Tag Archives: Informational Articles

All Terrain Tire Guide

All Terrain vs Mud Tire

Most people who first get in to off roading will have a dual purpose truck. This means that they might have a truck which is a 4×4, but have never really taken it off road before. This is how I started out, I bought a 1989 Chevy Blazer as my first 4×4. It was already lifted 6 inches, and had 35 inch BFG All Terrains on it. These tires were great for street driving, minor trails, and occasionally some rock obstacles. I had no idea what went in to selecting a good all around tire for both daily driving, and light wheeling.

Radial or Bias Ply?

There are two major types of tires, radial and bias ply. Radial tires have a symmetrical radial pattern for the base tire ply’s. This provides the radial tire with more stability, less rolling resistance, and slower wear. This also translates in to improved handling and better traction on things like ice, snow, and loose gravel. Bias ply tires are usually a bit more flexible, which is great for hard core offroading. This comes at a cost of wear and street manors. If you plan on driving the majority of the time on streets, you’ll want to find a nice radial all terrain tire, if you’re more concerned with pure off road capability, then bias ply is the way to go. For the rest of this article, I’ll focus on radial tires since all terrain tires usually see a lot of street time.

What are your needs?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is really, how often you’ll be offroading vs street driving. The more often you offroad, the more aggressive your tire should be. The more street driving you do, the less aggressive tire you should buy. If you don’t know the difference between an aggressive tire, have a look at the image below.

 

All terrain on the left & a mud tire on the right.

All terrain on the left & a mud tire on the right.

 

A quick and simple way to differentiate between all terrain and a more aggressive tires is now many spaces you see in the tread. The more spaces or voids, and the more knobby the edges of the tread is, the more aggressive that tire is. The more aggressive a tire is, the louder it might be while driving streets, and the less stability it can provide. The reason an all terrain provides better stability is due to the fact that more rubber is touching the road, both while going in a straight line, and also while cornering. This can also help with stopping distance and wet traction. The hardness or softness of the rubber which is used also plays a major role in tire wear, and grip.

Load Capacity

Something to take into consideration is the tires load capacity. If you have a large, heavy truck, you’ll want to be sure the tires will support the truck, and anything you might decide to haul or tow. You don’t want to risk getting a blowout with large tires while towing a trailer!

Load capacity is closely related to the number of plys a tire has. Here is a great article (Ply Rating) explaining the different ply counts and how they are rated. A good rule of thumb for larger trucks is 8 ply tires. 10 seems a bit extreme which is great, and 6 is OK for a standard truck.

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Some All Terrain Recommendations

BFG All Terrain T/A KO

I know for me, when ever anyone mentions an all terrain tire, I always picture the old BFG All Terrain tire which was on my first truck. They are GREAT all terrain tires. They have a very wide foot print, which makes them handle better than stock tires (I believe mine were 12.5 inches wide). They are quiet on streets, and the rubber is not too soft, so they will last a long time (for an off road type tire).

BFG All Terrain T/A KO Features:

  • Distinctive sidewall styling for a bold look
  • ShoulderLock technology with 40% wider shoulder grooves to increase traction
  • TriGard 3-ply polyester carcass guards against punctures and bruises
  • Two full-width steel belts for increased durability
  • Rim protector protects against road hazards

 

Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10

The Hankook DynaPro is a good part street/part trail tire. It has more surface tread than the BFG, so it’s aimed more at the 90% pavement pounder and 10% wheeler. It would be great for standard trails, where you have to go over small logs, rocks, or rivers. If the shores of the rivers are steep muddy ledges, you might have trouble pulling yourself up though, as the sidewall tread is mildly agressive.

Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 Features:

  • Wraparound tread gives a rugged look and increases puncture resistance
  • Deep two-step sipes extend tread life and increase performance on wet roads
  • Tiered side grooves for more predictable cornering
  • 7-8% wider footprint than the competition for increased road contact and grip

 

Falken Wild Peak A/T

The Falken Wild Peak A/T has received only 2 reviews so far on amazon, but both reviews are 5 stars. These tires can be a little stiff feeling at times, but are more suited for a true all terrain than the above mentioned Hankook tires. These would be a great choice for a work trick which sees weekend trail runs.

