Tough Tyres: Three Key Things to Look For
How do you know if your tyres are tough enough for the track you want to tackle? A well-worn dirt road is no problem for most tyres at the right air pressure, but if you plan to take a trip to the gibber-covered, rock-strewn corners of remote Australia then you definitely want tyres you can rely on.
Here are three key things that you should ask your local tyre expert about when you’re looking for your next set of tyres.
1. Tread Pattern
This one is pretty easy: a general rule of thumb is that the more aggressive the pattern, the better it will be off-road. For example, the STT has large tread blocks, deep sidewall lugs and an open aggressive pattern to help you dig into soft or muddy surfaces for better traction plus stone ejectors to help prevent rocks getting caught between the lugs. Aggressive patterns do tend to be noisier on road when driven at highway speeds though, so if you often use your 4WD on the bitumen you should consider an all-terrain pattern like the S/TMAXX or AT3.
2. Tyre Construction
Tyres come in passenger (light duty) and light truck (heavy duty) carcass constructions; try picking up one of each kind and you will immediately notice the difference.
Passenger tyres are lighter and made primarily with on-road comfort in mind. Light truck tyres are made for more extreme usage: sturdier, stronger and capable of bearing heavier loads, they have additional belt strength, stronger sidewall plies and/or more rubber than passenger-rated tyres.
If you plan to drive on corrugated tracks or tow a heavy caravan or trailer, light truck tyres will be more suitable than passenger tyres. Our STT and S/TMAXX light truck tyres also have an additional innovation called Armor-Tek3, which acts as a shield for your tyre’s sidewall and reduces the chances of off-road damage.
3. Cut-and-Chip Resistant Compound
Tyres may all look like black rubber objects to the untrained eye, but the real secret in avoiding having to replace your tyres after every outback trip is to choose tyres with a specially-formulated compound that improves resistance to cutting and chipping. Cooper Tires has developed a proprietary cut-and-chip resistant tread compound that is used in the AT3, STT and S/TMAXX.
Don’t forget to adjust your tyre pressures for the type of terrain you’re driving on and do your research on the obstacles you’re likely to encounter on your chosen trail. As long as you’ve got the right pressure in the right tyres, you’ll be able to get through most off-road challenges. Contact us or call 1300 COOPER if you need more assistance in choosing the right tyres.