How ToLand Rover Driving

Choosing the right tyre for your 4×4

Choosing the right tyre for the type of terrain you will be driving is important!The right tyre choice is of great importance to the off road driver. After all, it is the tyre that is your contact between your vehicle and the ground surface you are driving on.

To many over-enthusiastic Land Rover owners, that appears to mean fitting the biggest, knobbliest tyres you can find - but that isn't usually the best answer.

On modern Land Rover models, standard tyres are all you need in most off road situations. The Terrain Response system is an amazing innovation that gives a standard vehicle on road tyres the capability of crossing terrain that would have required a more aggressive tyre in the past.

But, not everybody drives a new Discovery 4, Freelander or Range Rover fitted with that handy Terrain Response dial. And there are situations where using specialist tyres will help you out regardless of what vehicle you are driving.

So lets take a look at some of the options when it comes to choosing the right tyre for your 4x4.

Mud tyres

Mud terrain tyre - Aggressive self-cleaning pattern for serious off road useIn deep mud, a mud tyre will always help you and prevent you from getting stuck. The chunky tread pattern means it is self-cleaning (which means it won't get clogged up with mud).

The downside of a mud tyre is that it must be driven with care, as this type of tyre can cause damage to the surface you are driving on.

Additionally, they are not so comfortable on tarmac surfaces because there is less rubber in contact with the road surface, so you can't corner as fast, or brake as hard.

All terrain tyres

All Terrain Tyre - less aggressive with better on road mannersAll terrain tyres do exactly as their name suggests - they have a tread pattern somewhere between a road biased tyre and true mud pattern.

They offer better grip than standard tyres in muddy conditions, but are less aggressive and are less likely to damage the environment. They also have better road holding manners than a full mud tyre.

Road tyres

Road biased tyre - will give great comfort on road, at the expense of off road abilityRoad tyres will give you the best performance on tarmac, but you will come to a standstill quicker when used off road in muddy conditions.

The close tread pattern, designed to shift water on the road, will clog up quickly with mud and leave you with your wheels spinning.

However, the road biased tyre will be quiet and give better MPG than a full mud terrain tyre when used on tarmac.

Conclusion

You have to weigh up exactly what conditions you will be using your 4x4 in - be honest with yourself, do you really need those aggressive mud terrain tyres for you daily commute or dropping the kids off at school!

So avoid fitting a full mud terrain tyre if it's "just for looks" and you don't really venture off road a lot. If you are driving mainly on tarmac then go for the road tyre and enjoy the quiet ride and better mpg.

If you are greenlaning, then a standard road tyre should cope. You could fit an all terrain tyre with a high ply rating on the side-walls as this will be more versatile and will resist damage more if there are sharp stones hidden in ruts.

For more aggressive off road work and regular trials and competitions, then fit the mud terrain.

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