Posts tagged "mud tires"

How Mud Tires Work


Do you have a truck or a 4×4? Have you ever tried driving through mud or going off-roading on all-season tires?

If you’re an enthusiast driver then you know the value of good mud tires, also known as mudders, these tires can make or break your adventure. But how do they work?

There are two key parts to every mud tire that separates regular tires from mudders, tread pattern and size.

Tread Pattern Farm-Tractor-TiresThe Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) creates the standards for all motor vehicle tires.

Tires rated for mud and snow use will have one of the following markings on the side of each tire: MS, M+S, M/S, or M&S. To achieve this classification the tire has to meet certain design criteria.

It must have multiple pockets or slots in one or more of its treads that extend to the center, a minimum of ½ inch.

The tire also needs to have a cross-sectional area across of 1/16 inch or more and an angled tread pattern of at least 35 degrees and no more than 90 degrees toward the rotational direction.

The last requirement is an open void area of 25 percent of the tire’s surface area. Many mud tires far exceed these minimum requirements in their tread pattern.

The angled tread pattern, or lug, and open void area are key in providing grip and cleaning the tire. Lugs or in some mud tires, paddles, provide traction in muddy surfaces. Mud fills in the open areas and provides resistance and traction to keep you moving.

The size and type of lugs/paddles vary – there are hundreds of brands and styles. The bigger and more aggressive the tread, the better the tire is designed to work in mud.

As the tire rotates out of the mud the angled tread is also designed to let the mud escape. If thick mud is stuck between the lugs you might start to loose grip and the tire will just spin in circles.

This feature is called self-cleaning lugs and is designed to clean the tire with each rotation. Another feature many mudders have is sidewall lugs. Since the tire usually sinks in the mud the more areas that can provide grip, the better, and that includes side wall lugs.

Most off-road tires and mud tires have strong sidewalls to survive damage from rocks and debris. Also a stronger, stiffer sidewall will help support the tire if you’re running lower psi – which can help add more traction off road.

Tire Size mudtiresThe second key point that helps mud tires is their size. In this case bigger is better. Bigger tires provide better float, they get you higher out of the mud – if your entire tire is below the mud, they cannot clean and then there is probably too much resistance working against them.

So for mudding – bigger is better. But how big can you go?

That depends on your vehicle and if you’ve done any suspension modifications. Many off-roaders install body lifts or suspension lifts to allow larger tires to be installed.

Department of Transportation (DOT) approved mud tires can get up to 54 inches in size according to Doug Shaw, Director of Parts at GoAuto.

He also states that each state has their own motor vehicle laws, and they all vary, be sure to check what is legal in your area. In standard sizes mud tires can range from 30” on up.

Using bigger tires is extremely helpful when mudding – they provide better clearance, improve grip, and can help you float through mud better.

Tradeoffs to Mud Tires The first trade off to mud tires is the more aggressive the tire the worse they handle on pavement. Since they have big open voids to help clean they have a small contact area with the road.

The second tradeoff is size – while it’s a benefit off road, on road it raises concern. Bigger tires are more expensive. They can cost more than $500 per tire, while you find cheap mud tires, they are usually more expensive than regular all-season tires. Bigger tires also put more strain on your engine and drivetrain, this results in lower gas mileage and more wear.

For many people these tradeoffs are worth the performance advantage mud tires give.

There is a right tread pattern and size for every driver out there. About the author: James is an auto enthusiast who writes for a Canadian dealer network willing to do whatever it takes to help with your automotive needs. Stock images provided by Shutterstock.com

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Posted by Michael - May 1, 2012 at 9:02 am

Categories: All Terrain - ATV, Specialist Tires   Tags:

Cheap Mud Tires – All Terrain

Introduction To All Terrain Tires

If you are an enthusiast of off-road driving or indeed an expert with ATV ‘s, then you are most likely interested in sourcing quality mud terrain tires. It may seem like a daunting task trying to find a compromise on a cheaper tire that offers great value for your vehicle.

However, spend a little time performing some good tire research and noting some of the key features across different mud tires brands will go a long way in ensuring you purchase a model that is right for your vehicle.

Searching Online for Mud Tires

Searching online is often the best place to start. Online searches will result in finding not only mud tires on sale, or at discounted prices, but this also offers a fast and easy way to compare brands, performance and prices. Online tire products are often backed up with informative reviews to further assist you in a final selection.

