Hercules tires have been serving the vehicle market since 1952. The US tire dealer is globally renowned for equipping its models with innovative technologies. Their above-average warranties and exciting driving capabilities have also made Hercules tires world-famous.
Hercules has partnered with Cooper Tires for the last 62 years, with the latter manufacturing tires for the brand. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Cooper manufactures tires for various other brands too. These include Mastercraft, Dick Cepek, Mickey Thompson, and more.
However, there are various differences between Hercules and other tire brands that Cooper designs and manufactures tires for. For one, Hercules tires aren’t dirt cheap. Also, when it comes to tread life warranty, Hercules ventures into the territory of premium tire brands.
In this Hercules tires review, we’ll look at what distinguishes this brand from others out there. We’ll do so by looking at Hercules’ best-selling tires. After that, we’ll turn our attention to areas where Hercules tires rule the road as well as those where they could do better.
Hercules Tires Review
Here are the best Hercules tires currently on the market:
#1. Hercules Power STR
The Hercules STR offers above-average performance at a below-average price. Its affordable cost helps this tire cast the net wide and attracts those drivers that have long abandoned the hope of getting a budget-friendly trailer tire for their vehicle.
Blowouts will be the least of your worries with this tire. Many trailer tires make this promise but only a few have the sidewall as tough as the Power STR’s. One that is capable of resisting punctures and doesn’t allow impact with raised curbs to hurt this model’s road life.
Ply rating is another area where this tire shines. A ply rating is an expression of any tire’s strength and capacity and ranges from A to F (with A being the lowest). That the Power STR is is E-ply rated means it has the second-highest load range of any trailer tire on the market.
Small wonder than that this tire can withstand high pressure. No matter how much load you put on it, its seamless movement will make you think that this tire can handle even more weights. That is a feeling you won’t get from many other tires out there.
All in all, the Power STR is a definite bargain choice for a trailer tire. It deserves your attention if you are in no mood to spend big money on a set of trailer tires.
- A definite bargain for a trailer tire
- Can withstand enormous amounts of pressure
- Able to see through tough road conditions
- Not for wintry conditions
#2. Hercules Terra Trac AT II
At the time of its release, drivers had their doubts about the Terra Trac AT II. But not because they had found some hidden faults in this tire. Instead, most of their misgivings stemmed from the fact that this tire replaced the super famous Terra Trac AT.
Drivers doubted whether this tire would have what was required to carry forward the stellar reputation of its predecessor. It took the Terra Trac AT II some time to not only remove those doubts but also make a name for itself in the market.
Hercules has used an exclusive AT-C tread compound in this tire’s construction. Engineering with added silica, the compound has provided this tire with an improved all-weather and all-road surface traction over its predecessor. And it has also improved its treadwear.
Tread design is another area where this tire is an improvement over the Terra Trac AT. Its tread design has managed to hit the sweet spot between rugged off-road performance and durability. At the same time, it has also provided the AT II with comfortable highway handling.
In comparison to the original A/T, this tire has denser lateral grooves. This improvement helps it with wet traction, while also keeping it usable on snow and ice. Plus, an optimized tread pitch pattern keeps outside road noise at a minimum, letting you enjoy the ride in (almost) complete silence.
- Aggressive buttress design for added traction on multiple surfaces
- Stone ejector rubs reduce stone retention
- Optimized tread pitch sequence minimizes road noise
- Some sizes have a shorter treadlife
#3. Hercules Tour 4.0 Plus
The Tour 4.0 Plus is one of Hercules’ best-selling tires. Mainly because it is available at a lower price than most of its competitors. But its massive fame also owes it to this tire’s excellent traction, handling, treadlife and comfort.
Hercules has opted for an M+S rated silica-enhanced tread compound and an asymmetric tread pattern with this tire. The tread pattern looks like it can endure years of abuse before giving way, while the tread pattern provides this tire with solid traction in dry and wet conditions.
To justify the M+S rating, Hercules has provided this tire with cross-block siping. The sipes cover the tire’s shoulder and, together with the unique tread pattern, improve its grip on wet streets, snow covered roads, and icy conditions, a bonus for a touring tire.
However, unlike the dry traction which stays unaffected throughout this tire’s tread life, the wet traction reduces as the tire wears down. Sure, that is something that won’t concern you for the first few years of using this tire. But down the line it might bother you.
Hercules offers the Tour 4.0 in seven sizes (13 – 19 inch) and three speed ratings (T, H, or V). A 55,000 miles warranty is also on offer, which is nowhere near good enough, even for a budget tire.
