product should be made on a thorough analysis of your own needs and budget and supported by your own research (as were mine).

Any questions, please ask it in the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer them for you.

Toyo Open Country MT Tyres ($405 to $490 fitted)

Having seen Toyo Open Country Tyres in operation during our Great Sandy expedition of 2009, I was determined that they would be my tyre of choice for the big rig. Other points of consideration for me were their load carrying ability and side wall construction and strength.

I secured six 285/75-R16 tyres, mounted to Speedie steel Sunraysia type rims. Having travelled extensively off track over the past years, I am familiar with the damage that can be done to a tyre by rocks sticks and even the odd tech screw. This year was no exception. Three of our vehicles had the Toyo’s on this year and for a total of 14 tyres on the ground, we had 5 punctures in 14,000 km (11,000 on dirt and rock, 1800 totally off track, desert crossings). Ten tyres of another well known brand had closer to 40 punctures for the same country.

I cannot speak highly enough of the Open Country MT. It took everything I could throw at it. It operated well in soft sand at pressures below 20psi (although I wouldn’t want to be doing that all day) and would go all day every day at 25psi. The tread pattern on the M/T extends all the way to the buttress area of the tyre and the open-shoulder design means very good road handling as well as extra grip in sand and slush. The shoulder is also scalloped meaning that there is little chipping or tearing of the tread blocks, particularly in rocky areas that can be associated with full width, square shouldered tyres such as a Cooper ST/STC. The tyre is still quiet on the road and provides good handling in all conditions. As a compensation to the load I had on this year, I ran the tyres a lot higher than I would some other brands and again, their resistance to sidewall damage from stakes and rocks were amazing. These tyres have one of the highest load ratings of any comparable tyres available on the market. (1700 kgs or 3740lbs for the 285/75 10 plys like mine). They will also handle high operating temperatures (in excess of 80C).

Only complaint, the bead filler system means that they have a tendency to throw normal, side clipped tyre weights. When balancing, I would recommended the use of adhesive flat weights and have them siliconed to add further adhesive security to ensure the weights stay in place. A Small inconvenience for the quality of the tyre.

5 Stars from me for these.Well worth the money for the serious outback traveller.

2013 Update - 50,000 km

The tyres have now completed 50K and have performed exceptionally well. I am a cruel master when it comes to tyres and ask a lot of them in terms of both conditions underneath the tread, and weights pushing down from above. The Toyo’s have been up to the task with only one significant event of major damage when we kissed an unseen boulder out around emu. The tyre was repaired back to ASA by Mick Hutton and remains in use on the vehicle at present. Fully 80% of the overall distances have been on desert tracks or off track.

I continue to believe that these are simply the best tyres on the market and to that end have just imported a further eight 315/75-R16 which will be fitted in the next week or so. I have gone up a couple of sizes to further load handling ability and also facilitate some of those particularly difficult tranches across our infamous deserts.

2015 Update - 81,000 km

The big 315's now have over 30,000 km are have performed strongly. 2014 saw two separate expeditions involving 16,000 km in total (4K bitumen, 10.5K dirt and outback tracks, 1.5K off track (no track)). The tyres were run continuously at low PSI of 16-25 PSI across rough sand country and rocky ranges. No sidewall disfigurement was suffered at all. I managed to square a rim on a rock ledge without damaging the tyre which gets a bloody big thumbs up from me. The sidewall construction is simply the best for rough travel. On the 2nd expedition into the Great Victoria Desert, the tyres were again run extremely low to assist with the horrendously corrugated conditions of the Anne Beadell and other iconic tracks. Again the rugged sidewall construction maintained tyre integrity and shape, something that was not the case on some other well known brands that other expedition vehicles were shod with. I continue to be impressed with the ruggedness and durability of the Toyo's.

Speedy Rims Steel Sunraysia type 16 x 8. ($120)

These were a disappointment and I had three fail me during the last trip. The hole diameter for the when nuts appears larger than other after market rims and the standard Toyota Rims requiring a lot more care in seating them correctly. Of particular note is that the counter sink on the holes is almost non existent. This means that the taper on the wheel nuts is ineffective and can lead to movement issues. You would also require a wide shanked wheel nut. By way of comparison, compare the holes on an ROH steel rim (White) and the black coloured Speedie rim. The sides of the hole on the Speedie are shear and not tapered meaning the internal hole diameter is greater on the inside edge of the rim centre.

These rims did not handle the conditions at all and I had two fatigue and crack longitudinally around the internal rim. The third rim suffered movement due to the wheel nuts not seating correctly. I'd suggest this was primarily due to the lack of shamfer inside the holes. Being extremely remote, we were forced to weld the cracks and then re-weld again. A good smear of silicone on the inside of the welds was also an advantage to prevent leaking.

I was very much disappointed at the lack of customer service from Speedie and definite lack of quality in this particular product. I am unable to identify the place of manufacture but I think that somewhere off shore would be a fair guess.

I would not use this manufacturers rims in the future.

Video of rim damage and fixing the issue here; -

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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