Mud Terrain (MT) Tyres

Mud Terrain tyres are not just for hard-core 4WD enthusiats but are generally recommended for drivers who spend at least 80% of their time off-road. Earlier MT designs typically wore faster, were noiser and generally performed less well on the road, but with today's simulation technologies researchers can ensure that MT tyres maintain the necessary handling and low noise levels required for today's modern 4WD vehicles and the more discerning buyer.

MT Tyre Overview

Tyres that are MT, which stands for Mud-Terrain, are generally characterised by their large and chunky tread patterns. This design provides grip by biting into muddy surfaces. The large open tread design also allows mud and dirt to clear more quickly between the lugs - an important anti-slip factor for negotiating muddy inclines or declines with safety and ease.

Mud-Terrain tyres are purely developed with muddy-like conditions in mind and are not really intended for highway use. They can be quite noisy at highway speeds and their open tread design has less contact with the road and therefore, limits traction. Tyre manufacturers do claim however that strong sidewalls and tread casings, deep aggressive tread patterns with large open centres will allow for excellent on-road characteristics in both wet and dry conditions. There are also claims that when tyre lug blocks are more interweaved, road conditions should be a lot more stable.

Tyre compound technology is also greatly improving, with stronger tyre construction and the use of cut and chip resistant tread compounds.

MT Tyre Models

In this section we have introduced a short list of some popular makes/models along with a review. We invite you to submit reviews for any specific MT tyre that you would like included on this page by using the Send Feedback form below.

BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A

The BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A is an excellent traction off-road 4WD tyre.

Claimed by BF Goodrich to be the mud-eating, rock-climbing, terrain-taming king, the Mud-Terrain T/A is supported by an advanced tread compound comprising large interlocking centre tread blocks and alternating-width lugs. These lugs extend over the tyre’s shoulder to provide clawing traction and pulling power.

A computer-designed tread provides a larger and more rectangular footprint to further enhance rock climbing and slick surface traction. Rim protectors, twin steel belts and single-strand beads round out the features.

Pro Comp Mud-Terrain

This surprisingly quiet muddie handles particularly well on road as well as off. Compare the exposed biting edge on the shoulder lugs and you will see why it out performs its rivals in the bush. The Dualguard polyester plies contain a higher concentration of cords adding toughness to the body, minimising heat but maximising flexibility. The Mud Terrain is an extra tough, long lasting and effective tyre in the bush and on the paddock.

Features twin rib siping, dual compound tread and sidewall rubber with a three staged lug pre-drilled for studs for driving on both snow and ice along with thick 2-ply polyester construction.

Pirelli Scorpion Mud

The Pirelli Scorpion Mud has been developed for the driver who enjoys his off-road touring. Designed to obtain maximum grip on slippery and inconsistent surfaces, the Scorpion Mud has been built with extreme motoring in mind.

The tyre features alternating multi-shaped shoulder blocks and deep grooves to maximise traction. A reinforced sidewall offers high resistance to impact and tearing. Water and mud drain quickly to guarantee directional stability and grip.

With its aggressive tread pattern, the Pirelli Scorpion Mud is the complete all-round tyre for off-road enthusiasts.

Tyre Usage Tips

Once you've selected the optimum tyre for your driving usage whether it be HT, AT or MT, you need to understand some basic rules for obtaining maximum longevity from your tyre investment plus you need to observe some safety issues regarding tyre pressures when travelling.

Most tyre manufacturers recommend that 4WD tyres are rotated every 10,000km (check these specifics with your supplier as warranty conditions may be affected). Rotation is important in a 4WD vehicle because each tyre will wear differently due to breaking, cornering and weight distribution factors. If the vehicle operates in constant 4WD, all wheels are driving wheels, but if not, then whichever are the driving wheels (front or rear wheel drive) will also wear quicker. The more evenly your tyres wear, the longer life you should achieve. Obviously it goes without saying that tyre pressures should be regularly checked for the same reasons.

When travelling on dirt roads with a heavily loaded vehicle (usually adding weight above the standard vehicle's tyre-rated load capacity), a few important rules need to be observed:

To ease the comfort of the ride and to aid in traction on particularly bad corrugations, it is best to reduce tyre pressures about 4 -6 psi lower than what you run on the bitumen with this same load. Very stony country, such as the Birdsville Track, can handle even softer tyre pressures. This may not seem to make sense at first, but if you consider that your tyre is just like a balloon being bounced over sharp objects then you can see how the higher pressure would make it more prone to "popping" - termed by tyre manufacturers as stone fractures. This is most common reason for flat tyres occurring on outback roads and can be easily avoided by reducing tyre pressures.

It is also far preferable to keep speed constant and if possible around 85km/hr over corrugated roads (presuming the road is free from washouts and corners and it would otherwise be safe to do so). You will find that you can "ride" over the worst of the corrugations, provided your tyre pressures are reduced as suggested above. Any faster can be dangerous, slower and the corrugations may shake you and your vehicle to pieces. If handling of your vehicle appears poor, then a good look at suspension might be prudent. The best indication is "bottoming-out" when travelling as per the above suggested optimums. Most 4WD vehicles do not come with a suspension system that is rated to handle the load that is carried for extended trips (ie. water, fuel, supplies and spares). The correctly rated suspension-weight load ratio will also aid in improved tyre wear and longevity.

There is no perfect tyre or tyre pressure and a combination of speed and driver skill (plus a little bit of luck) will be the secret to minimising flat tyres and maximising tyre wear.

Tyre pressures are best checked when cool, because hot tyres give an incorrect reading. And don't forget that tyres on an off-road trailer can be inflated and deflated to suit conditions as you would your vehicle.

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Created: October 2006
Revised: June 2007
Latest Feedback: November 2012

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