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Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires Review: Should You Buy Them? We Went Off-Road to Find Out.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II 1
What We're Reviewing
Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires
Vehicle of Choice
2014 Ram 1500
What We Like
Minimal Road Noise
Good Off-Road Traction

Hercules Tires Overview

Since 1952, Hercules has provided consumers with quality tires to meet virtually every need. For nearly 70 years now, Hercules Tires has presented its customers with the confidence to take on whatever the road throws their way, and the support to make the most out of their tire buying experience.

Officially known as the Hercules Tire and Rubber Company, they offer an array of passenger and light truck tires, including tires for specialty trailers, lawn and garden tractors, and commercial vehicles.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires

In 2013, Hercules further expanded their sizable list of replacement tires by releasing the Terra Trac AT II, which improved upon the original Terra Trac AT model before it. The Terra Trac AT II all-terrain tire is engineered to provide optimal off-road performance while minimizing road noise when cruising at speed.

Preparing for This Review

As adaptable and versatile as the Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires sound, one has to wonder with so many options on the market: is this the right tire? Despite the long history of Hercules, how do these particular tires stack up? Here is what I found after having a set of Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires mounted on my truck.

Editorial Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Hercules Tires, who provided the Terra Trac AT II tires to me at no cost (including installation). After conducting this review, I was allowed to keep the tires for my personal use. The opinions below are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Automoblog or its parent company, Gearhead Media LLC.

Hercules Tire 5
Our local Hercules dealer supplied us with the Terra Trac AT II tires pictured here on our 2014 Ram 1500.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires: Features

As mentioned, Hercules engineered the Terra Trac AT II line of tires with dual-level functionality in mind. These all-terrain tires are intended to provide superior off-road traction and smooth, quiet operation when traversing roadways of nearly any variety. Hercules loaded the Terra Trac AT II with a wealth of structural and design-based features to achieve this diverse range of functionality.

The following are a number of the Terra Trac AT II’s most notable features.

AT-C Tread Compound

Hercules’ AT-C Tread Compound is infused with silica, which allows the Terra Trac AT II to achieve notably enhanced traction, especially in wet conditions. According to Hercules, the infusion of silica also extends the tire’s useable life. As a result, consumers get the maximum number of miles possible out of their newly purchased tires.

Tusk Grooves & Heavy Siping

The Terra Trac AT II also employs tusk grooves and heavy siping to provide consistent, all-weather traction. Drivers will see the benefits when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and rain or sleet begins to fall. This additional degree of traction can provide peace of mind when trying to safely reach your destination, especially during the winter.

Stable Contact Patch

The Terra Trac AT II’s modern profile presents a stable contact patch, which enhances tread to ground contact and bolsters performance, both on and off-road. This is yet another feature which magnifies the AT II’s ability to gain and maintain traction, even in less than hospitable conditions.

Wear Resistant Tread

According to Hercules, the Terra Trac AT II has been engineered for superior wear resistance, down to even the finest detail of its tread pattern. Along with the deep siping, the Terra Trac AT II features beveled tread blocks and an aggressive buttress, which wards off premature wear and drastically increases the tire’s longevity. As a result, this attribute can save consumers money by delaying the need for subsequent tire replacement.

3PMS Rated

The Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires have a 3PMS severe snow service rating. This designation is given only to tires that have been successfully tested and meet all performance criteria for satisfactory snow use. This should offer value to those who live in northern and midwestern climates, where wintry precipitation is quite common during a significant portion of the year.

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Warranty & Protection Plans

The availability of a superb warranty always comes into play when purchasing tires. Such a purchase requires an expenditure of one’s hard-earned money, leading to at least some apprehension in many cases. In the realm of manufacturer warranties, Hercules stands alone with its Performance Promise plan

All Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires, no matter the size, come backed by a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty (and up to 85,000 miles on some tires). All Terra Trac AT II tires are covered against unforeseen defects for two years, or until treadwear has exceeded the 50 percent threshold. This is part of Hercules’ Workmanship & Materials warranty, which will cover manufacturer defects during that timeframe at no charge. 

The Road Hazard Protection warranty guards the tires against things like nails and potholes for the first two years or the first 50 percent of the tread life. Additionally, Hercules offers a 45-day “Trust Our Ride” test drive program. Hercules describes this warranty on their website in the following manner.

