The Firestone Alaska Tundra Tyre is gobsmackingly huge.

Here at BK Tyres, we sell some hefty everyday tyres. At the time of writing, our range of more than 6,800 tyres goes up to a 24 inch rim and a 295 mm width.

But even our biggest offerings are teeny-weeny compared to some of the colossal tyres out there. In the first part of this occasional series, we’ll tell you about some of them, starting with the humongous Firestone Alaska Tundra Tyres (we’re not sure if that’s what their official name was, but it will serve).

“It’s the US Army. They need some ten-foot tyres.”

By Mark Holloway - &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; class=&quot;external free&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;;/a&gt;, Public Domain, <a href="">Link</a>

The TC-497 Overland train. Look at that monster!

In the 1950s, LeTourneau Inc, a manufacturer based in Texas developed several huge all-terrain, semi-trailer trucks. According to Wikipedia:

The US Army had three experimental units built, the largest reaching almost 600 feet (183 m) long, which holds the record for the longest off-road vehicle. Road trains are in use in certain roles today, but the US Army examples and a few derivatives appear to be the only off-road examples built.

The same article drily notes that ‘taking corners was a serious problem.’ You don’t say!

By the time the project was ready, the US Army had lost interest, as heavy-duty helicopters were able to deliver supplies more easily. What a shame, because that road train is a beast.

But about those tyres. They were made by Firestone, measured 120″ x 48″ (304 cm x 121 cm) and weighed 2400 lbs (1088 kg) each.

Now that’s one tough tyre!

And guess what? They’re still around and a company called Bigfoot has used them to create a 12.5 tonne monster truck. Check out the clip below, it’s the most American thing ever.

Hats off to Firestone, those are some tough old tyres. We wonder if their designers imagined that sixty years later, their creations would still be capable of squishing cars.

If you’re ever near Pacific, Missouri, you can see these bad boys in person. Or you can just check them out on the company  website.

The country that appreciates tyres

Even if US citizens can’t spell ‘tyre’ properly, they sure know how to appreciate them.  According to

When McDonalds made the Bigfoot Happy Meal line, the tires were the influence for the alternate colors and height.

Some day, we’d like to see tyres getting the same amount of tyre love here in the UK.

The BK Tyres blog carries news, views and information on tyres and related subjects. BK Tyres supplies and fits tyres throughout South Oxfordshire, including the communities of Abingdon, Didcot and Henley on Thames. As an independent, family run mobile provider, we provide exceptional levels of service and affordable prices. Contact us today.