Tire Choices

Tires for the M37 can be obtained in three basic versions.  You can get newly manufactured military NDT tires that match the original tires in design from such sources as Denman Tires.  Or you can get a more modern military tire in either the updated version of the original NDT tire or the current military pattern seen on such tires as the Michelin XL.  Lastly, you can get a civilian tire design.

The original NDT tires are good on sand, dry pavement, and gravel.  They look wonderful under a restored vehicle and are not extraordinarily pricey.  They are not very good on wet pavement.  Most every person I've talked to who has driven a vehicle with these tires in the rain will talk about how squirely the vehicle can become.   The tread design is basically a solid center rib with alternating solid lugs running from the rib to the sidewall on that are perpendicular to the rib.  These are bias play tires.

The newer version of these tires (the NATO NDT) is very similar, but much better on wet pavement and icy conditions.  The lugs on this tire are made of smaller blocks which give the tire better traction in inclement weather.  Unfortunately, these tires can be hard to get since they are usually only fitted to European trucks.  These are also bias ply tires.

The current military tires with a tread pattern that is made up of rows of large blocks arranged in slight curving rows from sidewall to sidewall is perhaps the most highly touted of the tires available for the truck.  The tires look correct on the truck since they can be seen on a high percentage of the current military trucks with similar body lines.   They also perform excellently on just about every surface and in most all weather conditions due to the improved tread design and radial construction.

Another option is to go with civilian tires.  There are seemingly a lot of choices when it comes to putting civilian tread patterns on these trucks, but in reality, the choices become pretty narrow when you consider the size tire needed.  Choices seem to be to run with an ultra aggressive offroad tread design like a TSL Super Swamper, a moderate farm tread design such as the Co-Op Grip Spur or McCreary Super Lug, or a pure street tire such as the Denman Coyote.  Since these tires differ greatly in their intended use, direct comparisons aren't really appropriate.  One has to match the intended use of the truck to the tire or vice versa.  A truck that is used mainly as an off road rock crawler or mud slinger that may be trailered to the trailhead needs a more aggressive tire, and the ride and wear characteristics on pavement may not be a concern at all.  Similarly, a truck that sees a lot of road miles with little offroad work such as a daily driver in warmer climates will need a tire with much better on road handling and wear characteristics with little need for the self cleaning ability of the off road tires.  A lot of middle of the road powerwagon drives seem to gravitate towards the farm tires.  Possibly, this is in part due to their purchasing tires at local farm supply outfits where they are not afraid to work on older wheels, or perhaps it is because they provide a nice balance between off road aggression and street manners that a multi use truck requires.

Photos of different tires can be found on photo page five.

Rim and wheel dimensions may be found on the rim info page.

Tire nomenclature, size, and fitment info may be found on the tire info page.

A program by Michelin for MVPA members to purchase military specification tires from their local dealers at discounted prices is described on the Michelin Tire page.

An excellent discussion of both the 7.50x16 and 9.00x16 military tires developement and fitment can be found on Paul's Texas Power Wagon Museum site.