Pros: Value, durable, dependable.
Cons: Although stated all-season year-round tires, traction-wise these won't do well beyond 50% tread-life.
BF= Benjamin Franklin
The following review is on the: The All Season Highway (LT-215-85-R16) 10ply or load range E.
I purchase a few more tires each year than the average consumer, about 16-20 for my work trucks. Over the 30 years Ive been in business Ive tried just about every brand A to Z there is. BF Goodrich has been an alternate second choice under Michelin. On a cost analysis the BF Goodrich tires are costing me slightly more than the Michelin even though theyre about $70 less per tire. The simple fact is Im getting almost twice the life from the Michelins.
This particular BF Goodrich Commercial T/A comes in 2 tread or traction types: All Season Highway & On-Off Road Traction. I purchased 4 back in December when Costco was having a $60 off a set of 4 sale. While BFGs are great tires, these dont hold up or last as long as the Michelin XPS I normally purchase. I needed a set of tires and the Michelins were not in stock.
.:Will these tires work for you?:.
With this 10 ply load range E rating, this tire should be capable of handling as much weight your truck can handle without exceeding the (GVWR) gross vehicle weight rating.
Of the five 16 inch commercial all season T/As available the 215-85-16 is second to the smallest size. If your truck or RV has 16 inch stock rims this tire is most likely a good choice. Its a little overkill for a half ton but perfect for the 3/4 and 1 ton pickups, vans or RVs. As far as looks go these are only available in the plain sidewall only, no raised white letters. Considering the (215) is a narrower tire, it will have less contact with the road surface, or leave a smaller footprint.
Although these are all season tires I don't recommend these in adverse weather beyond half the tread life. These don't have an aggressive enough tread design beyond this point (in my opinion).
With this is a 10 ply rated tire capable of holding up to 80 psi, depending on the air pressure youre running these at it can be smooth to feeling every little crack or crevice in the road. The stiffer tread design allows for better steering response and with 10 plies its more puncture resistant. On my 2004-2007 Chevrolet 2500HD pickups, we run close to or at the maximum pressure (80) in the rear and (65psi) up front. An overall decent quiet ride.
We only run these on paved roads and never had any issues or short comings other than they wear out in half the time compared to the Michelin XPS rib/highway. Here in the Sacramento valley we rarely get snow or ice so I cant vouch for how well these will perform in those areas other than the government test results. At highway speeds compared to any other similar tire Ive purchased I cant tell the difference in these in wet or dry conditions.
Without taking a vehicle with a set of these tires on it to a test track and perform stuntman type maneuvers, Im going to rely on the government test results and the manufactures word. Plus this is probably my fourth set of these over a 10 year period and I cant come up with a reason not to buy them again.
.:How do these Commercial T/As stack up?:.
Literally they dont next to a stack of Michelin XPSs even with the fact that BF Goodrich is owned by the Michelin Group, so why are these tires so different? The two are unique having their own formulas and methods of construction as well as the materials used. The XPS for instance is a heavier all steel casing verses the T/As polyester/steel. I have (plug repaired) both of these as well as other brands a few times and the resistance inserting the plug is significantly easier on the BFG T/A than the Michelin XPS despite the same ply rating.
.:The Other Brands:.
So whats wrong with the other big tire brands, Goodyear, Firestone-Bridgestone, Uniroyal, Kelly , Dunlop, Dayton, Continental, General Tire, Cooper, Yokohama,Toyo, Sumitomo, Pirelli (havent tried), Hankook, Kumho, plus many more? The typical pricing on these tires in the (215-85-16) size is going to be around $80 to $205 each. In the treadwear department none of the major brands were noticeable or stood out giving me close to the expected tread life. This is why I came up with a cost per mile decision to purchase tires.
In my book, while the Michelin ranked highest the BFG came in second, everything else was so-so. They all performed well, but the tread life is more important to me. Whats the worst performing tire Ive ever purchased? This is where you can throw the old saying out the window You get what you pay for. The General AmeriTrac. This is the type of tire GM was putting on their trucks from the factory back in the mid to late 90s. Theres an old term they use to say for these kind of tires: Rag Tire. I quickly discovered we went through these in less than 6 months, the front ones lasted less then 10,000 miles. Equally disappointing but in another way was how much I paid for a Goodyear verses how long they lasted.
.:Overall Final Recommendations:.
Yes, these tires will perform well and give you excellent value on a cost per mile basis. These are available at most Costco tire centers priced at around $130 each, if you add sales tax and mounting youre out the door for $150 each. These are certainly not the best tires you can buy, but between you, me and the asphalt, a good choice.
These are rated to last 50,000 miles. Depending on who you buy these through will determine how they will make the prorated adjustment. It's similar to how an auto parts store warranties a 60 month battery. As long as I'm close enough to the 50K I don't go through the paper work hassle. If you do mostly freeway driving you'll exceed 50K miles. If you're city driving expect less, parking lot sweeper truck, expect the worst, 15-20K on the front and 30-40K or so on the rear.
Resources and further details:
.:The Uniformed Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) Ratings:.
Test result terminology from: http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/TireWheel/utqg.htm
Treadwear: 440 = Very Good (a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course)
Traction: A = Excellent (the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test track, C is the lower rating)
Temperature: C = Lowest (representing the tire's resistance to the generation of heat, A is the best rating. This tire is not recommended for speeds above 85 MPH)
Do you want some detailed information comparing data between your stock tire and a different sized tire? The link below will compare the sidewall, radius, diameter, circumference, as well as revolutions per mile.
http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html (see how a different tire size tire will effect your speedometer reading)
BF Goodrich website link for detailed specifications on the LT215-85-R16-E: http://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/overview/commercial-t-a-all-season/45.html