Typically, SUV’s and ATV’s, come with cheaper mud tires fitted as standard.  This is a cost cutting excercise by vehicle manufacturers and can easily be determined by some simple research based on the tire brand and model no. although the price may be cheap, it does not mean they are necessarily of poor quality.

What are the Top 5 Mud Tires?

What are the Top 5 Mud Tires?

Choosing A Cheaper Mud Tire

Amongst the key considerations when selecting the right tires for your vehicle is exactly how you wish to use them – how frequently and for what purpose?

Perhaps your passion is for “Mudding” (an adrenalin pumping sport that tests both stamina of mud tires and driver alike as they motor through the murky stuff!) and you are keen to find an aggressive tire to meet the challenge.  Or you may be someone who enjoys some weekend driving adventure on rough terrain and needs your car or jeep in tact after a bumpy ride. Either way, it is important that your vehicle is properly fitted out with appropriate tires.

Safety, Grip and Handling

As it is with the handling of any vehicle, when driving on off-road surfaces, safety should be a high priority. The importance in choosing a mud tires for specific off-road terrains is related to the grip and traction that is required to safely and, hopefully, successfully clear obstacles and surfaces that a standard tire would not typically manage. For example a mud tire will be geared to handle mud, Sand Tires to handle sandy surfaces.

Mud Tire Features

The first distinctive feature in the design of standard mud tires is their large, deep treads. The width and depth of the treads allows for good traction and grip as the vehicle drives across a muddy surface.

mudtiresThis design also prevents a build up or accumulation of grit and mud on the tires. Deep side-walls and wide bead areas enable mud tires to be driven on a much lower tire pressure. This low pressure results in better flexibility and tire grip when maneuvering across obstacles such as rocks and grit.  The variety of tread patterns between mud tire models will determine how they handle different types of mud terrains and surfaces and so it is important to keep in mind your driving environment.

What Tire Size?

Size matters! Typically mud tires are larger than the average tire. For safe and correct maneuvers it is vital to be informed as to the right size mud tires (front and back) that should be fitted to your vehicle. If you are in doubt, don’t worry, many online suppliers provide a customer service function along with clear information as to how to properly assess the tire size you require.

atv-buyers-guide_mud-lite-xtrIn relation to reviewing mud tires performance online, it is worth doing a comparison of models looking at key features to include off-road traction, tire durability, grip and stability.

Customize your Mud Tires

Grooving your mud terrain tires

Performance, Tread Life of your Mud Tires

On the point of performance, it is important to note that although mud tires are built for off-road traction and performance, they don’t manage all surfaces as efficiently as they do on the rough and mud. Remarkably they tend to have a short “tread life” with regular driving across normal roads/highways. If your off-road driving will be more or less limited to weekends, it may be worth considering purchasing off-road rims rather than clocking up a lot of expense in replacing mud tires that are worn down by regular highway driving.  And your popularity in the neighborhood may take a slide as mud tires tend to make for noisy travelers! So make another note of comparison as certain models, such as in the Dunlop range, have the added feature of “noise reduction” technology – so you can still enjoy some stereo sounds over the reduced road noise!

mud-boggingSticking to the subject of cost, budget is usually a strong factor to the final choice of product.  Though it may make sense to purchase a set of mud tires if you are a novice ATV weekender, it is worth considering a variety of tires to ensure they meet the performance required.  Having a longer tread life will save costs in the long run so don’t rush to buy the most mud tires without learning more about how well they perform.

Have a look out for models by reliable manufacturers like Dunlop, Goodyear, BF Goodrich and Firestone.  Many suppliers of these quality and reliable tires offer sale prices and discounts to the online shopper.  Apart from ticking the boxes on tire performance and the actual cost of the tires, also keep an eye out for suppliers who offer an added incentive – free shipping!

For most of us, the search for incredible cheap tires is about delivering a thrilling off-road driving experience. There is an abundance of well-informed and reliable information available online. Once you know the most important things to consider when purchasing all terrain tires this search can be equally as thrilling and need not leave your wallet tread-bare!

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Posted by Mike - October 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Categories: All Terrain - ATV, Specialist Tires   Tags: