It’s taken nearly 20,000km, but the Big Horns have found their nirvana as muddy bog-trotters.
So far, our long-term D-Max has travelled some 17,000 harsh kilometres on its Maxxis 764 Bighorn muddies over all manner of terrain from Fraser Island’s sand, through rock and dirt in the New South Wales bush. However, despite La Nina’s best efforts with the wet weather across the eastern seaboard, the main focus of their job description has been missing: mud.
Finding ourselves out in the bush south of Sydney taking pics of gear that couldn’t get wet, we were forced to retreat to the confines of the cab during yet another downpour. Since it looked like the aims of the day were over, and watching streams of slimy mud-filled water cascade over the tracks and rocks around us, photographer Michael Ellem and I thought: waste not, want not, and set off to see what the Big Horns would do in our efforts to get back to the bitumen.
We dropped the pressures to 25psi to bring a little bag to the sidewalls and let the shoulder tread Maxxis has installed add its effort to the main tread. We were also carrying a bit of extra weight in the tray, so didn’t want to carve grooves on road pressures and go nowhere. It proved adequate.
The thick clay easily filled out the gaps in the tread blocks, but while Michael was outside taking the pics he could see that, despite that happening, the heavy-construction rubber still crawled amid the ruts of other people’s weekend fun and the tread bit hard. A little bit of throttle could spin the tyres and fling the amassed gloop clagging the tread clear, and it was easily cleaned for fresh teeth.
We’ve yet to suffer a puncture on these tyres, so their 10-ply, light truck construction is proving itself. This instilled confidence, as where we were driving there are some vast mudholes that are often hiding rubbish dumped by the mindless. So, while we kept speed down for obvious reasons to avoid the possibility of a mid-lake disaster, it allowed us to feel the Big Horns locate the traction under the surface and let us see what the tyres could achieve in the morass. We only needed one back-up and a slight deviation for the tread to catch and continue to haul us along. All the time the steering was composed in the D-Max, with the vehicle never feeling like an unguided toboggan.
Once we’d cleared the mud, made it back to the highway and reinflated to road pressures we had a good look at the tread blocks themselves and found that damage so far has been minimal and certainly chip-free on the shoulders. The Big Horns are looking good. So, we’re off looking for some more mud. After all, there’s nothing quite like an un-sticky situation.
$331 per corner 245/75/R16 (Isuzu D-Max)
CONTACT: maxxistyres.com.au or 1300 629 947