Dueler's Tough Technology Passes the Test
Ric Williams in his 4WD with the D694LT
The Bridgestone Dueler D694LT with its tough Light Truck construction technology has been winning new fans on and off road since its launch earlier this year.
One of those is Ric Williams, former editor of Bush Driver magazine, who recently covered the Australian Safari for the Garland Motorsports team.
He followed the gruelling seven-day, 4400 kilometre event behind the wheel of a new Isuzu D-Max turbo-diesel crew cab fitted with 245/70R16 Dueler D694LTs, tackling some of the toughest conditions Australia has to offer between Karlgoorlie and Perth.
Ric also drove from the east coast to Western Australia and back, so his total time on the Duelers came to 17,000 kilometres - and it was all accomplished without a single puncture. Here's some of what he had to say:
"While we were negotiating gravel roads, wash-a-ways and tight winding Safari bush tracks, the D694LTs performed brilliantly.
We often had the vehicle drifting into dead branches scattering the course, where traffic hadn't been seen for years. Under those dangerous conditions, side staking a tyre was not just a threat but a reality as a number of competitors found out.
After chasing the leaders all over the desert, we emerged from the ordeal without a single tyre puncture through either tread or sidewall.
On the way back we stopped at sand dunes and drove right into them without lowering our tyre pressures. That's something you normally never attempt. Surprisingly though, we didn't get stuck.
The dunes were covered with a hard packed top layer, but every now and then we broke through the surface and sank the rear end down. A bit of feathering on the throttle was all that was required to torque- jump the rear wheels out of the soft sand - simply amazing.
The new tread design on the Duelers not only proved very efficient on sand and desert tracks, but it also performed well on the highway, especially in the wet as we experienced on the Bell Line road, which winds through the Great Dividing Range linking Lithgow to Richmond in NSW.
With buckets of rain pelting down we maintained speed, expecting the rear end to break loose, but it seemed we were riding on rails.
In summary - the grip and self-cleaning performance of Bridgestone's new Dueler D694LT is simply outstanding."
For the record, the Garland Motorsport team were running Bridgestone's 235/85R16 Mud Terrain Duelers on their Isuzu vehicles and finished a strong third and fourth outright in the Australian Safari. They now have sights firmly set on the Dakar Rally.