QUICK GUIDE TO 4WD TOURING TYRE CHOICE
4WD tyres are one of the biggest decisions you will make, especially when you are thinking about future plans of touring and camping around Australia. 4WD tyres have 3 basic types but you can look for hybrid tyres that have a larger band of suitability. It is important you understand what tyres do what to make the best decision.
Your 4WD is probably fitted with HT tyres from new. Most 4WD are actually used on sealed roads. HT tyres normally have very small gaps between the tread so they have more contact with the bitumen. They have higher speed ratings to match the requirements of highway driving. Because they don’t have much of a gap between the tread they are not very suitable for offroad driving. This means your 4WD is pretty useless if you head off the beaten track because these tyres don’t give much traction even on dirt roads. You might think you can head wherever you want but these tyres also have a higher probably of puncture because of the lighter construction. HT stands for Highway Terrain.
MT tyres are the complete opposite of HT tyres. They are your true offroad tyres. MT tyres, or Mud Terrain tyres, provide the most amount of traction because they have an aggressive tread pattern with loads of space between the tread. They generally have very thick sidewalls and a very deep tread depth. They won’t grip very well on the bitumen and can get a little skittish if driving on wet roads. You really only need these if you are driving in serious offroad terrain most of the time. They are generally harder to puncture.
AT tyres, or All Terrain tyres, are designed as a hybrid tyre type offering the best of offroad and bitumen terrain. They are a popular choice for those touring around Australia because of the need to cope with both sealed and unsealed roads. You will need to choose these tyres very carefully as different brands and models offer very different characteristics. While these tyres attempt to offer the best characteristics for offroad and onroad driving, they also can offer the worst.
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