An all-terrain tire, like the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 shown here, is designed to shed mud b
Like the all-season tire, the all-terrain will typically have siping in the tread blocks to enhance wet weather and ice traction. Some even utilize technologies from the all-season class like the Cooper Discoverer A/T3, which has a silica-based tread compound to enhance wet weather traction. All-terrain tread blocks will typically have larger voids than an all-season tire to enhance self cleaning. All-terrain tires run the gamut of tread aggressiveness, but most are designed to be quiet and street-friendly while offering increased capability off-road. Most all-terrain tires will offer decent tread life, good on-road handling characteristics, and increased load carrying capacity. Some all-terrain tires are blurring the line between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain, offering all-terrain-like on-road handling and manners but mud-terrain-like off-road performance due to larger, more aggressive tread and even aggressive self-cleaning side lugs designed to improve traction. The Dick Cepek F-C II is an example of this, and it’s actually built using a mud tire carcass. In addition to side lugs, some all-terrain tires have features that reduce the chance of stone retention, reduce the chance of sidewall punctures and tears, and protect the rim. Manufacturers often have their own trade names for these design features.
Some examples of all-terrain tires include:
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A
Cooper Discoverer A/T3
Dick Cepek Radial F-C II
Falken WildPeak A/T
General Grabber AT2
Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ Radial
Nitto Terra Grappler
Pit Bull Growler
Pro Comp Extreme A/T
Toyo Open Country A/T
Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S
Your rig doesn’t have to be a mega-built monster to benefit from mud-terrain tires. Many m
Mud is an off-road staple worldwide and it takes a special tire to conquer it. Mud-terrain tires almost always have large lugs with more space between them than an all-terrain tire. These tires are designed to self-clean when spun, which gives them a clean bite into the goo at each rotation. Like some all-terrain tires, many mud-terrain tires feature large self-cleaning side lugs to improve traction and they can vary in aggressiveness. Mud-terrain tires often have features to eliminate stone retention and protect the rim, too. Manufacturers have a variety of different names for the features that accomplish these tasks. Mud-terrain tires offer top notch off-road traction and are the most durable, meaning they are built to excel at withstanding the rigors of off-road travel. Many work very well for rockcrawling because the large lugs can grip a ledge or boulder and pull the vehicle up, so obviously their benefits expand beyond just mud. Mud-terrain tires don’t perform as well on-road as an all-season or all-terrain tire, they wear faster, they’re noisier, and they may create a stiffer ride. Ultimately, these are small concerns for wheelers whose rigs spend the majority of time off-road and need the performance these tires offer.
Some examples of mud-terrain tires include:
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A
Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Interco Super Swamper TSL Bogger
Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radial
Nitto Mud Grappler
Pit Bull Rocker
Pro Comp Extreme MT
Toyo Open Country M/T
Yokohama Geolandar MT
So which tire is better for your rig? Well that depends on what type of wheeling you do. If you drive your rig to work every day and explore old logging or mining roads on the weekends, you’ll probably be happiest with an all-terrain. If your rig never leaves the pavement except when you slide into the ditch on a snowy day, you may want to look at an all-season tire. However, if your rig is a trail regular or if it’s a dedicated trail rig you’ll want the ultimate performance that a mud-terrain tire offers.
A radial tire will offer a pliable sidewall. A couple of features that go hand-in-hand wit
Radial vs. Bias-ply
Radial tires use cords that are laid from bead to bead at a 90-degree angle to the direction of travel, preventing internal friction by eliminating plies rubbing against each other. Steel belts are then used in the tread for stability and tread squirm resistance. Bias-ply tires are typically constructed using nylon cords that create layers, or plies, that extend diagonally from one bead to the other. In other words, the sidewall and tread have the same construction. Each successive ply is laid at an opposing angle to the first, creating a crisscross pattern and strength is built using additional layers.
Radial tires have lower heat, friction, and rolling resistance than a bias-ply tire. They’re also much more stable at speed, offer better steering feedback, and they last longer. They also allow for decent sidewall flex due to their inherent ability for the tread and sidewall to act independently of each other. They also don’t “flat-spot” like a bias-ply. Bias-ply tires have a stronger sidewall, better self-cleaning ability, and a generally softer compound that offers a better grip. Also, because of the way they’re constructed a bias-ply tire is just as strong in the sidewall as it is in the tread and the plies reinforce each other.
Bias-ply tires aren’t for everyone and ultimately there are far less bias-ply tires on the market than radials, but for the hardcore trail rig they’re a viable option.
An all-season tire will actually work very well in sand when aired down. We explored the O
The tire industry is responding to the needs of 4WD owners with specialty tires built specifically for certain types of wheeling. An example would be the BFGoodrich Baja T/A, which is built for high-speed desert running. For those who like to rockcrawl, there are tires like the BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX and the Maxxis M8090 Creepy Crawler, and both have s super sticky tread compound. If you mostly use your rig on the street in the ice and snow, there are tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3 that has a special Tube Multicell compound to improve control on ice, a silica-enhanced tread compound, and special zigzag 3D sipes.