If you’re planning on heading off-road with your 4x4, SUV or pick up truck, your tyres will face a new set of challenges. They’ll need to find grip on surfaces such as mud, rocks and sand where ordinary tyres would struggle. They’ll have to be more puncture resistant than regular tyres. And they should have a load rating that’s more suitable for heavier vehicles.
To fulfil these demands, off-road tyres will have specially designed tread patterns, and the grooves between the tread blocks will be broader. They will also have reinforced sidewalls to make them more resistant to punctures.
However, off-road tyres have some downsides on a normal sealed surface such as tarmac. They have a reduced contact patch with the road so offer less grip on a smooth surface. And they’re noisier and less fuel efficient than regular tyres. They will also cover fewer miles before wearing out because they are usually softer than regular tyres for more grip in extreme conditions.
All-Terrain tyres are ideal if you often move between rough terrain and regular roads. They feature an interlocking tread design so they can conquer dirt, gravel, and grass. But they also offer a quieter more comfortable ride on sealed surfaces. Remember, all-terrain tyres are not the same as all-season tyres.
Mud tyres are for venturing into uncharted off-road terrain. They have a more aggressive tread pattern for great grip in mud and snow. They also feature tougher sidewalls to absorb the impact of rocks and damage from other off-road hazards.
Snow tyres are for predominantly ice and snow. They will stay soft and pliant, even in sub-zero temperatures. The tread will also have a series of sipes – tiny grooves and channels – that can dig into wet snow for better traction.