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Cooper Discoverer AT3 Tires - LT285/70/17E   –  

Cooper Discoverer A/T3 LT285/70/17E fill the wheel wells of the 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT285/70/17E mounted on 17 inch V-Tec 326 Off-Road Wheels fill the wheel wells of the 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500.

While looking to replace the stock tires on the Silverado, right from the start we knew we were destined for a challenging task. We needed a tire that has great highway characteristics on both wet and dry asphalt but we also need a tire that does a lot more when the pavement ends and the pavement is replaced by dirt and gravel or turns to mud and clay. The Cooper Discoverer AT3 designation according to Cooper stands for “All Traction, All Terrain, All the Time!” From the tundra in Alaska to the arroyos of Arizona, we plan to test this analogy as we put the Silverado and Coopers to a brutal test of varied terrains and driving conditions.

First impressions: When the Cooper AT3 tires first arrived we were immediately pleased with the bold looks and quality construction of these new tires. The deep lugs and clever pattern for an all-purpose tire instantly challenged us to see just how well these tires live up to their advertising. Can an all-terrain tire really deliver a whisper quiet, smooth, highway ride without sacrificing any of the off road capabilities? Can the Cooper AT3 really power through moderately deep mud and soft bottomless sand without getting stuck trying? And what about those sharp rocks we find in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains or the slippery sandstone across Arizona's vast boondocks? Follow along as we are about to find out firsthand how the Cooper AT3's do in all these situations and more.

Mounting up the LT285/70/17E 10 ply's we checked out the super smooth, silky like ride while traveling down the Cheney-Spangle road towards the Turnbull Wild Life Refuge. Accelerating up to 60 mph, we cannot detect any excessive road noise from the Cooper AT3's and the ride was truly as smooth as advertised. That was a surprise seeing we had just moved up from a 4 ply radial to these 10 ply truck tires. A clear-cut improvement in cornering combined with the light steering effort on the pavement made these tires a clear cut winner over stock.

Now turning into the Turnbull Wild Life Refuge we took the 5 mile gravel loop to see how well these tires handled on loose gravel roads. What we were really looking at was to see if the 10 ply tires transferred the shock of rocks over to the steering. As expected, the Cooper AT3 tires did but the feel was less than expected. Some of the credit for this goes to Chevrolet and some lies in the Cooper tires themselves. Regardless, this is a very nice marriage of tires to trucks.

Test Drive 2011: Cooper AT3 Tires Make The Drive To Alaska.
Bob Jameson
46045 Spruce Place
Kenai, Alaska 99611