Mud-slinging is a good thing at Dunlap & Kyle
Mud is mud, right? Wet, soft, sticky dirt. But Mississippi mud is different. Not so much when it's wet, but when it dries. Turn up the heat and Mississippi mud turns into pellets that look a lot like buckshot. That's why locals call it "buckshot mud."
And that's why Dunlap & Kyle Co. Inc., based in Batesville, Miss., named its private brand off-road tire the Buckshot Mudder.
The extremely popular tire has been around for some 30 years. Its first incarnation was the Buckshot Wide Mudder, a bias-ply tire, and its offshoot, the Gumbo Mudder. Then came the Buckshot Radial Mudder, which is still sold today and manufactured by Denman Tire Corp., Now there's the Buckshot Maxxis Mudder, a co-branded tire manufactured by Maxxis International--USA, a subsidiary of Cheng Shin Rubber. Dunlap & Kyle still owns the private brand rights to the tire, and has given Maxxis permission to distribute it in areas outside the dealership's marketing area.
"Traditional off-road tires are notorious for spinning on wet pavement," says Dennis King, vice president of operations for Dunlap & Kyle. "The new Buckshot Maxxis Mudder has siped its center lugs, which gives it wet-weather, on-road traction and alleviates this problem."
Both the new and the older Buckshot Mudder designs feature a high-void mud tread pattern. But the Maxxis Mudder also was designed to eliminate over-the-road hum.
"By varying the shape and size of the outer lugs, we were able to make it quieter," says King. "It's still an off-road tire. It just doesn't have all that hum when it goes down road."
When the Buckshot Mudder was first introduced, it was practically the only tire of its kind, according to King. The Co-op Grip Spur (still being marketed by the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative) was one of the few direct competitors. "We were able to solidify our position in the market with a good name and good performance and good upgrades," says King. "For a long time, the Buckshot Radial Mudder was the only radial mud tire around."
Dunlap & Kyle's ownership oversees 43 retail stores and 12 wholesale warehouses throughout the central part of the U.S. stretching from southern Louisiana to northern Ohio.
"I don't know about millions, but we've sold a lot of Buckshot Mudders," says King. "Over the years, it has been far and away the most popular off-road tire in the South."
The Buckshot Mudder is not the only private brand marketed by Dunlap & Kyle. Gateway, Cambridge and Wooly Booger, a popular ATV brand, also are sold at the company's retail and wholesale stores.
But the Buckshot Mudder is Dunlap & Kyle's bread and butter niche. King, who helped design the new tire with his uncle, Jack King, and Maxxis engineers, rides with them on his Chevy half-ton pickup.
"There are other mud tires out there, but they're dying quickly," says King. "We're killing them in the South."