“If you are not completely satisfied with these tires, you may return them within 45 days to exchange them for a comparable set of Hercules brand tires.”

Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires.
All Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires, no matter the size, come backed by a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires: Test Drive

The following are my observations pertaining to the performance of the Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires.

Initial Impressions

Upon having the tires mounted on my truck at the local Hercules dealer, I eased out of the parking lot, beginning my 30-mile trip home. I quickly grew fond of how quiet these all-terrain tires were. There was no audible droning associated with the AT II’s moderately aggressive tread pattern. However, I wanted to reserve further judgment until I merged onto I-65 a few miles ahead.

Road Noise Levels

After navigating a few turns, and waiting out a long-winded traffic light or two, I departed down the I-65 on-ramp, quickly merging into the flow of traffic. I picked a speed, set the cruise, and listened closely for the roaring noise that I have come to expect from virtually every other all-terrain tire. Much to my surprise, it never came. In fact, any road noise that could be heard was very comparable to that of a standard all-season radial.

Highway Driving

I was also pleased to discover how this newly installed set of Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires rode. They were much smoother than I would have imagined. Once again, this attribute was also comparable to that offered by an all-season, highway-style tire. I found myself forgetting that I was riding on a set of all-terrain tires on more than one occasion. To say that I arrived home a happy man could easily be classified as an understatement.

Over the next week, and a couple of hundred miles, the story remained the same. From daily highway travel to work and back, and subsequent trips down the winding country roads on which I reside, the Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires provided a smooth, responsive ride. During this review process, I had no complaints whatsoever in this arena of performance.

Handling Rain & Gravel

Finally, four days after the tires were mounted on my truck, the clouds above opened up, and rain began to fall. After the better part of six hours, an inch or more of rain had fallen, and it was time to put the Terra Trac AT II’s traction to the test. A 20 mile or more drive through the countryside proved Hercules’ claims of superior traction to be factual.

My truck still hugged the curves, no matter how off-camber they may be, despite ponding water in numerous locations on the back roads heading home from work. The Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires gave me no problems on the wet gravel roads near my home.

Heading Off-Road

However, there was still one item of business to attend to. Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires are meant to take the path less traveled, and those on my truck had yet to take their inaugural dip in the mud. I ventured out to a neighboring farm to remedy this, which overlooks an expanse of river bottoms.

After going down a half-mile gravel road, I turned onto a trail which descended steeply into the bottom below. While gravity tends to be on one’s side when traveling down a hill of this nature, ascending the hill when headed in the opposite direction typically necessitates the use of four-wheel drive. However, on this given day, when armed with my newly installed Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires, four-wheel drive was not necessary.

Even when traveling uphill, along a trail that has not likely seen fresh gravel within the past three decades, no traction loss was evident. This was quite surprising to me, and one of the things that stands out most about my experience with the Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires.
Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires: Final Thoughts

These tires seem to provide a happy medium for those who never know where a typical day’s travel might take them. In my case, I generally avoid all-terrain tires on my truck. I often travel for work and do not want to sacrifice ride quality on the highway. However, using a standard highway tire can pose issues, as I also like to enjoy as much time outdoors as possible. I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I am never afraid to get my truck dirty.

The Terra Trac AT II seems to provide the perfect compromise where I don’t have to sacrifice one attribute for another. I have a better than expected highway ride, but when I am ready to go camping on the weekends, I have tires that can handle unpaved roads.

Hercules Terra Trac AT II Tires: Pricing

The retail price of a set of Hercules Terra Trac AT II tires differ by size. However, pricing starts out at approximately $120 per tire, or $480 per set, increasing gradually with size. In the realm of all-terrain tires, the Terra Trac AT II serves as a rather economical selection, presenting significant value to consumers, no matter their budget.

If you are looking for a highly versatile tire for your truck or SUV, which is equally at home on the highway as it is the trail, it is difficult to go wrong with the Terra Trac AT II. For more information on the Terra Trac AT II tires, and to find the dealer closest to you, visit the Hercules Tires website

Josh Boyd is an ASE Certified technician with over a decade of experience in automotive repair. When not under the hood, he can be found in the woods or on the water, pursuing his other passions of hunting and fishing.

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