Off road tires are not a one size fits all commodity, they’re specialized to the terrain you’re planning to cover. For a trail build that mostly sees dry but unpaved surfaces and the occasionally sticky muddy patch, you’ll want an all-terrain tire. For deep mud and swampy work, you need specialized mud tires or at least a strong hybrid that can handle both mud and pavement. No matter what, though, they all share a few features that you generally don’t see in pavement-only wheel and tire packages.
Off-Road Tire Features
The thing that all off-road tires have in common is that they are built to handle varying amounts of liquid and semisolid mass, where road tires have very limited planning in that direction. Sometimes snow tires and all-weather designs for street tires look very much like all terrain tires because both balance surface contact on paved or hard packed surfaces with the tread and liquid control needed for slush, snow, and mud.
When you go all the way to specialized mud tires, those features are at their most exaggerated. Full mudding tires tend to have heavy, knobby tread patterns with wide channels built for the mud to escape to the sides instead of the back, so you can tough it out through thick and slick patches. Hybrid tires combine the best of both worlds, and they essentially look like a exaggerated all-terrain tire, with channels and tread patterns in between those found in the other two classes. Keep this in mind as you shop off-road accessories this season.
Which Choice Is Right for Your Truck?
Picking tire classes is actually pretty easy if you slow down and assess the best use cases of each one. For dedicated mudders who have a truck built to be off the road and an alternative for personal transportation in their day to day, the best investment tends to be a full mud tire. If you go out in heavy muck but you also need decent pavement performance, then that’s what hybrid tires are optimized to handle. Finally, those who hit dry trails and sandy service roads as often as they find themselves in a muddy patch are well served by the all terrain option, especially if the truck is also used as a personal vehicle.
Additional Off-Roading Upgrades
If you’re going to take your truck into the great unknown, you need to bring some gear. Before searching tonneau covers near me for a local retailer, check out your options from online retailers that provide you with the widest possible selection and front door delivery. That way, you’ll have all the options in front of you when you pick an upgrade to protect that gear.
You’ll also want to invest in essentials like a lift kit and suspension reinforcement, and it’s worth thinking about whether you want to upgrade your wheel and tire size when you’re already lifting the machine and upgrading to specialized off-road tires. Definitely check out your options for additional lighting and performance brakes as well. Safety is even more important when you are out in the wilderness. That’s why the last major essential every truck and Jeep overlander invests in is a winch or winch/hoist combo. It pulls you out of the thick of things when your truck is stuck.