Americus Rugged ATR Review


Heavy truck owners seeking a favorable experience (and under the budget, I must add), will find Americus Rugged AT/R to be a pretty great and decent choice, offering innovative tread compounds and a great balance of performance and comfort. Let check the tire out in detail.

Americus Rugged A/TR
Americus Rugged A/TR on Chevrolet Silverado.

Tire Sizes

Americus Rugged ATR comes in total of 37 sizes in 15 to 20 inches. And they have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: S and T only.
  • Load ratings: SL, XL, C and E.
  • Tread depth: either 13 or 16/32″.
  • Section width range: 8.8 to 12.5 inches.
  • UTQG: 500 AB. (Learn more on UTQG here)
  • Warranty: 50k miles on all sizes.
  • Moreover, in LT sizes only 4 are floating.
  • Winter ratings: only M+S available (no size has 3PMSFR).

Tread Appearance

The Americus Rugged A/TR is made out of aggressive all-season tread compound with new gen silica, and 3D siping technology.

Americus Rugged A/TR
Americus Rugged A/TR

In the middle area of it’s tread, the tire features a very powerful combination of 6 blocks, together forming big rectangular shape, if you will.

These lugs have sharp in-groove notches, and chamfered sides, along with sharp edges and full depth siping.

And as these lugs provide a combination of slanted lateral and longitudinal grooves, you get a very self cleaning tread with them as well.

Though that does not mean the tire has to compromise a lot on roads, as all these blocks are also joined up with each other( with reinforced foundations), yielding amazing pavement traction values.

Moving towards the shoulders, they are prominently divided up with wide circumferential channels.

These irregularly shaped staggered lugs have full depth notches, sharp edges and sipes.

Moreover they are also studable, so even though they don’t offer 3PMSFR, they are still pretty capable on snowy terrains.

Directional Grip

Directional grip pertains to a tire’s traction on straight roads, and is measured by analyzing its braking distance and acceleration time (which makes sense, as these metrics are directional too).

Moreover, this type of grip is judged by looking at the central section of the tire’s tread (where majority of a tire’s weight is concentrated on, while rolling straight, that is).

Having said that it can be seen why the Americus Rugged ATR is lacking here with its big, and deep Z-shaped central grooves, which basically affect the tire abilities to make direct and consistent contact with the road.

Nonetheless, when compared to other hybrid tires, the Americus Rugged ATR exhibits above-average dry traction performance, still.

For Your Info: A classic example of hybrid tire is Goodyear Duratrac (in case you are wondering).

Dry Handling

The handling and steering feedback of a tire while cornering, largely depend on the ground contact made by the outer shoulder lugs.

This is because, when a tire turns, the entirety of the vehicle’s weight shifts towards the outer edges. In other words, shoulder lugs make the most firm connection with the surface, the tire is turning on.

And being a hybrid with mud-terrain like shoulders, the Americus Rugged ATR falls short in this regard. This is because its tread can’t form a good enough level of connection with the road, due to its wider lateral shoulder voids, (needless to say).

Moreover, since those lugs don’t have any reinforced foundational supports, form underneath, they are also susceptible in generated a greater delay in steering feedback.

Wet Traction

Of all the performance aspects, wet traction is the weakest link for the Americus Rugged A/TR, as the tire falls short in providing an optimal combination of rectilinear and interlocking sipes throughout its tread, as well as flexibility.

Sipes basically contract/expand to suck water particles in their slits, and our tire here with limited siping having stiffer compound composition isn’t able to offer good enough lateral and directional wet traction values.

Nonetheless, the tire displays decent hydroplaning resistance, which is not surprising, since its tread is extremely voided up.

Fuel Consumption

The amount of fuel consumed by a tire depends on numerous factors, including its design, construction, and the specific conditions under which it is used.

And taking all these factors into account, the Americus Rugged A/TR emerges as a decent choice here, (when compared to other R/Ts).

Despite not featuring compact tread blocks, particularly in the shoulder lugs, the tire still manages to establish a firm connection with the ground (with its stiff enough rubber).

This limits the overall flexing of the lugs against the ground, as the tire maneuvers.

