If you’re into serious off-roading and taking your 4×4 / 4WD vehicle to places that mere mortal cars could only dream of, then you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the best tires for the job. Whilst some of your non off-roading friends may tell you to get a grip, what you’re really bothered about is the grip your mud tires have on the ground, and if you’ll be able to beat your buddy up that hill covered in the brown slippery stuff.
Unfortunately off-road tires can be a lot more expensive than ones designed for the highway, simply because they contain a hell of a lot more rubber, and rubber doesn’t come cheap these days with oil prices ever-increasing. Finding cheap mud tires isn’t easy, especially finding the best ones that will still give you great performance when on tracks and trails through the woods. The aim of this website is to help you find the best deals and bargains when it comes to tires for your off-road vehicle or truck, and we will be reviewing the latest and greatest additions into the US mud tire market. We will start with a round-up of the different types of mud tire that you could choose:
Dedicated Mud Terrain Tires for Off-Roading
If you’re into taking your vehicle properly off-road then you’ll be wanting a serious tire that means business. Road tires or those with normal treads just won’t cut it, you need a higher traction tire that is able to cope with all types of surface, and gobble up huge amounts of mud in its massive knobbly treads. It is these large grooves and ‘knobbly’ bits that allow you to take your car through terrain such as mud that has a depth measured in feet, or through thick snow and river crossings. Some of the major brands of mud terrain tires include BFG, Toyo, KM2, Pro Comp, Cooper, Maxxis, Goodyear, Super Swamper and the rather aptly named Mud King. Each of these types has different characteristics that suit different applications, and we will provide reviews to help you find the best one for your specific requirements.
There are also tires that are designed for occasional use, and those designed specifically for off-road competitions. Obviously the competition tires are more expensive than their cheaper counterparts, however will give you a higher degree of performance and probably traction. At the lower end of the scale, you could pay as little as $100-150 for an entry-level mud tire, and up to $6-700 for a top of the range competition one.
Choose an All Terrain Tire for Occasional Off-Road Trips
If you plan on taking your 4×4 vehicle onto the road for long periods of time, or intend to use it as your main family car then you might want to consider an all terrain tire. A dedicated mud-terrain tire would generate a lot of road noise if used on the highway and actually have less traction due to less of the tire being in contact with the ground at one time due to the chunky treads. Consequently you can find a balance between traction and treads, and an all-terrain or A/T tire will have larger treads than a standard road tire, however looks a lot more sensible than an all-out mud tire. There’s a picture of this type of tire shown on the right here:
Tires for Trucks and Four Wheelers or ATVs
There isn’t really a difference between mud tires created for normal vehicles and those created for trucks or pickups except their size. The size of a truck tire will typically be quite a bit bigger than that of a regular car (anywhere upwards of 16″ rims) and you have the same brands and types to choose from. Using a truck for your off-road treks is much better than using a smaller vehicle. For example you’ll have much higher ground clearance as muddy tracks are often uneven and contain obstacles that might see a regular car strung high and dry. One downside of these bigger tires however is that there is more sidewall exposed, meaning that it could be damaged by obstacles such as tree branches, burst or torn by rocks and more. Consequently when making your choice you’ll want to assess the overall strength of a tires sidewall and its durability as a mud tire. Some of the cheaper ones will probably be weaker, and the general philosophy of buying the most expensive one you can afford will probably ensure you get the best quality tire.
ATVs or ‘four wheelers’ as they are also known require specific tires due to their smaller size. The tracks on these types of mud tire can be absolutely huge and look rather strange when compared with road tires. Typically run at a lower pressure to maximise the surface area in contact with the ground they have a large, bulging type appearance and widely spaced deep treads to maximise grip. Having said that, off-road tires for four wheelers look nowhere near as weird as ATV sand tires, as these just have say five or six ‘paddles’ of tread that go across the tire, a bit like the paddles on a water-wheel. Many are also much wider than a regular tire for the same reason of increasing surface area and traction.