Tyres are the easiest and cheapest way to improve the off-road characteristics of your 4WD, because they determine how much traction you have. Most of us consider price first when shopping for tyres, but appearances matter too – especially when you’re buying tough, rugged tyres for your off-road vehicle. However, price and appearance don’t matter as much as how you’ll use the tyres – and how safe you’ll be while doing it. Below, you will learn how to select the right 4WD tyres.
How Much Off-Road Driving do you Do?
If you spend most of your time on paved roads, a dedicated mud tyre is not the best choice. They may look good and are certainly useful if you only drive off-road, but if you use your 4WD on a daily basis, they don’t offer enough grip on the tarmac. Chunky tread equals a smaller contact patch and less grip, which can be dangerous in wet conditions. Mud tyres wear out quicker than street or all-terrain tyres, and they can create more road noise. For those reasons, most companies offering tyres for sale don’t recommend fitting your 4WD with mud terrain tyres unless you do about 80% of your driving off road.
For those who drive mainly on paved roads, all-terrain Continental tyres are a safer choice. They perform on a variety of surfaces, such as light mud, sand and rock, while offering more road grip than mud tyres. However, the treads can quickly get packed with mud. All-terrain tyres are best for those who do about 60% on-road driving. Highway tyres are good for those who are only off-road about 20% of the time. It can be difficult to choose the correct tyres for your 4WD, but taking your time can definitely pay off.
Abiding by the Law
Australia has certain laws on tyres and their condition. Below we’ll discuss some of the most important points:
- All tyres must have at least 1.5mm tread depth across the contact patch and around the tyre’s circumference.
- Tyres must be the right size and type for your vehicle, and must be inflated in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Differently constructed Dunlop tyres cannot be fitted opposite one another. For instance, you cannot fit radials on the same axle as cross ply tyres.
- If your 4WD is fitted with winter tyres, they must be on all four wheels. If you don’t regularly drive in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius, you don’t need a winter tyre.
- Tyres cannot be cut through to the cords. There can be no tears, lumps or bulges.
Choosing tyres online for your 4WD can be difficult, and you’ll need to consider your driving habits as well as price, appearance and safety. By considering the tips above, you can find the right set of tyres for your vehicle while staying safe on Australia’s roads. Find out more at tyres.net.