Seeing a new set of Toyo M55s was like meeting up with an old friend. We were running commercial tires years ago on the pickups for our logging crews while several of our hauling contractors were running the same tread pattern on their log trucks. Just the buyer Toyo has in mind: “Commercial/agricultural fleet owners/operators and function-oriented buyers looking to upgrade from original equipment tires,” according to Toyo.com
Longevity has long been an attractive characteristic of this line of tires by Toyo and they still have a loyal following in the Pacific Northwest. Loggers out here often drive 2 hours or more just to get to the landing. Of those miles, half can be on gravel roads and a small portion on dirt. Good planning usually avoids mud by building roads in the summer with a good layer of base rock for winter jobs, but mud traction is still needed at times.
The tread design achieves a nice balance between the aggressive voids of a mud tire and the smooth block pattern of a good road tire. Numerous sipes provide more biting edges in the tread design which helps in wet pavement and ice traction. The m55s come pinned for studs.
The durability and long tread life that customers have learned to appreciate about these Toyos are due to heavy-duty bead construction, tough multi-ply polyester casing, wide steel belts, advanced cap and base tread compounds and a deep tread design.
The deep tread design is an important aspect of the tire’s water handling characteristics. Out here in the Northwest we get to see our share of rain soaked roads. Large voids and sipes give water a place to hide so the tire can contact the street. This greatly improves wet road traction and minimizes hydroplaning. The M55s have come through our wet pavement tests with flying colors.
We also had a chance to test the Toyos in mud. Of course, mud consistency varies greatly, but we were pleased by how well the voids cleared out in our tests. This is an important function for mud traction. When treads stay packed with mud, the tread blocks can’t bite. The M55s cleared sufficiently in our mud tests to provide the traction we needed.
The aggressive tread pattern showed its downside in sound testing. While the 55s aren’t as loud as a dedicated mud tire, they do have a slight drone at about forty miles per hour on our F-250. This was noise we were not hearing on the all-terrain tires we removed before installing the Toyos.
The Toyos have a firm feel when cornering at speed. This is a desirable characteristic in my estimation, but it does make them a bit rougher riding than a softer side-walled tire.
Overall the Toyos inspire confidence. You get the sense that the tread compounds, tread pattern and sidewall construction provide a tire you can count on for many thousands of miles to come. Maybe these Northwest loggers know something about tires.