Did you know there are dozens of different tire types? This can make buying the best tires for your vehicle an overwhelming challenge. The set you choose for your vehicle will depend on size compatibility, budget, and intended use.
If you plan to do any driving off-road, then you’ll want to buy a set of off-road tires. However, it isn’t that simple. There are several factors to consider to ensure you buy the right set of off-roading tires.
This guide will walk you through the process and give you seven essential tips for choosing your set.
This is the most basic of requirements, but the tire you buy needs to actually fit your vehicle. Start by knowing the size of your wheels. Then you can eliminate any tire that doesn’t come in the size you need.
Look at the sidewall on your current tires, and you’ll see a series of letters and numbers. This is your current tire’s size. Use this as a guide for buying your new tires.
Changing Your Tire Size
Increasing the size of your tires can have detrimental effects if you go too big and the tires rub against the body of your vehicle.
Another approach is to go smaller with the wheels, so you have plenty of sidewall for flex. Go too extreme here, and you risk having a large sidewall that is too thin with too much flex that can’t support the vehicle’s weight properly. Or you’ll have a tire with too thick of sidewalls and reduced flex.
This is because the larger the sidewall is, the thicker it needs to be to support it. But thicker means it won’t flex as well, so you’re sacrificing grip. You’ll want to balance the size of the sidewall with its thickness to get the ideal performance.
- How and Where Will You Drive?
This is the time to be honest with yourself about how much off-road driving you will actually do. Off-road rims and tires look cool but aren’t the best choice if most of your driving is running errands around town or commuting to work.
Understand your driving habits so that you can buy a tire that will best suit them. True off-road truck tires will have you sacrificing road performance and fuel economy. This is when all-terrain tires may be a better choice.
However, if most of your driving is off-road, then the reduced road performance won’t be a big sacrifice because you won’t do much of it. However, an all-terrain tire may let you down with lots of off-road driving because it lacks the aggressive tread blocks that you need to maintain traction on more rugged terrain.
- How Extreme Will You Get?
How extreme will the driving conditions be that you drive in, and how often will you drive in those conditions? This will help you to determine what type of tires to buy without overbuying.
If you plan on driving on packed dirt and mild off-road conditions, then you can get away with an all-terrain tire. They’ll deliver decent traction and debris ejection. They can also handle light mud situations.
Mud-terrain tires are ideal if you plan on driving in wet or deep mud terrain. They should be able to eject the mud while also providing you with traction on the slippery surface. If boulder and large rocks are something you plan to conquer, then you’ll need a tire capable of giving you grip on this unstable and smooth terrain.
- Tread Pattern
Road tires tend to have tread patterns that feature skinny voids, which are the gaps between the tread blocks. All-terrain tires have slightly wider blocks. The more off-road a tire is meant for, the larger the tread block profile and the wider and deeper the voids are.
This is so the tire can flex around rocks more. It also gives the tire more aggressive edges for gripping with. The larger spaces also allow the tire to eject larger debris.
It’s tempting to go for the biggest tread block pattern available. However, there are compromises made with this. The bigger and more aggressive the tread pattern, the louder and less comfortable the ride.
This means you’ll want to balance the noise level and ride comfort with the tire’s performance off-road. If you do more driving on the pavement, then you may want a less aggressive tread pattern. You’ll have slightly reduced off-road performance but improved road experience.
- Rubber Compound
The type of rubber compound your tire has will dictate its stiffness and how it grips the ground. This will also change based on the climate temperature that you drive the tires in. To pick the best tire, the rubber compound needs to work with both your terrain and climate.
Warm weather tires are meant to stay pliable in high heat. If you try to use them in winter weather, they will become stiff and not grip well.
However, winter weather tires are meant for cold temperatures. This helps them to stay flexible and pliable even when temperatures drop.
You’ll know you have a solid winter off-road tire if you see the marker “M+S” on the tire. This stands for mud plus snow.
You may be tempted to buy cheap off-road tires. Maybe your budget is tight, or you just don’t want to invest in a higher-priced set. This is a mistake, and you’ll eventually regret not investing in a quality set of off road wheels for trucks.
Try to buy the best set of tires that your budget can afford.
Purchase Off-Road Tires Today
By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be ready to shop for your set of off-road tires. Start by knowing the size of the tires you need. Then decide what type of driving you do the most. Finish by considering the rubber compound and tread pattern that’s best suited for where you’ll drive.
Browse our other automotive articles for more tips and advice.