When selecting mud tires for your truck you have a few options available to you. Most of the tires that come standard with your truck are rated for “street driving” and aren’t suitable for off road driving or driving in mud. Off road tires need to have the proper height to allow the truck to have the traction it needs to overcome hills or deep mud. Therefore, if you are going to drive your truck off road, then you are going to need to purchase tires that are at least one to two sizes taller. Before you enter a tire store, however, there are a few other guidelines that you need to consider in order to purchase the perfect tire for your off road adventures.
1. Tread Life
Every tire has a wear rating that is expressed by the Uniform Tire Quality Grading for that particular tire. This rating is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation and sets ratings for tread wear, traction and temperature resistance. For off road driving you will need to find a tire that has the highest UTQG rating because the tires are going to be put under extreme stress.
2. Speed Rating
Speed rating for a mud tire is not as important as tread life so you can choose a tire that has a lower rating than standard street tires. Most street tires are rated at 150 miles per hour or higher, a standard that is far too high for your standard mud tire. Most consumers who are shopping for mud tires can choose a tire that is rated at 130 miles per hour and still have a tire that is more than adequate for off road driving.
3. Ride Quality and Performance
Unlike speed ratings, ride quality is of your utmost concern when driving off road. You are going to want to find a tire that handles correctly over rough terrain. In most cases this is a tire that is higher than the standard street tire, as I stated above. Tires with lower profiles might look good, but can ride rough over hills, bumps and potholes. Lower profile tires also expose the wheels to more damage, a situation that you will want to avoid when driving off road. When driving over rough and rocky terrain you want a tire that has more sidewall between the ground and the truck’s rims. This will ensure that you have the best performance and the greatest degree of safety available.
4. Tread Considerations
In most circumstances your mud tire should have a tread pattern that is designed for high traction. It must also have a large tensile strength in order to be able to adequately bear heavy loads. Most manufacturers make tires that are specifically designed for off road use and have tread patterns that help transmit the high engine horsepower to the tires and resist impact damages. These tires are often marked with an “M” to indicate that they are suitable for off road use. All season tires often carry one of the following marks to indicate that they can be used in mud or snow: “MS”,”M&S”,”M/S” and “M+S”.
5. Never Mix Tires
The last thing to consider when purchasing tires for either off road or street use is to never mix and match tires of diffent tread patterns or sizes. Doing so can not only dramatically reduce the performance of the tires but can also result in safety problems.