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Big O Tires? Are you kidding me?!?!

I know there's not a lot of love on the forum for Big O, but I shop for tires at the Big O tire store here in town - I'll admit it. I'm not ashamed of it, either. I've been buying tires at the same shop since I was in high school and have nothing but good things to say about the shop on 17th in Idaho Falls. Sadly, the owner retired and closed down the shop several years ago, but there were so many customers asking him - BEGGING him - to reopen the shop that they built a new building a mile down the street and reopened. As far as I know, they even kept the same management (I think the manager is actually part owner, now) so things stayed the same.

After quickly wearing out the stock Rugged Fails on my TRD tundra, I searched high and low for a tire that would fit my driving needs. My priorities and wants/needs for a new tire were pretty straightforward.

- Foremost, I needed an all-terrain tire that excelled in inclement winter weather without being a dedicated snow tire; Idaho winters are full of snow, wind, ice, and freeze/thaw cycles.
- It needed to be quiet-ish; drone, humming, tremendous road noise and whatnot do bad things for my head
- It needed to have great highway manners because, as much as I hate to admit it, a large majority of my miles are on the highway
- It needed to be solid enough to load/overload when dumping tools, lumber, etc in the bed and hitching up a few different trailers
- It also needed to have decent trail manners; nothing crazy, but capable enough to handle what I dare throw at it.
- I needed to get more miles out of the set than my stock tires

After talking with almost every tire shop in town, most recommended something akin to the Cooper AT3. When I asked about that particular tire at Big O, they were quick to praise it, but immediately countered with their house brand Big O Bigfoot AT. Honestly, I was little bit leery of it being a house brand tire, especially since they recommended it above just about every other tire that they sold. I thought maybe they were making a recommendation based off their bottom line. But they didn't recommend it in a pushy way - more of a 'that's what I would run' way, if that makes sense. I went to school with two of the guys that work there, one of whom owns a tundra; the tundra owner actually ran two sets of the Big O's on his truck and loved them. I asked why he doesn't still run them, to which he simply responded 'I like the look of the new Cooper ST Maxx better'. I wasn't quite sold on them, so I drilled them for some more details, then went home and did my research. I'd been looking at what tires other pickup drivers in town had and noticed an alarming amount of Big O Bigfoot AT tires. There are two Big O stores in town so either they have an AMAZING marketing scheme and sales team, or perhaps these Big O AT's might work as well they say...

I found out that the Big Bigfoot AT is actually made by Cooper and shares a few things in common with the AT3 but is more akin to a cousin than a sibling. If you look at the tread design, they are both a modern 5 rib design with copious amounts of siping and biting edges - even more siping on the Big O. The compounds are similar, but the Bigfoot AT is a little bit softer with a 50k mileage warranty (at the time) instead of 60k on the Coopers. This was actually a pro instead of con, in my book. Softer compounds do better in cold, icy weather even if you give up a little mileage to get that traction. Also, the siping on the Bigfoot's goes the full depth of the tread so you still have siping when the tread wears down to 5/32 or less. I was looking at the LT275/65R18 tire that weighs 52 lbs, has a E rated carcass with a 123 load rating (~3400 lbs a tire), and a tread depth of 17/32's.

Even though I had been buying tires from this same shop for years I'd never purchased any of their house brand tires. After much deliberating, I had them peel off the Rugged Fail's (which were just below 5/32's at 28k miles) and slap on the Big O Bigfoot AT's in the aforementioned size.

So, are they any good?

First thing I did with the tires after I got them mounted is take the truck for a little drive. Initially, I could feel a slight weight difference in the tires. Take off was a hair slower, but less than I expected with adding 10 lbs per corner to the rotating mass. The ride was actually pretty good around town through potholed roads and city streets. I headed out to the some country roads to the find a little bit of dirt. I turned the traction control off and made a right turn after stopping at an intersection. The inside tire started to spin, but kept grabbing and clawing for traction and moved the truck forward even while doing the one wheel peel. I did the exact same thing withe BFG's the day before and as soon as they broke traction they just spun and spun and spun without me going anywhere. When I got off the pavement, they handled the dirt and gravel road just great. Taking off from a standstill with the traction control on, they hooked up great up to about 2/3 throttle; the rugged fails couldn't handle more than 1/3 throttle without spinning - that was when they were new! On the highway, they rode nice, smooth, and quiet. Road noise was honestly less than the worn stock tires.

