3 Tips For Purchasing Your Truck's First Set Of Off-Road Tires

Installing off-road tires on your truck can be a big step. Off-road tires can be a great solution, whether you're using your tires for weekend adventures or have a work truck that you occasionally need to take off the beaten path. However, these tires can be drastically different from more common road tires, and choosing them requires a little knowledge and extra care.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a tread expert to choose the best tire for your truck. Instead, follow these three tips to get the best tire for your budget, needs, and situation.

1. Know Your Needs

As with any tire purchase, you'll need a good sense of your specific needs and goals before buying a set of off-road tires. How often will you take your truck off-road? Will you be driving over relatively safe and well-maintained dirt roads, or will you need more substantial capabilities for traveling over unimproved trails? Are you planning on driving in heavy mud or snow?

Traditional light truck (LT) tires may be a better option if you rarely travel over unimproved surfaces. Even non-off-roading versions of these tires feature stiffer sidewalls and more durability for occasional off-roading. On the other hand, you'll need to consider full mud-terrain (M/T) or all-terrain (A/T) off-roading tires for more intensive usage.

2. Pay Attention to the Downsides

Buying M/T or A/T tires can be a huge upgrade under the right circumstances, but it's also important to understand the downsides. These tires typically produce a much harsher ride (especially on regular road surfaces) and wear much more quickly. As a result, you can expect to spend more on your tires both initially and due to more frequent replacements.

A/T tires are generally a bit less harsh and more suitable for on-road travel, so they're typically better if your truck isn't primarily an off-road rig. These tires also handle more like traditional tires and perform better on wet roads. M/T tires have more downsides for on-road travel, so they're usually only a better option if you're a frequent off-roader.

3. Focus on Functionality

It's hard to deny the appeal of a large, aggressive off-road tire. These tires almost always come with far more aggressive tread patterns than traditional LT or passenger tires, making them a striking visual upgrade for many trucks. However, choosing the most aggressive tire for your truck won't necessarily get you the best balance of performance and safety.

When choosing an off-road tire for your vehicle, focus on tread wear ratings and carefully read reviews for performance. It's especially important to read reviews and feedback about on-road performance if your truck sees mixed usage. Making functionality and durability your primary concerns will ensure your truck's off-road tire is a real upgrade instead of just a cosmetic mod. 

For more information about tires, contact a local company.