More and more people are starting to spend quality time venturing away from the prepped and paved surfaces of the urban areas and getting close to nature in their SUVs. Selecting the proper premium car tires is the priority when one plans to drive off the beaten path.
What are off-road tires?
Off-road tires are specially designed to have puncture-resistant sidewalls and heavy-duty tread patterns that can withstand the rigours of bashing through rocks while also maintaining traction in mud and loose roads. It is the difference between spending hours getting unstuck or maintaining traction in sketchy situations.
The majority of these types of tires are designed for pickup trucks, SUVs and related vehicles. They are particularly ideal for vehicles with built-in traction systems, all-wheel drive cars and four-wheel drive trucks.
Selecting the premium off-road car tire
There are various factors one can use to select the ideal off-road tire for any predicament.
- Use of tires
The first factor to consider is the most extreme situation the tire will be in and how often would the tire be dealing with that. One should choose the best off-road tires if their vehicle only sees 30 per cent of the time as it drives to the trails. It also depends on whether the vehicle will tread on mud and water, which will require a different tire than crawling rocky cliffs in Arizona.
- Rubber compound and material
Checking the rubber compound is one of the details that no one can afford to miss. It is the main determining component of how the tire flexes and grips the ground especially when extreme temperatures come into play. Most off-road tires are built using soft rubber compounds to help them flex around obstacles. However, one should keep in mind that softer tires tend to harden up when cold creeps in, causing them to lose grip.
- Tread pattern selection
Tread patterns have a large role to play in grip and noise. In the case of off-road tires, tread spacing is large which provides big biting edges and great debris ejection. The tread pattern selected will be directly influenced by extreme performance requirements, which can come with some downsides when it comes to everyday use.
- Tire size
Another important factor is size. Tire models are becoming larger and larger in the off-road world. Upsizing tires to bigger off-road tires can produce benefits such as more ground clearance and more sidewall. This helps in absorbing some of shock of off-roading. However, getting too big can result in result in the tire rubbing against the vehicle when turning sharply. Normally the owner’s manual of the vehicle points out the info on the largest tire that will fit.
Which off-road tires are the best?
In case your SUV switches from irregular terrain to regular roads, such as commuting from town to country roads, then the all-terrain tires will benefit. They feature a design that incorporates an interlocking tread design that provides the durability to conquer dirt, gravel, and grass.
Mud-terrain tires are suitable for vehicles which scramble way off the beaten track and into uncharted terrain. They have more aggressive tread patterns which allow for a superb grip for the wheels in the most extreme terrain, such as wet snow and mud.
Dedicated snow tires are the best when it comes to driving in regions where the conditions are predominantly ice and snow. They remain soft and pliant even in subzero temperatures. They are fitted with tiny grooves and channels called sipes which help in digging into wet snow and ice to improve traction when driving.
Precautions to take when changing your tires
When changing to bigger off-road tires, you must take the following precautions.
- The load index of the new tire should be greater than or equal to that of the original tire. It must be adequate for the maximum load per axle of the vehicle.
- The vehicle must be fitted with 4 identical tires consisting of the same dimension, same brand, same load, and speed indexes. This should be done to avoid any mechanical problems in transmission which guarantees optimal performance.
- To get a better reference, owners must always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
- One should always check that the new tires do not come in contact with mechanical parts or bodywork elements.
- The rim and tire of the vehicle must not protrude from the body.
- One should always check whether the wheel is compatible with the size of the tire.
You always need the right wheels to truly do some off-roading. The above factors will help you decide the best off-road tires for your vehicle. Choosing the wrong tire can cause problems in the long run which can not only damage the vehicle but also put the driver’s life at risk.