- Brilliant dry traction and handling
- Does well on snow covered surfaces
- Offers very good stability in all sorts of conditions
- Warranty could be better
#4. Hercules Avalanche RT
Hercules made two major promises at the Avalanche RT’s release ceremony. The first of which was assured driving in serious cold-weather conditions. The second promise was about this tire’s handling and steering, which Hercules stated would be better than the competition.
The Avalanche RT fulfils both pledges. An Exclusive Snow Grip Technology has equipped this tire with some of the best harsh-winter weather capabilities that you’d ever see any budget tire offer, helping this tire perform well on snow, ice and even blizzards.
That wouldn’t have been possible without a cold weather tread compound, which is something this tire also possesses. A triple polymer compound has given it the flexibility needed for superior overall traction, handling and steering in harsh wintry conditions.
This tire’s grip is also above average. Innumerable thin-gauge sipes around the tread area provide it with the biting power needed to grip frozen surfaces. Plus, saw-tooth shaped grooves hold snow to provide snow-on-snow traction, increasing its winter performance.
However, its excellent winter performance comes across as a double-edged sword. The same aggressive tread pattern and materials that improve its wet performance will reduce this tire’s tread life on dry pavement. Which is to say that this tire should only be used in winters.
- Offers the ultimate snow traction
- Has 65% more biting edges than its predecessor
- Backed with a number of great warranties
- Mediocre dry handling and treadlife
#5. Hercules Strong Guard HTL
Some trailer tires offer impressive load capacities. Others fetch high marks for their sturdy construction. Still others earn praise for their long tread life. There are very few tires that deliver on all three counts, something that the Strong Guard HTL does.
Start with the construction. Hercules has equipped this tire with a reduced tread squirm than what you get from other trailer tires. Made possible by the five-rib shoulder design, the reduced tread squirm lowers the amount of heat produced due to friction, ensuring a long tread life.
Next comes the optimal 142/32-inch tread depth. Hercules has designed the tread depth with the knowledge that this tire will be driven on stone-affected and rough tracks. Which explains the presence of stone ejectors that prevent any stone drilling inside the tire’s tread area.
Then there are the stair-step indicators. Their presence will help you (the driver) detect any unusual or irregular wear and tear around the tire’s shoulder area. Indicators will help you identify any unforeseen mishap before it causes any irreparable damage to the tire.
You might find it useful to note that the Strong Guard HTL is SmartWay certified. This certification is given to tires that have a lower rolling resistance and more fuel-efficient than the competition. That this tire possesses it means it will reduce your trips to the gas station.
- More fuel-efficient than the competition
- Backed with a seven-year guaranteed protection policy
- Stone ejectors prevent stone drilling in the tread area
- Won’t come cheap
#6. Hercules RoadTour 455
Who says you cannot get sporty tire on a budget? The RoadTour 455 is proof that not all enthusiast drivers have ultra-deep pockets. This sport touring tire gives you the performance you usually expect from premium UHP tires. But it does that at half the price.
An asymmetric tread design unleashes this tire’s performance. It promotes crisp handling at high speeds, while also ensuring driver comfort by minimizing vibrations. Aside from that, it provides added stability as the tire wears down, extending its road life.
Hydroplaning is one of the many problems you won’t have to face with this tire. Multiple longitudinal grooves perform a fine job of eliminating water from beneath the tread area. In doing so, they ensure that the tire’s road contact stays intact.
Steering control is also above-par for the price. A solid center rib, together with an optimized four-pitch sequence, make sure of that. The tire’s shoulder possesses its fair shoulder of biting edges, too, improving the RoadTour 455’s grip in wet conditions.
Road noise is also low for a sporty tire. Yet the RoadTour 455 is by no means quiet. Which, given the audience this tire is aimed at, cannot be looked at as a shortcoming. And the 50,000-mile warranty is also high considering the category this tire belongs to.
- Above-average warranty
- Low road noise for a sporty tire
- Superb hydroplaning resistance
Hercules Tires Buying Guide
What is there to like about Hercules tires? What is it that distinguishes these tires from the chasing pack? Are there areas where Hercules tires could or should have done better? Any shortcomings that could potentially be deal-breakers? This section has all the answers.
Why Buy Hercules Tires?
Here’s why Hercules tires have been going strong since 1952:
1. Super-Extended Treadlife Warranty
Hercules backs most of its tires with an eye-catching 85,000 miles warranty. For the sake of comparison, here’s where its maximum warranty stands when compared with premium tire brands:
- Michelin – Up to 90,000 miles
- Hercules – Up to 85,000 miles
- Continental – Up to 80,000 miles
- Bridgestone – Up to 65,000 miles
- Yokohama – Up to 60,000 miles
Considering the price difference, this is a massive achievement for Hercules. All the tire brands mentioned in the list cost three to four times more. That Hercules could even be on the list, let alone occupy the 2nd spot, is excellent news for a budget tire brand.
