4 x 4 Australia - - Custom - WORDS AND PHO­TOS STU­ART JONES

I’ve had the Duel­ers be­neath my GU Pa­trol for a solid 14 months or so, and they’ve pro­vided solid ser­vice on the sandy tracks of Hat­tah-kulkyne Na­tional Park in the Vic­to­rian Mallee coun­try; they’ve tack­led some fab­u­lous sandy runs on Stock­ton Beach at Port Stephens; tra­versed the rocky and rut­ted tracks of the Avon river; and hit up the Mur­ray River’s mud at Echuca and the chal­lenges of the Dargo High Coun­try. And, of course, the daily drive in sub­ur­bia.

With the rub­ber in­stalled, the odome­ter has ticked over 12,000km. They’ve trav­elled across all types of ter­rain and shown no signs of ex­ces­sive wear. When I took the GU in for a tyre ro­ta­tion, the depth gauge dis­cov­ered 4.5mm wear on the front tyres and 3.5mm wear on the rears.

The tyres have pleas­antly sur­prised as a daily driver. They’re qui­eter than ex­pected and also grip and han­dle well. In the wet they’ve per­formed much bet­ter than the old A/TS that were on their last legs.

I have no com­plaints when off-road ei­ther. On High Coun­try tracks – as well as on the when wet, grease-like tracks along the Murry River near Echuca – they per­formed bril­liantly.

Where the tyres sur­prised me was on sand – on a Stock­ton Beach NSW run they per­formed ex­cel­lently. Now, let’s be hon­est, my faith­ful 3.0-litre GU Pa­trol is many things, but a power-laden, sand-chew­ing beast it’s not. We dropped pres­sures to 17psi and away we went. It didn’t have any is­sues on the sand at all, and I even man­aged to per­form a snatch re­cov­ery of a 2015 Triton, as well se­cur­ing trip brag­ging rights, by res­cu­ing my mate Brad’s Pa­jero from a par­tic­u­larly soft patch.

Its time to start con­sid­er­ing the Bridge­stone Dueler A/T 697 or the M/T 674!”

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