Tyres are an important part of any vehicle, but they are especially important when it comes to off-reading. Leaving the city asphalt means relying on the wheels beneath your truck to take you through the woods, over the mud, dirt, and rocks, and get you back to the other side safely. If you have the wrong tyres on your truck, not only could you damage your vehicle, you could endanger yourself and other passengers as well.
For most off-roaders the two major tyre choices are either mud-terrain, or all-terrains. Both styles have their own pros and cons, and while much of it comes down to personal preference, there are some features to consider before choosing.
All-terrains are in the same classification as all-seasons, in that they are made to be used in both a street driving setting, as well as a rough terrain setting. The tread on these tyres are designed to take a more fervent beating than those made specifically for road driving, but they aren’t quite as heavy duty as the standard mud-terrains you’ll see on many off-roaders.
One of the major advantages to all-terrains is that you they are less expensive than the alternative. This is because the rubber isn’t as thick or malleable as the mud-terrain tyres. They also tend to have less dramatic tread patterns, which means less time on the production line, and less cost for retailers
Another benefit to all-terrains, is that you don’t need to swap these wheels out every time you hit the trails. Camping, fishing, hunting, driving to work, or dropping the kids off at a soccer game, your truck is ready to roll, no matter the conditions of the roads.
Mud-terrains differ from all-terrains in a few ways; firstly, they don’t make a good companion to road driving, which means that if you plan on heading to the office, or going on a long trip down the freeway you should consider swapping out your wheels. Think about it like driving on winter tyres in the summer. The tread on these bad boys will burn up and wear down driving on asphalt, essentially ruining them for off-roading, and costing you a pretty penny to replace.
Mud-terrains are a little more expensive than all-terrains, because the tread on these monsters is designed to be extensively intricate. This is to push away mud and water, avoid penetration by rocks and sharp twigs, and to keep you out of sink holes as you roll along.
While they may be costlier, if you’re an avid off-roader, or you plan on partaking in any of the country-wide events throughout the year, this is a must have. Mud-terrain tyres will get you through nearly any obstacle course, off-road race, or regular campout without trouble. Of course, you still need to abide by the off-road guideline of watching for potholes, sharp rocks, and uneven ground, but essentially, these are the tyres that will make a difference in a mud race.
Terrain Tyre Check List
When choosing between all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres, there are a few factors to consider:
What type of terrain will your vehicle be driving over the most? Will you be using your truck to move, tow, plow, or commute to work? Or is this a vehicle of leisure that you plan to keep for outdoor activities only?
What’s your spending threshold for tyres? Are you willing to put out a little extra money to get the best off-roading gear? Or is off-roading just a hobby, and the main use of your vehicle is still everyday driving?
Does your vehicle require a boost to clear uneven ground, rocks, and hills? The height of your vehicle with mud-terrain tyres may differ from the height with a standard set of all-terrains. It depends on the brand you choose, and the truck you drive.
As mentioned above, the choice of all-terrain or mud-terrain will come down to personal preference in the end. Both tyres are known to perform well off-road, although mud-terrain certainly has an edge. If you aren’t an avid mudder, and you’ll be using your vehicle for numerous other activities, you might want to stick with the all-terrains this year. However, if you can afford two sets of wheels, you can’t go wrong with both.