I thought to myself, 'this is too good to be true!' So I decided to wait a few more miles before reviewing the tires. In the meantime, other than highway miles, I did a few other things with the truck to put the tires to the test.

Towing

I don't pull a trailer every day, but I do pull one more than occasionally. They trailers range from a 13' enclosed to an 18' open deck car hauler with a pickup, van, or car on it, to a 30' travel trailer and a few things in between. With the right amount of air in the tires, they performed flawlessly. The stiffer carcass of the LT tire could be felt driving around empty, but towing they made for a much more stable feeling when loaded. They didn't appear to squat much, either. I never needed more than 60 lbs of pressure in the tires but usually kept them around 46 psi. The tires felt much more solid with less squish and squirm than the stockers while towing.

Hauling

As should be expected, I didn't push the tires to the limit when it comes to payload. More often than not, I had between 500 and 1000 lbs of tools, gear, cargo, lumber, etc in the bed, especially since I installed my Decked bed system. Add to that the trailer tongue weight from occasionally pulling a trailer and I was close to or at max payload from time to time. On more than one occasion, I'm sure that I was above max vehicle payload such as hauling a yard of river rock for some landscaping in the yard, hauling home 17 pieces of 3/4" sheet goods and 120 BF of lumber, and a pickup sitting too far forward on the flatbed car hauler. The tires shouldered the loads exceptionally well. As noted above, with the right air pressure the tires felt solid and planted no matter what load I put on them.

Off Highway

Although most of the miles that I logged on the tires were on the highway, I had several opportunities to venture off the beaten...err... paved path. My first foray on the tires was to Moab, UT, to spend four days traversing the White Rim Trail including Lathrop Canyon and Murphy's Hogs Back. I encountered varying road conditions from a slick, slimy topcoat of mud at the top of the trail to sandy washes to rocky terrain. The tires handled all of these conditions with ease. At all times, I felt sure-footed with plenty of traction to overcome whatever obstacle I encountered. Now, don't get me wrong - this wasn't hardcore wheeling on Moab's infamous slick rock, but the trails offered a few good challenges to a stock, high clearance 4x4 vehicle, especially Lathrop Canyon.

Hunting season in Island Park sent me on a cold, wet, muddy adventure slogging through miles of rutted two track. I was expecting copious amounts of wheel speed in order to power through the uphill sections of primitive but was surprised to see the tires find traction in mud up to axles without much wheelspin at all! More surprising was that at the time, I had worn the tires down to between 8 and 9/32's.

In between Moab and hunting season, the truck saw gravel and forest service roads a couple of times a month or more. The only damage suffered by the tires on any offload excursion were a few small tears in some of the lugs from a few rock gardens in Moab. When I say small tears in the lugs, I mean small tears. I never lost a lug or section of tread and have not encountered a puncture on road of off.

Inclement Weather

As stated above, one of the most pressing requirements that I had was that the tire performed exceptionally well in inclement weather. Idaho winters vary quite a bit but always include drifting snow, high winds, ice, frost heaves, potholes, patchy roads, and generally scrummy roads. While the snow doesn't always stick around from fall until spring, it often sticks around most of the time. Roads often don't get plowed for a day or two (or more) when we have heavy snowfalls so road conditions vary a lot and can often be unpredictable. The tires handled these road conditions exceptionally well while delivering impeccable traction throughout the winters. 90% of the time, 2wd was sufficient to keep the truck moving around on city streets. The other 105 of the time, nobody wanted to drive on the road so I could leave it in 2wd and steer with the throttle :) Unfortunately, it took a lot of throttle to get the wheels to spin - and keep spinning - in anything less than winter storm conditions.

