Talking Rubber!

In Articles, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

I am often asked  what the best tyre is , quite simply it could be the  four tyres with air keeping your 4×4 in contact with the ground. It’s complicated , if you spend 90 % of your time commuting then a Highway Tyre would be best,and lets be honest most of us only get away once or twice a year.

You need to feel comfortable as well, if the ride every day is noisy and harsh then you will possibly regret the choice of tyres.You need to be happy with the feel of the tyres through the steering wheel as well,otherwise you will get tired of driving especially on long distances. So having the right tyres running at the right pressures is crucial.

Typically we have HT’s ( Highway Terrain) AT’s ( All Terrain) and MT’s ( Mud Terrain), your choice depends on where you intend to drive and how regularly, this often makes an All Terrain the tyre of choice.To ensure that your tyres last and give you good service we suggest the following:

1. Choose the correct tyre for the application, a tyre with a very open tread like a mud tyre would not fare well if used all the time on tar,conversely a highway tyre would suffer if used exclusively on gravel roads.

2. Watch your pressure and run as per the handbook,your manufacturer has incested considerable R+D time to ascertain the correct pressure and you will have loaded and unloaded figures which will include towing.

3. Rotation is important and the schedule will appear in your handbook and maintenance details, this will ensure even wear  which will mean that you will be able to replace all four tyres at the same time.

5. Make checking tyre pressure part of your daily routine especially when travelling,this will obviate the risk of a blowout if a tyre is run at an incorrect pressure and overheats

6. Be sensitive to tyres that are not balanced especially when off-road , wheel alignment is also critical,both conditions can be felt whilst driving and should be addressed as soon as one is able,correct caster and camber also leads to crisper steering and improved handling.

About the Author

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

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