Tire Buying Guides

A Guide To Mud Tires

Last updated 12/26/2022 - Originally published 12/20/2022
Written by SimpleTire

Off-road enthusiasts often have to make tricky decisions when it comes to tire selection. While mud tires are meant for tackling tricky off-road conditions in the best manner, all-terrain tires can handle easy mud conditions and asphalted roads reasonably well. Install these on your SUV if you live in areas with risky terrains that feature plenty of loose soil. Instead of mudding tires, the use of regular all-season, highway-terrain, or UHP tires will cause a vehicle to continuously spin in place due to tight tread voids.

What are mud tires and what do they do?

Mud tires are large and sport thick sidewalls with deep tread patterns to handle mud, sand, snow, and other extreme off-road situations. They are built for maximum grip in various off-road conditions due to aggressive tread patterns. Additionally, reinforced sidewalls on mud tires prevent damage to ensure long life. Such tires are most commonly seen on ATVs, UTVs, light trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs.

The benefits of using mud tires

There are many benefits to using mud tires, but here are three of the most important:

  1. Due to greater voids between treads when compared to all-terrain tires, mud-terrain tires grip the ground better.
  2. Mud tires also contain unique components like rock ejectors or kick-out bars that remove anything possibly stuck inside the grooves. This feature results in a more controlled and maneuverable approach in a muddy area.
  3. Although primarily built for muddy terrains, the best mud tires may be used on highways and paved roads over time.

How to choose the right mud tires for your vehicle

It is important to know how you will be using your vehicle to accurately determine the type of tires. So, if you’re looking to generate superior performance in mud, it is best to opt for mud terrain tires such as the Falken Wildpeak M/T. Not only will they provide great grip on off-road terrains, but they will also not sacrifice on ride quality. In most cases, you will look for a balance among comfort, price, performance, and terrain. For example, while the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 produces less noise and high comfort, the Firestone Destination M/T2 is light and comfortable but not suitable for sand.

Mud Tires for ATVs

To derive the maximum performance out of your ATV, choosing the appropriate ATV mud tires are essential because how your ATV performs can vary depending on the sizes, types, and tire construction. Selection depends on the following parameters:

  1. Tread design
  2. Ply
  3. Bias/radial construction
  4. Price
  5. Size
  6. Performance

Mudding tires for ATVs have different tread patterns and depths than standard trail tires. The tread pattern on typical mud tires is lengthy and deep, measuring 1 to 2 inches or more. You can experience a slowdown on the straightaways since these are heavier than trail tires. Additionally, mud performance sacrifices acceleration.

The tire size that your ATV needs could vary as well. Most ATVs will let you increase the tire size without issues, and some bigger ones (500cc and higher) might even let you increase the tire size twice without any complications. But if you choose a tire that is too big, it could cause issues because it might rub against the frame, shocks, and exhaust. Additionally, you require an engine that can withstand the additional strain from the increased weight.

Mud Tires for Trucks

It's critical to choose a truck tire with the correct handling qualities and characteristics for your driving requirements. If you go through muddy, soft, or rocky terrains, take into account mud truck tires, often available in larger sizes. Mud tires for trucks include tread lugs that grab onto muddy or loose ground to generate the best traction on slippery, challenging terrains.

Tips for driving in muddy conditions

Mud driving has its own set of driving regulations and awareness about techniques is important to prevent yourself from getting stuck. Regardless of these advice and methods for navigating mud, there may still be some changes due to the nature of mud and driving surfaces. Here are the best tips for maximum mud traction:

  1. Drive slowly since being cautious reduces the chances of failure. Manage your lead foot better with a lower gear.
  2. Never hit the accelerator hard. Always keep it steady or remove your foot if you start to lose traction. Acceleration will only make the tires spin faster and create deeper ruts. With overuse of the accelerator pedal, you are likely to be stranded faster.
  3. Don't hit the brakes if you start to skid. Gently release the throttle pedal while keeping an eye on the direction the front wheels are pointed. Viewing the direction will help in understanding where to turn if you were moving before. Doing this will slow it down and help regain traction. Continue driving upon regaining vehicle control.
  4. If you are sliding, do not turn the vehicle suddenly, or else it may flip. Turn in the direction of the slide (like on ice) and begin pumping the brakes.
  5. If your vehicle becomes bogged in mud, put it in the park mode, take a deep breath, and exit the vehicle. Take a look around and decide which exit is the simplest.
  6. Bring your mobile phone so you may always call for assistance if necessary. Always bring supplies and water on the road in case you are stuck for a long time or cannot receive mobile networks.

Mud tire maintenance

In the long run, proper tire maintenance can save downtime and increase mileage. Prior to and after usage, make sure to inspect mud tires for extraordinary wear and tear. Cleaning the tires of any mud and dirt before examining them can often reveal concealed particles. As soon as debris surfaces, it should be cleared away to decrease impact and prevent deeper penetration into the tire. Inflation as per the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure is important. Investing in a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) helps save time and money on the equipment.

Make your own questions, browse around, study reviews, and always attempt to purchase mud terrain tires at a discount. Deciding where to buy a tire shouldn't impact what kind of tire you buy. You can buy reliable tires online now at SimpleTire!

Yes, they can handle snow, but if you intend to continuously drive on such terrains, the attained grip levels may not be adequate. Install mud terrain tires for short-term usage in light winter conditions, and winter tires when you’re dealing with heavy ice, slush, and snow.

Mudding tires have an average lifespan of 40,000 miles, but there are several variables in play here. The type of driving you’re doing and nature of terrains play significant roles in deciding the mileage. However, as these tires feature soft rubber compounds to grip virtually every surface, tire degradation is relatively faster.

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