I also felt very confident on the tires in wet and rainy conditions. The tread seemed to channel water out and away very quickly and effectively. Running through standing water on the highway did not create any hydroplaning (that I could sense).

Overall

The Big O A/T's actually have a fair amount of voids between the decently sized lugs with lots of little ramps and edges. This helps provide good traction in a variety of situations. Siping does indeed run the full depth of the lug (or at least as far I wore them down). They may not be as good as a dedicated snow tire in the winter, a mud terrain tire in the mud, or a highway touring tire on the road, but they sure came close! Honestly, the tires met and, in some cases, surpassed my exceptions in every category.

Well, what about tread life? The tires came with a 50k pro-rated tread wear warranty, which I expected to take advantage of around 35 or 40k miles. But, again, to my surprise, the tires made it all they way to 51k miles before I thought about replacing them! Even at 51k miles the tire still had between 4 and 5/32's left, which is as low as I like to run them. They would probably make it through the rest of the summer if I want, but we just got a nice summer downpour this morning, reminding me that it's time to look for new shoes.

Some things to note about tread wear, though. First, the tires were rotated every 5,000 miles with an alignment performed when the tires were new and again around 30k miles on the tires. The first alignment required zero adjustment. The second alignment required on a slight toe adjustment. I also had the tires rebalanced twice - first at 20k miles and second at 40k miles. The tread wore evenly throughout with two small exceptions. The outer edges of all four tires wore a bit more quickly and rounded the shoulder lugs slightly. My last set of tires did the exact same thing so I'd chock it up to either my driving style or the vehicle setup. The second small exception was a very small whump whump that developed at 49k miles. A close inspection revealed that the front left tire had a few unevenly work lugs on the outside edge. Also, at 40k miles - right in the middle of winter - traction seemed to deteriorate somewhat and they got a tiny bit louder. They were still much, MUCH, better than the stock rugged trails, but felt slightly less stuck to the ground in winter conditions. I never had a problem slipping and sliding, but did get all four wheels spinning with a 24' enclosed car hauler pulling onto an icy road. Otherwise, traction was great in all other conditions.

I give the tires a 9 out of 10. The Big O Bigfoot All Terrain tires provided better than adequate traction and handling in all terrain conditions that I encountered. They made it to and surpassed the mileage promised by the manufacturer without incident. The reasons they don't get a 10 out of 10 are small and simple, owing mostly to the small decrease in traction at the 40k mile mark, tire weight and accompanying slight decrease in gas mileage and only moderately rougher ride (all of which were expected moving from a P-rated to an LT-rated tire). Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the traction, performance, durability, and longevity of the tires. Now I just need to figure out what to replace them with - the same thing or something new!
 

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Big O Tires? Are you kidding me?!?!

I know there's not a lot of love on the forum for Big O, but I shop for tires at the Big O tire store here in town - I'll admit it. I'm not ashamed of it, either. I've been buying tires at the same shop since I was in high school and have nothing but good things to say about the shop on 17th in Idaho Falls. Sadly, the owner retired and closed down the shop several years ago, but there were so many customers asking him - BEGGING him - to reopen the shop that they built a new building a mile down the street and reopened. As far as I know, they even kept the same management (I think the manager is actually part owner, now) so things stayed the same.

After quickly wearing out the stock Rugged Fails on my TRD tundra, I searched high and low for a tire that would fit my driving needs. My priorities and wants/needs for a new tire were pretty straightforward.

