The Tall and Skinny of it: Toyo Open Country MT

Not exclusively for mud, Mud Terrain tyres are known for their worst-case scenario performance. Stiffer, reinforced sidewalls for weight carrying and deflated use. And that aggressive tread for the variable terrain that Australia offers.

Trawl the internet, Forums or Facebook and find equal parts hearsay and happy tyre customers. After our own research on size and manufacturer, Cecil has been sitting up tall. Svelte even, on a set of 255/85r16 Open Country Mud Terrains from Toyo Australia.

My first impressions were logged here. Now, bedded in on some of the tracks and trails of Australia’s south east. This is how they’ve performed for us so far.

On Road

Running low-mid 40s (PSI) on road. Eerily quiet comparatively to my aggressive all terrains. Granted, they were half worn. The noise did increase after about 5000km but to a hum, rather than a roar.

Combined with the rear track correction by Jmacx, the 76 LandCruiser now drives true on the bitumen. No longer floating about, requiring ever so subtle, but constant correction. Carparks and U-turns are consistently easier, the steering lighter without fighting the width of conventionally wider tyres. I am now using the highway’s speed limit, and feeling less fatigued after hours of highway patrol.

They appear to be well siped for wet traction, I’ve not felt at all threatened during a rainy drive. Their narrower profile may also be helping. I am hitting the puddles sharper, and not aquaplaning.

Wear

At around 15,000km I have had an average wear of just under 2mm. Starting with about 14mm. Time, distance and terrain, will tell how long these last. So far, no chips, punctures, bulges, splits.

Offroad

Lowered to around 15psi. Mud, river sand, clay, corrugations, rock – both underwater and out, fire trails, rutted tracks and steep climbs have been tested by these tyres, their skinny profile and nervous pilot.

The grip is unquestionable and the sidewalls are stubbornly supportive. Lowering pressures for rocks, does not upset them on the Toyota GXL rims. At 7″ wide, this profile tyre is a legal and recommended combination with the alloys.

Scaling steep inclines on talcum powdered trails, littered with loose scree, just encourages them. The wide open treadpattern digs in, and grips like four claws.

Mud shouldn’t phase these tyres, and in my experience – they don’t, in fact – I am yet to feel a difference in traction on any surface. Clay was effectively self cleaned from the tread during a few sticky and slippery trails.

Profile

The tall and skinny 33” is actually a little larger than the conventional 285/75/16.

Taller, but skinnier. Only 255 wide. This is what gives the ease of turning and wheel placement on and off the trail. That 85 tall profile actually gives more length of adhesive surface, a longer hand grabbing and pulling the 3tonne (ish) LandCruiser up the hills, or over rocks.

This has been the biggest feature to note, on and off road. The 76 Series feels nimble. At first, at speed – a little too nimble, exacerbated by the rear track. But once corrected, it now feels like a nimble, but freight-train-stable LandCruiser.

Supply

Given it’s a less common profile in Australia – we hopefully won’t have any trouble sourcing more Toyo Open Country MT in 255/85r16. We paid a little more for these over the 285 also, direct from Toyo Australia. But when it comes time to replace our worn set of six, or in the event of non-repairable damage during a trip. This is the size for us. So, we will cross that proverbial bridge, when we find it.

Nevertheless, I feel very confident on these tyres, they’ve really woken up the 76, on and off road. The profile is a game-changer, the sidewalls are phenomenal. I can’t wait to trade the soggy hills for the rusty dunes and corrugations on an extended expedition soon.

6 Replies to “The Tall and Skinny of it: Toyo Open Country MT”

  1. Rob McDowall says: Reply

    I would have to agree from what I have read and I’d really like to try them on my Defender but I can’t seem to find them under $400/tyre. Were they cheaper buying directly from Toyo or the same as a retailer?
    My other concern is the availability of the 255/85/16 tyre. There is not many manufacturers of this size and it seems to be getting smaller with BFG not having the 255 size in their KM3 (yet)

    1. Thanks Rob, I’ve heard that 255 for KM3 is coming in 2019. I purchased the 255 Toyo directly through Toyo – my 2017 price might have also been a Show price as it was much better than $400 a corner.

  2. Not sure what happened to my first comment, but I’ll try again….

    Would have to agree that 255/85/16 tyres are the way to go from what I also have read but…. the prices for them and the selection/availability is the one thing that is stopping me. I cannot find them for under the $400/tyre mark so for the time being, I’ll have to continue running my 235/85/16’s

  3. Cheers for the article! I’m a big fan of tall skinny tyres for touring. I’ve been thinking about this size for my Defender. I wish they did this ratio in the BFG KO2’s. I’ve heard good things about the Toyo’s lately.

    1. Thanks! We’re happy with the Toyo thus far, profile aside. A very solid construction with way the ply is extended over the sidewall. See how we go with some more kilometres under our belt.
      …Boom-tish!

  4. Mark Purves says: Reply

    for my 10 cents worth I’m a big fan of tall skinny’s and had the BFG 255/85R16’s on my 80 series after using the 285/75R16’s for years and now have the 255’s on my 76 series wagon …. they do duty touring the Kimberly occasionally and the Vic High Country a lot I average 40,000k’s pa and I’m always happy with them – noise is a factor but I reckon it’s a small price to pat when I’m happy with everything else.

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