Goodyear Wrangler MTR vs Duratrac

Leave a comment

The Goodyear Wrangler MTR is a rugged mud terrain tire, while the Wrangler Duratrac comes in rugged terrain category, though it’s marketed to be all terrain. But due to the tire’s aggressive design, some people still consider it a mud tire as well.

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
The Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac although offers great biting shoulders, it’s sidewall lugs could use some chewing power.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, the Goodyear Wrangler MTR is a better fit for off road, whereas Goodyear Duratrac is very well suited on pavements especially when compared to such an aggressive mud tire. Though compared to other A/Ts or some R/Ts even, Duratrac is very capable off road as well.

Fast Facts

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac

  • Offers 15 to 22″ rim sizes.
  • Weight range: 35 to 68 lbs.
  • Speed rating: Q, S, P, and T.
  • Load rating goes up to F.
  • Tread depth seen on most sizes: 16/32″, where maximum seen is 18/32″.
  • 3PMSF and M+S ratings available on all sizes.
  • 50k miles tread wear warranty (excluding LT sizes).
  • 16 installable Stud-able lugs (only LT sizes).

Goodyear Wrangler MTR

  • Available in 15 to 20 inches.
  • Speed rating only available with Q.
  • Load rating available in either C, D or E.
  • Weight of the tire ranges from 47 lbs and goes up to 91 lbs.
  • Tread depth is seen to be either 18/32″, or 19/32″ or 21/32″
  • Only M+S (3PMSFR not avialble).
  • No Tread Wear warranty.

Tread Structure

The Goodyear MTR forms a very complicated 2 faced pattern, where the tire can be a classic example of what an asymmetrical tread pattern looks like.

Goodyear Wrangler MTR
After running Goodyear Wrangler MTR, this is what it looks like after 10k miles.

In the middle, the tread offers 3 longitudinal channels, where the middle one is more aggressive than the outer two (which are wider).

This middle channels divides two ribs, where the two on one side are elongated, have smaller tread voids, and better siping pattern.

While the other include chunkier blocks with huge surrounding grooves, facing the lateral gaps of the shoulders and meeting the stone ejectors.

Speaking of which, the shoulder blocks also vary a lot from one side to another.

Where on edge makes a blocky design where on the other you get to see full depth notches in the ribs.

Towards sidewalls, though there isn’t any dual pattern as each side has thick N shaped lugs on them.

On the other side, the Goodyear Duratrac also makes a very complicated pattern, as there’s a lot going on in it’s tread. Let’s start form the middle.

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Wrangler DuraTrac offers stud-able lugs (where you can install 16 studs), only available in LT sizes, so as you can see, the one in the image is no LT.

Here the tire makes squared off lugs with zigzag biters and chamfered edges. All of these are also joined together from underneath, as the tire offers dual tread compound.

So where Duratrac gives off road bite, it keeps things stable on dry roads, whereas for wet roads, the full depth interlocking sipes offer better traction in comparison as well.

Surrounding these lugs are very noticeable circumferential channels, which divide them from the outer shoulder ribs.

These tread voids have biters in them, installed on the base, think of them as a secondary tread pattern, and they provide a lot of things, from snow grabbing, to mud/dirt ejection.

On shoulders, the tread makes stud-able lugs (they only come in LT sizes), along with very powerful 3D full depth siping pattern, which provide better traction on wet, in comparison.

These lugs are made firm and stable, as they join each other with the help of a base, so things are great when it comes to steering response as well.

Dry Performance

Mud tires are not known for their exemplary on road performance, and here the Goodyear MTR is no different.

The tire provides very limited area to be in contact with the road, and so a lot of grip becomes limited.

But since the tread still offers somewhat closed rib arrangement compared to shoulders, the directional grip is okay, though same can’t be said about it’s lateral traction.

The tire for one has a lot of weight so it over-steers on corners, the soft blocks with a lot of tread depth move all over the place and it’s hard to handle.

The shoulders make the most contact on corners, and this tire with so little contact patch to offer over there lacks a lot when it comes to overall handling.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other side, offers closed up rib placement (in comparison). So it makes more exposure with the surface.

Furthermore, even the wide gaps on the shoulders don’t limit the handling performance a lot, as its shoulder lugs run in pairs, and being joined together, they form stable lateral traction.

Wet Traction

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac is so much better on wet roads as well, where siping and tread composition are the most crucial components.

The tire offers interlocking full depth sipes all over the place and they wiper water away very effectively.

