If there’s one thing trail junkies are obsessed with, it’s tires. Throughout the United States, adventure calls those with SUVs, CUVs, and trucks to explore and tackle the great outdoors. Whether you’re into mudding, overlanding, rock crawling, or driving down miles of back-country gravel roads, choosing the right set of off-road tires is essential.
Before we dive into how to choose off-road tires, it’s important to note that some of the information in this article may not apply to every situation. We understand that some SUV, CUV and truck owners have different goals. In addition to the points mentioned above, the show truck segment may not follow the general guidelines during the tire selection process as aesthetics are the main focus.
When shopping for off-road tires, you’ll come across two variations known as All-Terrain (AT) and Mud-Terrain (MT). Although both of these tires have similarities, each is specifically designed for different types of terrain. AT tires are much more aggressive in comparison to a standard street tire, but provide less traction in mud and off-road driving conditions. On the other hand, MT tires provide traction in extreme off-road situations such as dirt, mud, gravel, and rock.
Rugged-Terrain tires (RT), or Rough-Terrain Tires, also get thrown into the mix and can cause confusion. Simply put, RT tires are a hybrid tire that combine the benefits of an AT and MT tire into one package. An RT tire is a good choice for those that want to use their vehicle on and off paved roads. However, because an RT tire is a hybrid, it isn’t best-in-class for either road condition, but rather provides more balanced performance characteristics making it a more practical tire.
Because this article focuses more on off-road driving situations, we’ll be talking more in-depth about MT tires. MT tires are designed for extreme off-road conditions. Mud-Terrain tires use a tread pattern that utilizes large spaces between the tread lugs and an open-shoulder design to provide increased traction. In addition to its excellent off-road performance, MT tires give SUVs, CUVs and trucks a rugged and aggressive look, especially when the vehicle is lifted.
The Benefits of Mud-Terrain Tires
That said, there’s more to mud tires than just tread pattern and rubber compound. A few other things to consider are tire size, load index, and speed ratings. Learning how to read an off-road tire sidewall and understanding measurements is a good way to narrow down options when shopping for off-road tires.
Tires are what connect your vehicle with the ground. To achieve the required traction and performance, you need to ensure your tires are up for the task. Off-road tires come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and Rolling Big Power offers a large selection of off-road mud tires in various sizes.