Moreover, the tire also features a very shallow tread depth (given its a hybrid). It just goes up to 16/32″. And since tread depth is directly proportional to, how much would blocks bend, it helps the tire here with stability and ultimately fuel usage, further.

Winter Traction

Snow driving poses unique challenges due to the different types of terrain encountered. You get deep snow, lighter on-road snow, as well as icy tracks to consider here.

Though, despite not being graded with the 3 peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) rating, the Americus Rugged A/TR is still capable of performing well in these conditions.

It is important to note that the 3pmsfs rating does not account for lateral traction and grip on snow, but rather only indicates about the tire’s acceleration capability. A tire with this rating, I mean, has 10% better acceleration (on road snow), compared to average all season tire.

You can read all about it here:

Having said that, naturally, the Americus Rugged ATR does not excel in acceleration performance or grip on ice, but it does great with fluffy snowy terrains, particularly with snow depth above 2 feet.

Its grooves efficiently trap snow particles, connecting them with each other, while excess snow is easily funneled out of the tire without too much of a resistance. Additionally, its serrated shoulders scoop snow back to provide forward momentum.

And yes, I almost forgot to add that, to further enhance its traction capabilities on icy terrains, the tire also features studable lugs.

Climbing Rocks

My go to tire for rocks is Nitto Ridge Grappler. This tire gives me no trouble and has never let me down. Though I have to say, the Americus ATR is not that far off either.

I have literally taken it on all sorts of terrains here, gravely roads, sharp rocks, rocky terrains filled with sharp logs, sharp thorns you name it.

For Your Info: Thorny areas are often untreated as they puncture the sidewalls the most.

But that a piece of cake for this beast, as it’s 3 ply polyester casing is pretty durable enough to take on all these paths.

Though the tire’s sidewall lugs can be improved a little bit. They are basically not that thick, and lack the intricate biters needed.

Both actually come in to action with lowered air pressure.

Sand Traction

To ensure optimal performance on sand, the tire’s weight and tread must be considered, as lighter tires and softer treads result in greater traction. The whole focus is to avoid “digging” as it loses all gripping values.

And having said that, the Americus Rugged ATR is one of my favs here.

The tire is smoother on the edges, and has laterally arranged lugs which provide the paddling effect with the ground, so with it the tire is not prone to sinking, and rather focuses on the forward momentum.

And although it’s lugs on sidewalls aren’t thick enough, they still cover a lot of area there, so with reduced air pressure they get to spread out allowing for decent floating abilities.

Tread Life

The longevity of a tire’s tread is determined by finding the right balance between rolling resistance, tread depth, and composition.

But why is that? Well tires with stiffer rubber, would naturally fight off excessive wear, and here tread depth tells you about how long it would take the rubber to reach down to the replacement levels.

Having said that, it can be seen why Americus Rugged A/TR offers a remarkable tread life and a 50k miles warranty.

Its light weight design, coupled with a stiffer compound, and good enough tread depth allow for a amazing overall tread life, surpassing nearly all other rugged terrain tires.

Tread Noise

The sound associated with tires is due to air movement. Air particles basically come in, through the shoulder voids (for the most part), and hit the walls around leading to noise production. So this means, the balder the tire, the nosier it gets.

That’s why the Americus Rugged being a hybrid, is by no means a quite tire. But compared to other options, its still commendable.

Its tread is very absorbing of sound-waves (so less groove-resonance gets generated).

And its good enough pitch sequencing technology further dampen down, a majority of, remaining noise waves.

This technology basically creates different pitches and tones (when air particles hit the tread blocks), and they don’t get to amplify.

Take Home Points

In the end, you can say that the Americus Rugged ATR is an impressive off-road tire with solid performance in various terrains, although there is room for improvement in its sidewall lug design, which hinders the rocky and sandy terrain traction a little bit.

Though the tire does great in other terrain types including snow, despite lacking 3PMSF certification. I mean it offers amazing gripping, with it’s angles notches and you can add studs on its tread for icy terrains as well.

Furthermore, the tire is not too bad on road as well, where you get good enough traction, tread life, fuel economy, and overall comfort performance.

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