  • Foremost, I needed an all-terrain tire that excelled in inclement winter weather without being a dedicated snow tire; Idaho winters are full of snow, wind, ice, and freeze/thaw cycles.
  • It needed to be quiet-ish; drone, humming, tremendous road noise and whatnot do bad things for my head
  • It needed to have great highway manners because, as much as I hate to admit it, a large majority of my miles are on the highway
  • It needed to be solid enough to load/overload when dumping tools, lumber, etc in the bed and hitching up a few different trailers
  • It also needed to have decent trail manners; nothing crazy, but capable enough to handle what I dare throw at it.
  • I needed to get more miles out of the set than my stock tires

After talking with almost every tire shop in town, most recommended something akin to the Cooper AT3. When I asked about that particular tire at Big O, they were quick to praise it, but immediately countered with their house brand Big O Bigfoot AT. Honestly, I was little bit leery of it being a house brand tire, especially since they recommended it above just about every other tire that they sold. I thought maybe they were making a recommendation based off their bottom line. But they didn't recommend it in a pushy way - more of a 'that's what I would run' way, if that makes sense. I went to school with two of the guys that work there, one of whom owns a tundra; the tundra owner actually ran two sets of the Big O's on his truck and loved them. I asked why he doesn't still run them, to which he simply responded 'I like the look of the new Cooper ST Maxx better'. I wasn't quite sold on them, so I drilled them for some more details, then went home and did my research. I'd been looking at what tires other pickup drivers in town had and noticed an alarming amount of Big O Bigfoot AT tires. There are two Big O stores in town so either they have an AMAZING marketing scheme and sales team, or perhaps these Big O AT's might work as well they say...

I found out that the Big Bigfoot AT is actually made by Cooper and shares a few things in common with the AT3 but is more akin to a cousin than a sibling. If you look at the tread design, they are both a modern 5 rib design with copious amounts of siping and biting edges - even more siping on the Big O. The compounds are similar, but the Bigfoot AT is a little bit softer with a 50k mileage warranty (at the time) instead of 60k on the Coopers. This was actually a pro instead of con, in my book. Softer compounds do better in cold, icy weather even if you give up a little mileage to get that traction. Also, the siping on the Bigfoot's goes the full depth of the tread so you still have siping when the tread wears down to 5/32 or less. I was looking at the LT275/65R18 tire that weighs 52 lbs, has a E rated carcass with a 123 load rating (~3400 lbs a tire), and a tread depth of 17/32's.

Even though I had been buying tires from this same shop for years I'd never purchased any of their house brand tires. After much deliberating, I had them peel off the Rugged Fail's (which were just below 5/32's at 28k miles) and slap on the Big O Bigfoot AT's in the aforementioned size.

So, are they any good?

First thing I did with the tires after I got them mounted is take the truck for a little drive. Initially, I could feel a slight weight difference in the tires. Take off was a hair slower, but less than I expected with adding 10 lbs per corner to the rotating mass. The ride was actually pretty good around town through potholed roads and city streets. I headed out to the some country roads to the find a little bit of dirt. I turned the traction control off and made a right turn after stopping at an intersection. The inside tire started to spin, but kept grabbing and clawing for traction and moved the truck forward even while doing the one wheel peel. I did the exact same thing withe BFG's the day before and as soon as they broke traction they just spun and spun and spun without me going anywhere. When I got off the pavement, they handled the dirt and gravel road just great. Taking off from a standstill with the traction control on, they hooked up great up to about 2/3 throttle; the rugged fails couldn't handle more than 1/3 throttle without spinning - that was when they were new! On the highway, they rode nice, smooth, and quiet. Road noise was honestly less than the worn stock tires.

I thought to myself, 'this is too good to be true!' So I decided to wait a few more miles before reviewing the tires. In the meantime, other than highway miles, I did a few other things with the truck to put the tires to the test.

Towing

I don't pull a trailer every day, but I do pull one more than occasionally. They trailers range from a 13' enclosed to an 18' open deck car hauler with a pickup, van, or car on it, to a 30' travel trailer and a few things in between. With the right amount of air in the tires, they performed flawlessly. The stiffer carcass of the LT tire could be felt driving around empty, but towing they made for a much more stable feeling when loaded. They didn't appear to squat much, either. I never needed more than 60 lbs of pressure in the tires but usually kept them around 46 psi. The tires felt much more solid with less squish and squirm than the stockers while towing.

