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Tyre Types: 4x4 Off Road Tyres

4x4 TYRE TYPES: This guide should help you make the right choice of tyres for your 4x4 or SUV.

There is information about 4x4 tyre types and why they are suitable tyres for offroad use (or not).

We are also building a list of the different types of 4x4 off road tyres.

Determining which is the right type of off road car tyres for your vehicle is not difficult. In essence all you need to do is decide which tyre category you fit into.

Choosing 4x4 Off Road Tyres

It all depends on what you want from your vehicle and where you intend to drive it. The type of 4x4 off road car tyres you choose will affect its performance, so it is important to get it right.

4x4 Mud Terrain Tyres (MT)

Mud terrain 4x4 off road tyres are usually designed for 80% off road and 20% on road use. These are perfect for any serious off road enthusiast.

Due to the wide gaps between tread lugs, they have excellent grip and traction off road. But, you may find this causes on road braking distances to become considerably longer. Also, on road ride comfort suffers. Thus, these tyres are not recommended for drivers who cover a lot of road or motorway miles.

Note: A good example of mud terrain tyres would be the BF Goodrich MT.

4x4 All Terrain Tyres (AT)

Tyre Types: 4x4 Off Road TyresAll terrain 4x4 off road tyres are usually designed for 50% off road and 50% on road use. These tyres are a brilliant choice for drivers that use their 4x4 every day.

Some all-terrain tyres can cover up to 60,000+ miles before you need replacements. These 4x4 tyre types provide decent levels of grip on and off road.

On road ride comfort is acceptable for most off road driving experiences. You can also fit them to some new vehicles as an optional extra.

Note: They should be fine if you cover an even amount of on and off road miles. A good example of 4x4 all terrain tyres would be the BF Goodrich AT.

All-season Tyres

All-season tyres combine the basic characteristics of a summer tyre and a winter tyre. In turn, this generally offers drivers better control and performance through the year. You might say 'compromise' is the solution.

Note: A good example of standard tyres would be the Michelin CrossClimate tyres.

Standard/Original Tyres

Standard tyres fitted to new 4x4 vehicles are usually designed for 20% off road use and 80% on road use. These provide good ride comfort, grip and performance on road. You might experience limited off road ability with these makes.

Note: A good example of standard tyres would be the Pirelli Scorpion or Michelin Synchrone.

High Performance Tyres (HP)

High performance tyres are usually designed for 95% on road use. These get fitted to high performance vehicles such as those in the BMW makes and models and the Porsche Cayenne. They provide excellent grip and road holding but will not perform well off road.

Note: A good example of high performance tyres would be the Goodyear Wrangler HP.

Tyre Tips

It is important that all wheels on your vehicle have the same tyre type and make - including the spare wheel.

We understand all county off road courses only allow road legal vehicles. That means tractor tyres or similar are not usually acceptable.

Always check their requirements for vehicles and drivers before you visit. For example, check their rules for driver age limits and licence requirements.

As a rule, you need a full UK driving licence at all courses and your vehicle must be road legal. Thus, it should have road tax, insurance, and a valid MOT certificate.

It is important to have the right tyre types fitted. This applies no matter whether your 4x4 will get driven off road or used as a bit of 'flamboyance'.

Tyres used for off road work have a different design to those used on normal roads or 'performance' 4x4s. There are also dual purpose tyres for use both off road and on normal tarmacadam roads.

Tyre Types for 4x4 Off Road Vehicles

Tyre Size and Designation

There will be an LT in front of the tyre size on tyres manufactured for 4x4 use. This applies when the tyre is of a reinforced construction specification. The LT stands for Light Truck - reinforced.

If there is a 'P' in front of the tyre size (or no letter at all) then the tyre will be a 'Passenger Type' Tyre.

Note: The same types of 4x4 road tyres should get fitted to all wheels - and the spare wheel. Fitting different tyre types on the vehicle can cause problems with 4x4 handling characteristics.