Do I really need… part 1 – Tyres
The vast majority of 4WD’s these days come out with highway tyres that are OK if you’re going down the occasional gravel road, but are almost useless when you get into anything like sand or wet dirt/clay. Upgrading your tyres to a new set that’s made for off road use is the first upgrade that we always recommend because it is the thing that will make the most significant change to your 4WD’s ability.
The main thing to consider here is – do you really need mud tyres or do you just want them because the chunky tread looks cool? If you’re using your rig as a play thing doing the hard tracks in all conditions, then yes go for the muddies! If your 4WD is a daily-driver that spends a lot of time on the bitumen and does weekends offroad on the easy and medium tracks, then a good set of all-terrain tyres is going to suit you better.
Another big point to consider is the tyres construction. Most hughway-terrain tyres are made to be grippy on bitumen, but have relatively limited sidewall strength and puncture resistance. The reason fro this is because on normal road conditions it’s not needed. For any off road driving that you do, a light-truck construction will normally have stronger sidewalls and casings and give better puncture resistance. Also look for how many plys the construction is. In tyres, the umber of plys is the number of times the steel (oe kevlar or what ever else they are using) layers are wrapped around the casing. Generally the more plys the stronger the tyres will be because there’s more “armour” between the road and the inside of the tyre.
There’s a huge range of brands and trad patterns available, but in most cases the more more reputable the brand, the better quality the tyres will be. On the other hand, if all you want is something chunky to put on your weekend-track-basher then a cheaper set of tyres won’t hurt!