A phonecall from... General Tire!


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
Fareham, Hants
So anyway, after the recent tyre discussion i went on to the General Tire website and asked a few questions, expecting only to get an email back. Instead, phone rang this morning and it was General Tire where i had a chat for about 20 mins with one of their guys.

So here is what i learned... many of the more techinically minded than me will know this already, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless.

Basically my question to them was GGAT2s vs BFG, sidewalls, compounds, treadwear, all similar yet different, why?

He told me that people get too hung up on the number of plies a tyre has in each area. Do not think of plies as layers, they are not, and it is not as simple as the more plies the thicker and stronger the tyre. He said he could build a 2ply tyre that was 2 inches thick and put it next to a three ply tyre which was 1 inch thick and the two ply tyre woul be stronger but not twice as strong if that makes sense, more important is the overall construction.

The analogy he used was it in not like building a wall with two layers of bricks rather than three it is more like weaving material with three strands rather than two. He said a more accurate generalisation, although just a generalisation is that the more plies the stiffer the rubber.

GGs are not BFGs and are not supposed to be, the compound is softer and the construction is different. He said to pay careful attention to the load ratings of the tyre, Grabbers are designed to be used on SUVs and light trucks and be grippy and safe in all conditions. If you use Grabbers on a truck that is too heavy then they will either wear away very quickly or could fail.

BFGs are heavy duty, designed to be used on much heavier trucks which is why they have more plies in the sidewall, to stop the tyre collapsing on itself when your air it down. Grabbers have a softer compound and a 2 ply sidewall specifically because they are designed so you do not have to air them down as much, and in most conditions Grabber will give you more grip than BFGs.

On similar trucks fitted with grabbers vs BFGs he said you will get more miles out of BFGs simply because they are harder, but Grabbers are specifically priced to be cheaper to offset that plus they still guarantee the treadwear for 60,000 miles.

He said if you have a very heavy and heavily laden truck that is going to be used constantly over rough terrain then his advice would be to go for BFGs or Cooper STTs. If you have a lighter truck then Grabbers will get you through anything you are likely to encounter from deep snow to sharp rock to mud.

I asked about the extreme conditions i may face in the Western Sahara and he said that they test them everywhere form MOAB to Alaska and they will be more than adequate.

Then came the sales pitch:

He said BFG's vs Grabbers. If you get Grabbers you will have more grip more of the time than with BFGs because of the slightly softer compound and higher flexibility of the tyre. Yes you will have to replace tyres more often, but they're not exactly soft hence the 60,000 mile guarantee, and they are cheaper by a fair amount. Do not be put off because they only have a 2 ply sidewall, they are designed to have, the actual difference in thickness of the sidewalls between BFGs and Grabbers is within 2mm anyway but you have to air Grabbers down less because of this.

He said the vast majority of tyre failures are down to poorly selected tyres, Grabbers are not ideal for every truck and/or scenario, but he said, do not be afraid to ring the manufacturer and ask.

Message Ends



Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2012
Thanks for posting this, really good to hear a company takeing the time to call and give a full explination
Also it sounds like the GG are pretty suited to your 90, and perhaps why they are not so good on the bigger versions


Staff member
I am in great_britain
Feb 24, 2010
springs, gauteng
I thought your first post on the General Grabber 2 needed a free set from them for your promotion; this post should surely secure you a set :cool:

Thanks - nice an informative. Good that the chap was also honest, or was it "honest" about GG vs. BFG.

Being in the RN, when the phone rang and the voice said "This is General Tire" did you wonder if it was work related? I'll get my coat....
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Well-Known Member
I am in england
Mar 1, 2010
Interesting comments from him.

When i had my disco 3, GGAT were the norm and were very popular in the owners club due to being available in 17 and 18 inch size, but were only recording mileages in the 20,000 to 30,000 range. Quite a heavy standard truck though.
Maybe they should all get a claim in with General :twisted:


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
Fareham, Hants
:D I did get a phonecall from a Commander 2 days ago telling me to get my arse down to the Falkland Islands for a fortnight on sunday night!

One thing that the guy said that i forgot was that he has a Ford f250/350(?), and whilst i do not know exactly what this is, i gather it is quite big. He said he doesnt run Grabbers on it becuase it is too heavy, he runs Coopers....


Here we go, yep quite big....

an F250

and a F350


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