4x4 Magazine Australia

TALKING TREADS

YOU wouldn’t wear a pair of thongs to go bushwalking, nor would you wear hiking boots to the beach. The same principle applies to 4x4 footwear, with off-road tyres specifically manufactured and constructed for an assortment of lifestyles, from long-distance touring to serious mud-and rock-crawling, and everything in between.

Installing a tyre that’s not fit-for-purpose increases the risk of damage, puncture and, quite simply, a loss of traction, so it’s important to attach appropriate rubber to each corner of your 4x4 – in fact, it should be one of your first aftermarket purchases as soon as your shiny new 4x4 departs the showroom floor.

“Good off-road tyres for your 4x4 are essential, and ensuring they are fit for purpose for your driving adventure is the key,” said Dean McCormack, product portfolio specialist at Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres.

Simply put, 4x4 tyres can be broken down into categories – Mud Terrain (M/T), All Terrain (A/T) and Highway Terrain (H/T), and there’s also Light Truck (L/T) construction – each with its own strengths and compromises, depending on the kind of off-roading you have in mind.

So before you venture down to your local tyre centre to swipe the credit card for a brand-spanking set of new rubber, it’s important to establish what your intended purpose is and what type of tyre suits that purpose. Once that’s settled, you’ll be able to find a tyre that will suit the kind of exploration you have in mind.

Jeff Moorhead, project manager at Maxxis Tyres, explained to us that there are three essential questions someone must ask themselves before they contact a tyre retailer: “How often do I realistically go off the bitumen? What is the duration of the trip ‘off the road’? And how severe are the conditions I will encounter when I do go off-road?”

For example, a tyre with a wider block

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