Initial Impressions: Falken Wildpeak AT3W
I promised myself when I got this 2017 RAM Power Wagon that it was going to be a mild setup, just enough to get me from point A, to point B. Nothing fancy and extravagant, it was already obscenely capable.
This promise comes off of an 11-year run of vehicles sporting nothing but oversized Mud Terrain class tires, with their high speed whirr of a P-51 Mustang, and their choppy low-speed feel from their enormous voided lugs slapping the pavement individually.
Well, that resolution didn’t last more than a few weeks as the Goodyear Duratrac tires that came installed on this truck were so far gone and abused from the previous owner, that the installation of a set of Falken Wildpeak MT01’s was a welcome relief in the face of probably-not-actually-round-and-never-once-rotated Duratracs.
25,000 miles later, these MT’s are starting to show their age and get a little long in the tooth. While there is plenty of life left in them, it’s no surprise that three-quarter ton trucks eat MT’s for breakfast and getting more than 45,000 out of a set with aggressive driving is a job well-done, indeed. So we (the royal we), have replaced them with the Falken Wildpeak AT3w.
While this is not a new tire, it is a new size (37×12.50R17). Wrapping them in a fresh set of ultra-premium American Expedition Vehicles Katla wheels, we can get a true feel for this new tire, and while I was a little sad to lose the intoxicating aggressive looks of the MT01, the smooth-as-glass ride, and mind numbingly quiet construction was a welcome reprieve.
Previously, a hand was always near by to adjust the radio volume to ensure optimal rocking, but with these AT3’s, the cabin is so quiet the initial volume setting is more than adequate, as for once in this trucks life – the wind noise at 70MPH is greater than the hum of the tires.
Another welcome change, is the loss of a total of 24lbs per wheel and tire set of unsprung rotating mass (96lbs total) which is somewhere in the neighborhood of the equivalent of losing upwards of 600lbs of vehicle weight on acceleration and in turn has netted so far a 1.5mpg gain on the highway. While 1.5mpg does not sound like a lot, on a vehicle that averages 14mpg on the highway normally, that is a nearly 15% increase in fuel economy.
Check back in down the road as we give updates on this tire.