February 26, 2019. On a perfectly flat road, with a maximum speed of 25 mph, in a galaxy far, far away (Belgrade, MT)…. A 2018 Dodge Pick-up, 4×4, ends up in the ditch.
This Dodge is equipped with the exact same tires that most Chevrolet Suburbans are equipped with from the factory, Goodyear Wrangler SR-A. They are awful. Equivalently leather soled dress shoes on a freshly zambonied hockey rink. The worst.
Four-Wheel-Drive doesn’t matter if you have bad tires.
These are the same tires that most rental Chevrolet Suburbans at the Bozeman Airport are equipped with. Most car rental agencies do not change the tires on rental SUVs from what is equipped from the factory. The factory typically chooses the cheapest tires (to keep down price) with the most fuel efficient tire tread (to boost EPA MPG ratings). This model Goodyear tire has been the terrible tire of choice on new GM and Dodge SUVs and light trucks for years.
This happened on a perfectly flat road, 1-mile from the Bozeman Airport. And frankly, it probably was most likely the tires fault and not the driver’s. If you are planning on driving to Big Sky from the Bozeman Airport, you will add a couple thousand feet of elevation and be in a windy mountain pass- which is generally 1000x worse than the roads in Belgrade.
Be safe folks; if you are local, please buy yourself some decent tires, otherwise you are a risk to everyone else on the road. If you are a visitor, please get a rental car with decent tires, or best yet; dedicated snow tires.
Rent a SUV with snow tires, or this could very easily be you.
There is a reason Explore Rentals goes through the effort and expense to upgrade our rental cars with snow tires, the reason is YOUR SAFETY!
PS. No one was hurt, except perhaps the grass that I have worked so hard on for the last 5-years…