Falken Wild Peak A/T Features:

  • A perfect alternative tire for today’s popular light truck and SUV market
  • Square shoulder profile, offering an aggressive stance and maximum traction
  • Joint-less nylon band, provides first class ride comfort
  • A hard bead apex provides sidewall stability
  • Aggressive sidewall treatment, computer-designed tread pattern and a durable rubber compound

I’ve only covered three specific all terrain tires here, and very briefly. If there is a tire that you think should be added to this list, send me tweet and let me know about it. I’ll do the research and if it fits this post, I’ll add it. Also if you see any information that might not be accurate, please click the “Report Incorrect Content” link at the top of the page.

Emergency Off-Road Recovery Gear

Being Prepared with Emergency Off-Road Recovery Gear

For those that take part in a lot of off-road activities, being prepared for any given situation could be a life saver. This is especially true if the off-road activities you like will take place in remote areas. The saying goes, “you can never be over prepared.” The point is, emergencies will pop up when you least expect them, and if you haven’t taken the necessary precautions, such as being prepared with emergency off-road recovery gear, you could find yourself in a place without a way to help yourself. Below you’re going to discover a bit more about self preparedness, and some of the items you will need if a situation ever presents itself.

Off-Road Recovery Gear List

Self Preparedness Equipment

The first thing you should think about when taking part in any off-road activities will be some of the self preparedness equipment needed, just in case an accident were to take place where your vehicle became completely immobile. Although this doesn’t happen often, it happens often enough to place people in situations where they either don’t have the right equipment to treat themselves, or they don’t have the right type of items to sustain themselves until help arrives.

Emergency First Aid Kit

Having a complete Emergency First Aid Kit will be the number one consideration before heading out to your off-road destination. When you prepare your kit, you should make sure that it includes Band-Aids, Gauze pads, Ace bandage, a small pair of scissors, butterfly closures, tweezers, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, rubbing alcohol, burn ointment, disposable gloves, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, cold packs that are Instantly activated, matches, lighter, calamine lotion, sewing needle, sewing thread, flashlight, first aid manual, eye wash solution, and a battery operated two-way radio.

Food and Water

There are emergency kits that you can purchase that will also contain emergency food and water for up to one or two weeks. These particular kits are small enough to fit in a backpack. The food is instant, and it doesn’t require heat or water before eating. This will be very important when going on in off-road expedition whether you’re by yourself or you’re with a group of other individuals.

Necessary Repair Equipment

The next very important item will be the necessary repair equipment required just in case your vehicle has only been moderately disabled.

The Right Tools

Most of the time, when people go on and off road trip they forget to bring the right type of tools. The only tools that will be required will be those tools necessary to fix anything mechanically wrong with your vehicle, or those needed to make repairs on damage equipment that needs to be replaced. It’s important to make a list before leaving, that way you have the necessary tools (Off Road Survival Kit) just in case a situation comes up. The tools shown to the right are just an example of a nice kit to have if you’re traveling in to remote areas.

Winch

When most people go off road, a winch will be a necessary tool for pulling your vehicle out of ditches, gullies, or other areas where it may be difficult to navigate without having some type of support during the process. In addition to your winch, it’ll be important to grab a pulley or two, which will help with leverage just in case you need to pull the vehicle one way, while driving in another.

Hi-Lift Jack

Probably considered to be one of the most important tools will be a Hi-lift Jack. These jacks have been specifically designed to provide you with the lifting capacity required to get your vehicle off the ground regardless of the situation you find yourself in. You can choose between cast-steel, all-cast, or an extreme version that offers a military grade metal. The Hi-lift Jack will also come with an adjustable clamp or clevis, a 7000 pound shear safety bolt, and a lifting capacity of around 4500 to 5000 pounds. This device can be used for lifting or winching, which will give you everything needed in a situation where you have no choice but to lift or move your vehicle.

Welder

Depending on the type of off road activities you’ll be taking part in, you may want to bring a portable welder just in case something breaks. Quite frankly, if you’re doing any kind of serious off-roading, things will break. So it will be important to choose wisely when bringing a portable welder, or at least something that will work using a 12 or 24 V battery set up.

Spare Tire

Lastly, you do not want to forget your spare tire. So many times when individuals go off-road, the one item that can save a lot of grief is a spare tire that is fully inflated. Make a list, check it off, and make sure that the spare has been checked appropriately.

The information provided here is to give you a better understanding about the emergency items you’ll need when going off road. Being prepared with emergency off-road recovery gear could save your life, as well as the life of someone else that might be a part of your group.