The all-terrain tire is designed to give vehicles traction on and off the road. It puts together the characteristics of an aggressive mud tire and refined road tire. Pick-up trucks and SUVs like Jeeps are often equipped with all-terrain tires as standard to suit their rugged purposes. If you regularly use your pick-up or SUV on a variety of terrain, perhaps buying a set of all-terrain tires is something you should look into. Read on for some important points in choosing the best all-terrain tires for your pick-up truck or SUV.
Before anything else, specify how you intend to use your vehicle. List down the activities that your truck or SUV will be purposed for, like leisure weekend trips or daily work around a farm. If you plan on doing serious off-roading, consider purchasing mud tires with aggressive tread pattern and tread blocks.
Driving comfort and enjoyment
Driving on all-terrain tires may be a completely new experience if you are used to driving with regular road tires. On paved roads, all-terrain tires give off a subtle humming sound as you speed up because of its wider tread.
Consider an all-terrain tire that won’t ride as harshly as a mud tire. The latter is notorious for causing vibrations on the steering wheel and cabin when driven on paved roads. This can make the ride uncomfortable and tiring.
The all-terrain tire uses a softer compound to help it keep traction on all surfaces. However, this property also gives all-terrain tires a shorter tread life as compared to a road tire. All-terrain tires normally last an average of 40,000 to 70,000 miles.
You can check the Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) treadwear rating marked on the sidewall of the tire. It is labeled in a scale of 100 to 900. The higher the rating, the longer the tire will last. However, this is not a universal scale. The UTQG rating is normally used in reference to tire models made by the same tire manufacturer.
The tread pattern is the groove on the rubber surface of the tire’s circumference.This allows water, mud, and loose particles to pass through the tire without sacrificing traction. A closer look on the grooves should also reveal sipes. These further improves the tire’s grip on smooth surfaces and ice.
Tire manufacturers design their own tread patterns for a balanced performance on and off the road. An all-terrain tire tread usually features an interlocking design with bigger spaces in between them.
Going off-road means your tires are more likely to be exposed to abrasive and sharp surfaces. You’ll want extra protection for your tire’s sidewalls so rocks, exposed tree roots, and other debris won’t slice or puncture it. Tire manufacturers invest in improving tire sidewall strength so that vehicles have better chances of finishing an off-road adventure without any issues.
Goodyear uses DuPont Kevlar in its all-terrain and mud tires to improve the sidewall puncture resistance. Likewise, BF Goodrich uses its TriGard technology on its off-road tires. This feature consists of aggressive sidewall lugs and durable sidewall compounds.
All-terrain tires come in different sizes. It is best to choose a size similar to the vehicle’s factory specifications. High-profile tires, or tires with a taller sidewall, are usually comfortable over road bumps. These are ideal for vehicles driven on and off the road.
There are online tire size calculators at your disposal should you decide to switch to bigger aftermarket wheels. TireSize.com recommends a suitable tire size to accommodate any change in diameter, width, and offset. This way, your vehicle maintains the same circumference and revolution as stock.
If you are keen to upgrade the size of your vehicle’s tires, you must check your local vehicle restrictions first. Wide tires sticking out of the vehicle’s fenders are prohibited all across the states, except in Kentucky. Be mindful of states like New Jersey that prohibit lifting vehicles beyond 4 inches from its stock height, regardless of tire size. Furthermore, you must do you research well so that bigger tires will not compromise your vehicle’s safety and performance.