Once again I returned to the beautiful Flat Nasty Off-Road Park in Jadwin, Missouri, to try Pit Bull’s new Radial Growler extreme off-road tires (right). The new Growlers are a set of 31x10.50x15 that mounted up on my Chevrolet Colorado’s wheels without issue. Since the Colorado is my daily driver, I wanted a tire that would run well on the road while still offering the ability to run around on some trails. The radial version of these extreme off-road tires adds a rugged construction to the design as well as a more road-friendly rubber compound to further extend the tread life of these tires.
I have been keeping close tabs on the Pit Bull Tires company for some time now. I was thrilled to hear they came out with radial versions of their tires and know there are many weekend warriors like myself who are seeking a road-worthy tire that can still get the job done on the trails as well.
When I first got the tires mounted and drove around a bit, I did notice the extra noise from the aggressive tread. But I was surprised that it was not any louder than all-terrain tires I have run in the past, despite the Growlers being more comparable to a mud-terrain tire.
The trails at Flat Nasty Off-Road Park Range from easy to advanced, with the easy trails allowing most stock 4x4 trucks the ability to navigate. The Advanced trails, on the other hand, can prevent even some of the most outfitted rock crawlers from passing through. With such a wide variety of trails, Flat Nasty Off-Road Park provides a great proving ground for Pit Bull’s Tires.
That being said, I began the approximately 200-mile journey from my hometown toward Flat Nasty on the new set of Radial Pit Bull Growlers. We loaded the trailer with all our camping gear, and with four of us in the truck we managed to give the tires a good road test during the drive. The tires performed quite well during the drive.
Once down to the park, we unloaded and set up our tents in the campground. We decided to hit the hay for the night so we could get an early start the next morning. As we slept through the night, we could hear all the big diesel pickups and trailers coming down the road into the campground carrying all the crawlers for next night’s “15-Hour Nightmare” event that Flat Nasty hosts annually. I believe it is one of the most exciting and entertaining events that they run down there.
The next morning revealed a group of about 15 to 20 rock crawlers from all over that had arrived throughout the night to participate in the event, which was set to start around 5 p.m. Throughout the day more groups of enthusiasts continued to trickle in. We spent a majority of the day driving around the campground checking out the different rigs that came down.
After we got our fill of all the crawlers we decided to take the Colorado out on some easy trails to see how the tires would do. We started off by rolling down a steep rock/dirt trail. As we nervously approached the top of the hill it seemed almost as though we were getting ready to take the first drop of a roller coaster. As the truck began down the hill I was impressed to see that the tires maintained contact with the rugged terrain and was able to ease down the hill without any major sliding or loss of control. At this point I decided going back up the hill (despite having a locker in the rear) was going to be a bit too much for my 2WD Colorado so we continued on down the trail where we were able to maneuver through some off-camber sections lifting a couple of tires off the ground on occasion.
We continued cruising around the easy trails and my 2WD Colorado seemed to move through with ease. The Radial Growlers definitely proved themselves on these trails, and I know that a 4WD trail rig or rock crawler running some of Pit Bull’s Tires would have a blast out on theses trials. We managed to get a chance later that evening to see some of Pit Bull’s other tires in action, as several other rigs at the event were running some of the Mad Dogs and Rockers.
The next morning, after a bit of peer pressure, I decided to make an attempt to climb back up the steep hill that we descended the day before. As we pulled up to the bottom of the hill I couldn’t help but notice it almost appeared to be a straight 90-degree climb. As steep as the trail was, I hammered the throttle and we began the climb up. To all of our amazement, the tires kept the truck crawling up the hill. Once we made it up the hill, the only conclusion we had was that these were some excellent trail tires. After the rough run up the hill, I decided it was time to head back to camp and head home before we managed to break something on the stock Colorado.
The Radial Growlers handled themselves well on the road with an increase in handling vs. the bias-ply tires. The flat-tread layout of the tires allows them to wear more evenly and also gives them better contact with the road to increase grip. The new tires have about 3,000 miles on them now, and I will have to say that the claims thus far have not been disappointing. The tires continue to wear well and seem to be doing so at a slow pace. I definitely give Pit Bull’s new Radial Tires two thumbs up and for those of you out there that are looking for some aggressive off-road tires with a softer side for the pavement then these are the tires for you!
Pit Bull Tire Company
St. Louis, Missouri
Flat Nasty Off-Road Park