In August 2021 Hema Maps Australia embarked on an extensive 10,000km four week data collection trip through the Simpson Desert and Central Australia. Field data collection encompasses both the capturing of new and updated road/track and point of interest data, which ultimately ends up in revised and updated versions of Hema Maps products, apps and devices. Field data collection is a vital part of the Hema Maps business and it cannot be done effectively without quality tyres for ultimate peace of mind that the job will get done while out on the tracks.
The multitudes of the types of terrain and conditions that the 79 series encounters in the field; whether that be, sand, gravel, black soil, mud, ruts, washouts or corrugations, to name a few; means the vehicle requires an “all rounder” type of tyre that is capable of tackling any terrain the Australian Outback can throw at it. To be sure the correct tyre recommendation was being made, Hema Maps asked Bob Jane T-Marts for a recommendation and the Yokohama Geloander X-AT GO16 was put up for a test run and feedback.
Bryce Christie from Hema Maps' Field Service Team was confident that the Yokohama Geolandar X-AT G016’s would fit that bill for the upcoming trip into the Simpson Desert. The G016 combines elements of both an All-Terrain and Mud-Terrain tyre to produce the best of both worlds. Prior to the commencement of the trip, the 79 series was fitted out with a full set of G016’s, LT295/70R17 121/118Q. The build of the tyre itself is solid and certainly held up that way throughout the trip. Whilst also being capable of tackling various terrains, the G016 had sufficient loading rating for the 79 series - an absolutely essential component to ensure the tyres are safely and comfortably able to carry the load onboard.
In his feedback report Bryce noted that low tyre noise from the G016 was one of the first noticeable differences in comparison to previously run tyres on the 79 series. With the amount of on-road km’s that the 79 series is driven on, low tyre noise certainly does not go unappreciated by the crew sitting in the cab. On-road, the tyres were run at around 45-50 PSI and felt very comfortable and gripped the road well.
Off-road, the G016 performed excellently at low pressures (down to 12-15 PSI) in the soft sand of the Simpson Desert. Running at particularly low pressures for long portions of the trip had the tyres bagging significantly. However, after repeated deflation and reinflation there was no appearance of stress or wear on the sidewalls - a testament to their durable build. Running the tyres at 20-25 PSI ensured a smoother ride over corrugations which were often encountered throughout the trip. The more abrasive terrain types in places like Owen Springs Reserve, Finke River Gorge and particularly the Frew River 4WD Track in the Davenport Ranges in the Northern Territory, put the sidewalls and tyre grip to the test. Having a superior durable build meant that the G016’s always maintained a solid grip to the track and they did not encounter any sidewall nicks or cracks; the latter being a problem which has been encountered in the past with other tyre brands the 79 series has run in similar conditions.
Overall, with it’s low tyre noise, comfortable ride on and off road, and all-round durability, the G016 performed very well on the 79 series. This gave the field data collection team confidence in tackling any challenge ahead of them. The field data collection team is looking forward to the next 10,000kms and putting the G016’s through the ringer yet again!