2. Multiple Guarantees
What is that one thing that puts people off cheap tires? Most value-priced tires don’t include many guarantees in the package. In a way, they’re telling the potential user that you could either have multiple guarantees or you could enjoy a budget-friendly price. Hercules offers both.
One of the most eye-catching guarantees is related to the tread life. If your Hercules tire develops a manufacturing defect within the first 50% of its tire’s tread, you’ll get a complete tire replacement. That too without having to answer any questions. A 30-day satisfaction guarantee is also on offer.
3. High Comfort & Fuel Efficiency
Here is another feature that you don’t usually get from budget tires. Hercules has equipped its products with a fuel-efficient material in the silica-infused gel. The silica-infused gel has lowered the tread’s rolling resistance, while also minimizing the friction between the tires and the road.
What happens when all these elements come together? Low fuel consumption made even sweet by a comfortable ride quality. Get ready for a few trips to the gas station and even fewer bumps on the road when you have installed Hercules tires underneath your vehicle.
What is the last thing to expect from a tire warrantied for 85,000 miles, gives a high fuel efficiency, and multiple replacement and moneyback guarantees? Most people would expect any such tire to be priced so far above their range they cannot even look at its price tag.
Luckily for you, Hercules tires are available at an affordable price point. Their price is so competitive that it has made them much cheaper than the competition. So cheap, in fact, that you won’t be able to guess their warranty from the price tag.
5. Excellent Range
Most cheap tire brands settle for producing all-season or touring tires for cars. A few take the leap into SUVs and crossovers. Only a tiny minority caters to every vehicle, from sedans to light trucks and every vehicle in between. Hercules belongs to that small minority.
That wasn’t always the case. For the first few decades of its existence, Hercules only targeted the sedan and SUV market. Only after the demand for Hercules tires grew did the brand decided to make tires for SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks, producing tires that could fit every vehicle.
Why NOT Buy Hercules Tires?
The largest negative to buying Hercules tires is that a few of the models are quite pricey.
Take the example of Hercules Strong Guard HTL. This model delivers excellent performance, but its asking price puts it in the bracket of premium tires. So if you’re in need of a budget-friendly trailer tire, there are more cost-effective options out there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the common queries people have about Hercules tires:
Who makes Hercules tires?
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Company manufactures Hercules tires. Cooper entered a partnership with Hercules in 1960 and the two have remained partners ever since. Cooper also manufactures tires for Mastercraft, Dick Cepeck, Mickey Thompson, and various other brands.
Where are Hercules tires made?
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Company manufactures Hercules tires in its facilities located in Findlay, Ohio, USA. This gives Hercules tires the distinction of being one of the few tires that are manufactured in the United States and not in Southeast Asia or China.
How long do Hercules tires last?
Hercules tires can last for a long time if you properly care for them. You can count these tires to remain usable for 40,000 to 80,000 miles depending on the road conditions.
Is Hercules a good brand?
Hercules is a trustworthy brand. It is known for producing quality tires at an affordable price. Most users who purchase Hercules tires are extremely satisfied with the 85,000 miles tread wear warranty on offer. Whether you opt for a car, truck or SUV tire, Hercules will literally go the extra mile by offering multiple warranties and guarantees.
Are Hercules tires noisy?
Most Hercules tires tend to be quiet. Take the example of Hercules Avalanche RT to understand this point. Here is a tire that has excellent road manners and offers a quiet riding experience to let you fully enjoy the journey. Despite offering all these features, the Avalanche RT is available at an affordable price.
Are Hercules tires good for snow?
The Hercules Avalanche RT is extremely good for snow.
An Exclusive Snow Grip Technology has equipped this tire with some of the best harsh-winter weather capabilities that you’d ever see any budget tire offer, helping this tire perform well on snow, ice and even blizzards. Plus, saw-tooth shaped grooves hold snow to provide snow-on-snow traction, increasing its winter performance.
Unlike other super-cheap tire brands like Mastercraft and Ironman, Hercules tires come with extra-long warranty, excellent wet traction and multiple warranties. These are some of the reasons why you can count on these tires to safely carry you from point A to point B in all conditions.
Sure, there are cheaper tires out there. But most of them are testaments to the maxim that ‘you get what you pay for’. These tires wear down pretty quickly and come with negligible warranties, requiring frequent replacement and proving expensive in the long run.
For this reason, Hercules tires are the best bet for anyone looking to downgrade from premium tires or anyone with slightly older vehicles. They won’t give you Continental or Michelin level performance, but you will remain safe driving these tires.