Hauling

As should be expected, I didn't push the tires to the limit when it comes to payload. More often than not, I had between 500 and 1000 lbs of tools, gear, cargo, lumber, etc in the bed, especially since I installed my Decked bed system. Add to that the trailer tongue weight from occasionally pulling a trailer and I was close to or at max payload from time to time. On more than one occasion, I'm sure that I was above max vehicle payload such as hauling a yard of river rock for some landscaping in the yard, hauling home 17 pieces of 3/4" sheet goods and 120 BF of lumber, and a pickup sitting too far forward on the flatbed car hauler. The tires shouldered the loads exceptionally well. As noted above, with the right air pressure the tires felt solid and planted no matter what load I put on them.

Off Highway

Although most of the miles that I logged on the tires were on the highway, I had several opportunities to venture off the beaten...err... paved path. My first foray on the tires was to Moab, UT, to spend four days traversing the White Rim Trail including Lathrop Canyon and Murphy's Hogs Back. I encountered varying road conditions from a slick, slimy topcoat of mud at the top of the trail to sandy washes to rocky terrain. The tires handled all of these conditions with ease. At all times, I felt sure-footed with plenty of traction to overcome whatever obstacle I encountered. Now, don't get me wrong - this wasn't hardcore wheeling on Moab's infamous slick rock, but the trails offered a few good challenges to a stock, high clearance 4x4 vehicle, especially Lathrop Canyon.

Hunting season in Island Park sent me on a cold, wet, muddy adventure slogging through miles of rutted two track. I was expecting copious amounts of wheel speed in order to power through the uphill sections of primitive but was surprised to see the tires find traction in mud up to axles without much wheelspin at all! More surprising was that at the time, I had worn the tires down to between 8 and 9/32's.

In between Moab and hunting season, the truck saw gravel and forest service roads a couple of times a month or more. The only damage suffered by the tires on any offload excursion were a few small tears in some of the lugs from a few rock gardens in Moab. When I say small tears in the lugs, I mean small tears. I never lost a lug or section of tread and have not encountered a puncture on road of off.

Inclement Weather

As stated above, one of the most pressing requirements that I had was that the tire performed exceptionally well in inclement weather. Idaho winters vary quite a bit but always include drifting snow, high winds, ice, frost heaves, potholes, patchy roads, and generally scrummy roads. While the snow doesn't always stick around from fall until spring, it often sticks around most of the time. Roads often don't get plowed for a day or two (or more) when we have heavy snowfalls so road conditions vary a lot and can often be unpredictable. The tires handled these road conditions exceptionally well while delivering impeccable traction throughout the winters. 90% of the time, 2wd was sufficient to keep the truck moving around on city streets. The other 105 of the time, nobody wanted to drive on the road so I could leave it in 2wd and steer with the throttle :) Unfortunately, it took a lot of throttle to get the wheels to spin - and keep spinning - in anything less than winter storm conditions.

I also felt very confident on the tires in wet and rainy conditions. The tread seemed to channel water out and away very quickly and effectively. Running through standing water on the highway did not create any hydroplaning (that I could sense).

Overall

The Big O A/T's actually have a fair amount of voids between the decently sized lugs with lots of little ramps and edges. This helps provide good traction in a variety of situations. Siping does indeed run the full depth of the lug (or at least as far I wore them down). They may not be as good as a dedicated snow tire in the winter, a mud terrain tire in the mud, or a highway touring tire on the road, but they sure came close! Honestly, the tires met and, in some cases, surpassed my exceptions in every category.

Well, what about tread life? The tires came with a 50k pro-rated tread wear warranty, which I expected to take advantage of around 35 or 40k miles. But, again, to my surprise, the tires made it all they way to 51k miles before I thought about replacing them! Even at 51k miles the tire still had between 4 and 5/32's left, which is as low as I like to run them. They would probably make it through the rest of the summer if I want, but we just got a nice summer downpour this morning, reminding me that it's time to look for new shoes.

