Mud terrain on DRY dirt?

Advice on the right rolling stock for your 4WD
xpusostomos
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Mud terrain on DRY dirt?

Unread post by xpusostomos » April 13th, 2016, 5:39 pm

Trying to decide between AT and MT. When I think about what I do off road, I reckon 99% of it is on dry dirt roads. I reckon surely this is the experience of most people in Australia, it's a dry continent and it sucks when it rains, but most of the time it isn't raining, it's dry dusty dirt roads.

Therefore do I want MT? If you're not on cape York where it's tropical and raining all the time, but down south where it's dry most of the time, would I want MT? Does it matter where you are in Australia as to whether MT is good, or is it a matter of if you are off-road, MT is just better period?

Peter Aawen
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Re: Mud terrain on DRY dirt?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » April 13th, 2016, 7:35 pm

Most of the tyres that the majority of recreational 4Wheelers call 'Mud Terrains' that are available today aren't actually designed specifically for 'mud' but rather should be called 'Maximum Traction' tyres!! And there are 'real' Mud tyres available too, but very few of them have 'MT' on their sidewalls, most have something like 'Extreme' or 'Super' etc & they generally only appear under the manufacturers heading of 'Specialty tyres' & usually hafta be ordered in specially!! Sure, the commonly called MT's are a little bit of a compromise for on-road use, but these days they are designed to work pretty well on any surface, on or off road, wet or dry, & they really do tend to manage all of that reasonably well.

I ran these so called 'MT's' (a few varieties too) pretty much exclusively on our Tour Vehicles that did about 50-75% off road work for quite a while, up until I retired anyway, and (if we watched our tyre pressures & set them right for the terrain) they lasted longer off road & worked better than AT's in all respects except for maybe noise & vibration on every surface we've run them on; wet, dry, rock, sand, asphalt, concrete, ice, snow, whatever - & the extra noise & vibration they gave on-road wasn't ever enough to worry about, especially when you consider the vastly better off road traction we got on any & every surface.

These days, AT tyres are pretty much the tyres you'd fit to your 4WD for that 'Trip around Oz with some 4Wheeling &/or dirt road driving along the way' that you'd planned; while MT tyres are what you'd fit for 'that predominantly Off-roading 4WD Trip around Oz with only the necessary bitumen work that entails along the way', if that makes sense. AT tyres will tend to be be a tad smoother & quieter on the bitumen & probably last a little better if you do lotsa on-road stuff, but you will probably hafta go 10-20% lower in your tyre pressures to get the same level of traction in the goop & gnarly stuff; while MT tyres will work just as well on road & be even better off road, altho you might need to go a little lower with your tyre pressures for soft sand or on the hi-traction rocks, & they might not last quite as long if you do significant percentages of purely on-road driving.

But if you are talking 'real' Mud tyres, then you really shouldn't be considering running them on bitumen much at all, and once you look at them or run any of the real Mud tyres, you'll realise you wouldn't want to do too many bitumen miles on them anyway!! So IMO, if you are thinking Mickey Thompson, Cooper, BFG, Goodyear, Bridgestone, etc or any of the other commonly recognised tyre brands, then their 'Mud Terrain' tyres will handle bitumen pretty well & are usually 'just better off-road, period!' ;)
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xpusostomos
Here and there
Posts: 27
Joined: May 19th, 2013, 8:20 am

Re: Mud terrain on DRY dirt?

Unread post by xpusostomos » April 13th, 2016, 9:58 pm

Thanks Peter, really detailed answer.

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