The Goodyear MTR on the other hand, lacks with it’s limited number of sipes throughout the tread, though the tire is okay when it comes to hydroplaning resistance as bald the tire is, water has no trouble leaving out.


Toughness is a key component for off road performance, and here it’s no surprise to see Goodyear MT/R being a rugged Mud terrain tires is tougher in comparison.

The tire has inner construction of 3 ply polyester casing, 2 steel belts and a single ply nylon, so it makes 3 ply sidewalls, compared to Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac with just 2.

Moreover, the Wrangler MT/R also has thicker lugs on top as well (on sidewalls), so this further protects the tire from close encounters.


Noise is generated with the flow of air, and that air hitting the walls of the tread.

So the balder the tire is, the more area for the air to come in and strike the tread around.

That’s why Goodyear MT/R is louder in comparison.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other side, is also very loud compared to less aggressive tires, it’s still not as loud as a M/T.

Winter Performance

Goodyear Duratrac is 3 peak mountain snowflake rated while the Wrangler MTR is not, so it makes sense why Duratrac offers better acceleration performance on hard packed snow, which is what the 3PMSFR is all about.

By the way, some folks think its also a braking or a handling test, it’s not, it just tell that a tire is great at forward momentum (almost 25% better than an average all season tire, I discussed this with Goodyear on email).

Also Goodyear Duratrac has the advantage of mini tread blocks in the grooves, and this simply hold on to the snow (talking about a little bit of a deeper snow here), so the tire makes better contact with snow, which is very significant.

The Goodyear Wrangler MTR is just M+S rated, so the tire is completely a disaster on ice and on road snow even (hard packed snow), but with terrains have 5 feet and above snow, the tire can work, though be careful, also nothing beats a nice winter tire still FYI.

Off Road Performance

Off road there are various terrains, so we are going to look at them one after another, let’s start with the most challenging terrain.


Mud is a bad new for AT tires, and although Wrangler Duratrac is thought of one, it’s definitely not. It’s a hybrid, in fact, it’s one of the first ever hybrids and over a decade old.

Now compared to AT, it’s the best mud terrain tire, but what about while comparing to Mud Terrain tires?

Well it’s not capable of holding up that much, but it sure does fight till its last breath.

Now don’t get me wrong its a pretty cool tire to use on mud, it has wide vertical groove rings surrounding the middle section and these connect the lateral gaps and let’s the mud to escape sideways quite efficiently.

But compared to the beast of a tire Wrangler MT/R, it does not stand a chance, as that tire is much more capable, it’s shoulder tread voids are almost twice as big, and same goes for notches which cut through the mud, and huge sidewall N shaped lugs and staggered shoulders are so big, that Duratrac lugs starts looking puny.


Well same goes for rocks, Goodyear Wrangler M/T/R is durable, very its very durable, with 3 ply sidewalls and Kevlar reinforcements, and toughness is a must one for rocks.

On rocks, you pressure down the air of the tire for maximum traction, and with this the sidewall shoulder help a lot. Now looking at the two, it’s pretty obvious which tire provides better grip power here.

Lastly although both tires have good enough biters, the Wrangler M/TR again features larger tread depth, softer lugs and bigger groove notched mouth, so these chew on rocks with more force.

The only good thing going on for Goodyear Duratrac here is it’s light weight, so with that it focuses on moving forward more, Wrangler M/TR sometimes starts to dig in if things get slimy, due to its much much heavier weight.

Same goes for sand as well.


Sand is the biggest enemy of a heavier tire with harder compound, as here the tire is very hard to move on slopes, and you have to face sandy dunes everywhere.

That’s why the Goodyear Duratrac offers better traction here overall, it’s sidewall lugs very much optimized for loose sand, and it’s softer rubber supply very good footprint with the sand (another very important factor).

And with less no of plies and very light weight cap plies with less deep rubber on top, the weight of the tire is very little compared to Goodyear Wrangler M-T-R.

So it’s a win for Duratrac.

To Conclude

To put things simply, the Goodyear Duratrac is not a Mud tire, but people think it is, though its still one of the best in the category for it.

The Wrangler MTR is a mud tire, or should I say an aggressive mud terrain tire, so its not surprising that the tire outperforms it’s little brother here in almost all off road scenarios, except for sand.

On the other hand, if we talk about good things for Wrangler Duratrac, you get much better wet and snow traction, you get dry traction, you get to have warranty, stud-able lugs, good fuel economy and a comfortable ride.

And yes Duratrac is loud on road, but it’s still not as loud as the MTR.

Leave a Comment