What tyres should I put on my 4WD?
This is an age-old question that’s been asked since people first took their cars up a few bumpy dirt roads. What is the best type of 4WD tyre, and why? Lets see if we can answer that for you.
There’s always a big debate raging every time someone out there mentions what tyres they’ve put on their 4WD. Some people agree, some people say that they should have used a different brand, and a whole lot of people say that they should have gotten mud terrain/all terrain instead of mud/terrain/all terrain. With all of the different opinions out there what’s right and who should you listen to?
Well first off, you should listen to me! If you do, it’s then going to be up to you to make your own final decisions, so don’t expect me to get all judgemental about this topic.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the three main types of tyres that people put on their four-wheel-drives (we’re leaving out snow tyres as these aren’t exactly common in Australia). These are:
Highway terrain tyres are built for maximum on-road performance and do sacrifice off-road capability for on-road handling, long wear and a quiet ride. The read patterns on these tyres are close to, if not the same as, most tyres for normal on-road cars. Highway terrain tyres are also normally not as strong as other types because they aren’t meant for any serious off-roading.
All terrain tyres are pretty much the “best of both worlds” when it comes to off-road tyres. All terrain tyres give good (but not normally great) on-road performance and can handle a huge range of off-road terrains with ease.
The majority of all terrain tyres are also available in LT, or ‘Light Truck’ construction, meaning that they have more sturdy sidewalls and tread which makes them more durable and a ot more puncture and tear resistant.
Mud terrain tyres is what every 4WD-er out there wants – even if it’s just because they look so chunky and aggressive. What these tyres do is give maximum traction in off-road, mud, sand and pretty much every place where you’re driving on dirt and mud. When you are doing some heavy off-roading you’ll want these tyres for the added grip and strength that they have.
Of course there’s few downsides to mud terrain tyres though. First, they are pretty much always loud. Highway or even dirt road driving tends to be a lot more noisy thanks to the tread pattern. This can vary anywhere from a low hum to a full screaming growl. They are also normally made from softer compound rubber to increase the off-road grip, which means that they will wear faster than other tyres. Of course wear will depend on how you drive, but a softer tyre will always wear quicker.
So, what 4WD tyres should I buy?
The 4WD tyres you should buy all come down to your use. If you’re driving the kids to school and the shops, they highway terrain tyres are the best for you. If your car is a daily driver that you take off-road on the weekends and holidays, or if you do some decent off-roading but still do a lot of distance on sealed roads, then you’ll be best off with a good set of all-terrain tyres. I normally only recommend mud tyres if you know that your 4WD will spend over 70% of its life in the dirt, purely because of the road noise and faster wear.
Let us know what tyres you run and why. I’d love to hear your reasons for choosing what you have for your 4WD.