Some things to note about tread wear, though. First, the tires were rotated every 5,000 miles with an alignment performed when the tires were new and again around 30k miles on the tires. The first alignment required zero adjustment. The second alignment required on a slight toe adjustment. I also had the tires rebalanced twice - first at 20k miles and second at 40k miles. The tread wore evenly throughout with two small exceptions. The outer edges of all four tires wore a bit more quickly and rounded the shoulder lugs slightly. My last set of tires did the exact same thing so I'd chock it up to either my driving style or the vehicle setup. The second small exception was a very small whump whump that developed at 49k miles. A close inspection revealed that the front left tire had a few unevenly work lugs on the outside edge. Also, at 40k miles - right in the middle of winter - traction seemed to deteriorate somewhat and they got a tiny bit louder. They were still much, MUCH, better than the stock rugged trails, but felt slightly less stuck to the ground in winter conditions. I never had a problem slipping and sliding, but did get all four wheels spinning with a 24' enclosed car hauler pulling onto an icy road. Otherwise, traction was great in all other conditions.

I give the tires a 9 out of 10. The Big O Bigfoot All Terrain tires provided better than adequate traction and handling in all terrain conditions that I encountered. They made it to and surpassed the mileage promised by the manufacturer without incident. The reasons they don't get a 10 out of 10 are small and simple, owing mostly to the small decrease in traction at the 40k mile mark, tire weight and accompanying slight decrease in gas mileage and only moderately rougher ride (all of which were expected moving from a P-rated to an LT-rated tire). Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the traction, performance, durability, and longevity of the tires. Now I just need to figure out what to replace them with - the same thing or something new!
So I feel a bit like an imposter; one, because I'm a girl, and two, because I don't have a Tundra. I feel like there's a wooden sign somewhere to with dripping red paint that says, "No Girls Allowed!" At any rate, I have a Nissan Murano; a Lyft driver; I live in Denver with an array of temperatures, sometimes daily, with our bipolar weather that mocks real winters with our 20° snowfall days to the 55°- 60° days that follow. Ice, snow, n melted water back to ice- you probably know what I'm talking about. You said it best, but I forget exactly the wording you used. Anyhow, I've learned a lot in the last few months regarding tires, and starting Lyft has made me hyper alert to many more things than I have been over the years when it was just me. Let's see: I've learned that you can't mix A/T with winter tires. Plus, it's really not good to mix brands, like 2 on the front n 2 different on back. Heaven forbid the idiots who have like, 4 different kinds of tires with all different tread sizes. I also learned not to buy tires off OfferUp from a random black dude in the ghetto- he damn well knew I couldn't mix the winter n AT n let me buy them off him anyway, making sure to add the, "I have plenty more if you need them." 🙄 (Readers, please dont turn this into a racial thing bec/ I said black. It was a simple descriptive adjective to paint the picture. Moving on...) Furious, I tracked him down but of course he didn't make it right, so off the 2 AW went to storage, n back went my hunt for 2 more used winter tires. [3 months later] I have a nail in the back tire, n the guy claims it's too near an old patch, n they can't repair the new hole. STOP. They were complete douchebags, thought they could work over the "dumb lady who doesn't know anything about cars", but now that I'm thinking about it, I should get a 2nd opinion, bec/ I didn't see a patch anywhere, but I wasn't looking for it either. Anyway, back to the point of all this: in my search for tire that would last while driving Denver's HORRIBLE roads, hwy + city; hold up in the snow, especially now that COVID has weakened the rate we get our roads plowed; offer a smooth n quiet ride for my Lyft riders- I ended up looking at Big O's Big Foot AT. I read on one thread that up in Rockies, over 100 vehicles on site all had the BigFoots, and then I got to your review. Sir/Dude, whoever you are, THANK YOU so much for your impeccable review. You write a lot like I do, so it was like reading something I wrote, in my tone, n you covered all the bases, plus made me realize I had decided on the right tire. Thank you so much for the help, n for taking the time to share all of your experiences. You took me along for a ride through your life, n it was really awesome! Keep reviewing! I keep getting notifications from Google Maps that my reviews help 1,000 n 1,000s of people. I guess my karma came back to help me this time. You're the best!! Thx u, thx u!❤
 
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