Off-Roading Tires – Advice

Off-road driving is fun activity many people enjoy. Driving down a gravel road to get to your favorite fishing hole or a day out with your family brings lots of wholesome outdoor enjoyment.

Getting there requires the proper gear, starting with the most important part, tires. Rocks, potholes, and rough terrain will require your vehicle to need a different type of tire to safely and efficiently make it from point A to B.   The main function of any tire is to provide traction, and having good traction tires will help off-roaders get to where they need to go without getting stuck.

When looking to purchase a set of off-road/on-road tires there are a few things to consider. Cheap tires are not necessarily the best option. You get what you pay for definitely applies here. Some things to consider are high mileage tires and tread wear ratings. Aggressive deep treads like those found on mud tires tend to wear a lot quicker than an all-terrain tire. Another important thing to consider is tire size. You can contact the manufacturer or check tire charts that give you a variety of sizes to fit your vehicle. The height of your sidewall is important and should be chosen based on the conditions where you drive your truck most often. If you only drive on the street then a low-profile truck tire will be fine, but if you go off-roading then you are going to want more tire in between your rim and the ground. That way you will not bottom out on the rims when the tires encounter rough terrain off-road.

The size of the rim is a personal preference. Popular today is the larger sized rims, with many from the factory floor trucks coming equipped with 17,18 and even 20” Rims. Just make sure that the rim and truck tire you choose will fit inside the wheel well of the truck, and don’t forget to upgrade your brakes to help stop this increase in weight.  The wheel rim width varies from truck to truck. It can be custom made to suit both on and off-road driving conditions. The wheel rim width is rounded off to the nearest half inch of the tire. Usually, the best choice is to have the rim width at about 90% of the tread width of the tire. Adequate air pressure is important for a good tire life, handling, and traction. Look through your truck’s owner’s manual, on the sticker inside the driver’s door, or look on the tire itself to find the correct air pressure that you need to maintain them. 

Seasonal changes can affect the air pressure of the tires. Cold temperatures are responsible for dropping the air pressure of the tires, and warm temperatures are responsible for increasing the air pressure. A 10% swing in the temperatures causes a 1lb. change in the air pressure. Sudden changes in temperature are a good time to check the pressure of the tires.  You can reduce the wear and tear of the truck’s tires by rotating them often. Rotating the tires keeps the tread wear balanced and can really help out when slippery and wet conditions occur. A simple rule about rotating your tires is to do it on every other oil change. Doing this consistent basis, will make the tires last longer and allow a comfortable ride for many, many Kilometers.