Tire Talk: All-Terrain Vs. Mud TiresTire Talk: All-Terrain Vs. Mud Tires

Tires are one of the automotive parts that has many types and wide variety. Whether it’s for cars, SUVs, trucks, vans, ATV, and others, tires are one of the important parts which can improve the performance of the vehicle.

Tires come in different types but the most common for off-road enthusiasts are all-terrain and mud tires. When you’re planning to buy new ones, always consider the road conditions and terrains you’ll be driving on. It’s an important factor when looking for new tires because it will help in improving the performance of your vehicle. If you usually drive on highways, you may buy the street types, but if you go on trails every weekends, then it’s another thing to think about so you might want an all-terrain or mud types.

Considering trails and road conditions

There are huge range of tires you can see on the market. Good thing, there are kinds made available for off-roading needs. Some are designed to withstand sandy and light trails, while others are designed to withstand muddy and rocky trails.

However, you must highlight what you want to achieve or need in terms of performance. Mud tires are not really optimized for highway driving, so if you’re really into highway performance, then you need to pick other type.

Difference between mud and all-terrain tires

Mud tires (MT) have more tread and heavier compared to all-terrain tires (AT). It also offers great mud traction and good deep snow traction if you ought to use it during winter. However, take note that it is not the same as snow tires which are made with softer compound to provide more grip over ice and snow. Let us give you some good examples of AT and MT you can purchase on your local tire dealer or auto parts shops online.

A good example of AT is the Nitto Terra Grappler. It is designed with closely spaced tread blocks and siping that lets the tread blocks to flex and give better grip.  It has alternating shoulder blocks made for improved sidewall grip and grooves that sheds water easily. It is quiet when driven on highways. Mickey Thompson’s Baja Claw TTC is also a great all-terrain tire. It is designed with bigger tread blocks and features “sidebiters” which are treads that carries over onto the sidewall. It has skinny ribs that sticks out from the casing in between the main tread blocks which prevents pebbles and small rocks to get stuck. Some blocks are siped for better flex and increased traction in wet conditions.

On the other hand, mud tires like Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 or General Grabber MT are created for sticky and extreme situations. It is made with deep ridges to provide better traction when driving in muddy terrains. It is designed with wider and deeper spaces and larger lugs, so sometimes it is prone to clogging. Compared to AT, the MT are louder when driven onto paved surfaces.

All of it will boil down to what type of off-roading you’ll be doing. The design of these two tire types is what makes it different from each other. Both tires are used for off-road, but the terrain varies.

by Johnny Dee
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