It wasn’t all that long ago when tyres were simply tyres. 4×4 vehicles used the same tyres as any other vehicle. Now we have a choice of 4×4 tyres depending on what we do the most in our 4-wheel drive. Picking the right 4×4 tyre is difficult, especially when there is so much choice available. Broadly speaking there are three categories of 4×4 tyres, these fall into highway terrain, all-terrain and mud terrain tyres.
Within each of these categories, there are even more specifications depending on how much time you spend on or off the road and the off-road conditions. We’ve briefly described each here in order to help you make the right choice.
Highway Terrain Tyres
These 4×4 tyres are designed for mainly on -road drives and are okay for the occasional off-roading. They are the most comfortable tyres. The treads and design are like what you get on the average car tyre. Highway terrain tyres generally come as standard with most new 4-wheel drive vehicles. They are cheaper to manufacture. To be fair many 4-wheel drives are not taken off-road and so it makes sense that most 4-wheel drives come with the most roadworthy tyres as standard. These aren’t the best option for off-roading as dirt can build up quickly within the small treads, reducing the tyres grip.
All Terrain Tyres
These 4×4 tyres do exactly as they say on the can. They are for both on and off-road driving. Now, this is where it gets a little more complicated. The All Terrain tyre that you choose can vary significantly depending on how much off-roading you do compare to on-roading and the kind of terrain you are on when you are off-roading. An All terrain 4×4 tyre gives the best compromise between comfort and performance, as well as conventional urban driving and occasional off-roading.
There is no standard when it comes to All terrain tyres. You’ll find there is some variation depending on the manufacturer. Some of these will be more like the highway terrain 4×4 tyre and some will be more like the mud terrain tyre. This also reflects in the amount of time you off-road. For instance, if you spend more time on-road than off-road then you could opt for an all terrain 4×4 tyre that bears more resemblance to the highway terrain tyre. Vice versa if you spend more time off-roading then an all-terrain tyre that has more features of mud tyres might be a better fit.
Mud Terrain Tyres
These are the heaviest duty 4×4 tyre with a block type tread pattern. These are best designed for mud and rocks and can also perform perfectly well in sand with the right tyre pressure. In the past, mud tyres we known to not be good for use on road, but over time many off-road tyre brands such as Mickey Thompson have managed to make Mud Terrain 4×4 tyres that are outstanding tyres on road and in the wet, however it is noisier than other tyres on road and not the best choice if primarily driven on road. Designed to be used in the mud they provide the most traction and are often the tyre of choice for competition, hill climbs or trailering off-road.
For any tyre that you are using off-road it’s useful to check the ply. The ply is related to the number of layers used in the manufacturing process the higher the number of layers. The more layers or the higher the ply the more resistant the tyre is to punctures.
We are a family owned private business that takes pride in providing quality service along with the best quality 4×4 accessories in Perth. We stock all TJM 4×4 accessories along with other top Australian 4wd accessories brands.
If you would like some help in getting the right gear for your 4wd, please feel free to contact us or visit 9 Pritchard St, O’Connor WA 6163 Australia.