Might start it again!!, Skinny Tryes V/s FatTyres ?

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 20:07
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Have been bogged many a time in the land rover, in mud that's two ft deep, , 750x 16s Dunlop road grippers, great!, But if no bottom useless!!, Wider fat tyre sits on top so better result, ..But,if solid ground not to far away a narrow tyre grinds its way down to traction, and vehicle movement can be established.,Very hard one to decide on,...So I guess the best bet is have both,...and new vehicle sales people wouldn't have a clue....lol.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 20:51

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 20:51
G'day Axle
I know Land Rovers are capable vehicles but I would avoid that spot in future.
If using a winch to get out the "thins" will act like rudders or winged keels and the "wides" might allow you to surf out. How is your grip with toes on the bull bar? Do you wax it?

Cheers
Ross M
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:19

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:19
Hi Ross,...Waxing not my thingy but in a situation at times the incredible power of the mind changes the situation at hand..lol.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 19:05

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 19:05
Axle, mate, what about the incredible power of 2.5 liters of awesomenes built with loving care into Landrover engines.

Talking Series type not them new fangled V8 jobbies...LOL

And anyway the average Landy could slide out of a bog on it's own oil slick (;=)).

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Bob R4 - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:17

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:17
Hi Axle,
Back in the sixties, my old dad worked for the PMG as a linesman.(then Telecom which became Telstra) One of his roles was as a line inspector, and he covered the area between Keith and Naracoorte in SA. Before the many drains were introduced to drain the area, there were some quite formidable swamps right through there. He had to do a visual inspection of every wooden telegraph pole, and every 3rd (or so) pole, he was required to dig down about a foot or so and check for rot. The most important part of his kit was his rubber boots as defence against the many tiger snakes which infested the area then.
I can recall many a scary yarn about those exploits with the joe blakes as a kid of about 10 or so.
However, the lingering memory I have is his tales of the vehicle which got him into and out of some of the really sticky areas. He was equipped with a Land Rover ute, and managed to bog it with regularity. No winch to help, and very little passing traffic.
He was less than impressed with the Land Rover for those situations, but redemption was at hand in the form of a VW Kombi. I think it was a 1200cc motor, and skinny 16" wheels.
He had the utmost faith in the Kombi, and rarely bogged it.
His conclusion was the low power didn't allow it to bury itself, and the larger rolling diameter enabled it to plough on through just about any thing. With anything really sticky, he said the wheels cut through to something a little more solid and traction was regained.
He also had a comparable experience with low powered Hi-lux many years later when his mates used to have trouble with Land Cruisers and he would carry through the same conditions.
Maybe it's got more to do with the application of the right foot, maybe the vehicle weight, but we seem to be headed down the path of creating difficulties with our vehicle requirements. Maybe.
Cheers, Bob.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:34

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:34
Absolutley Bob!!,..You right on the money,.....Its just taken a million bucks in vehicle development to do what the old blokes did with a hundred bucks so to speak!..LOL.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 23:38

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 23:38
The Vee-Dubs are winners in soft going, because they have all the engine and transmission weight over the driven wheels, and bugger-all weight on the steer wheels. That's why they make such good beach buggies. Independent suspension helps, too.

Vehicles with front-mounted engines have the majority of their weight (around 60% usually, and sometimes more) right over the steer wheels, and this makes for hard going as the steer wheels are sinking in the most, and the driven wheels don't have adequate weight on them to gain enough traction to overcome the massive resistance of the front wheels that are digging in. If you own a ute, it's worse. A station wagon fares a little better, and a heavily loaded station wagon fares best.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 07:39

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 07:39
Kombi's were great, they had plenty of ground clearance too!
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:25

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:25
Saw a convoy of old combies & a single beetle going down Roe Hwy last Friday.

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:26

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:26
Should also learn how to spell Kombi as well.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 13:10

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 13:10
Duncan, A few years back they would likely have "Sons of Jesus" painted on the side. Now it's the profanities of Wicked Campers!
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:59

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 21:59
Hi Axle

What is a "Fat" tyre and what is a "Skinny" tyre ?

Cheers
Greg

PS. No need to laugh when you respond, but if you have to, feel free :)
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 22:41

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 22:41
It seems the skinny tyres are the ones supplied by the manufacturer ie std, cos everyone fits fat tyres when they change them, hence the skinny and fat.
" when this skinny rubbish wears out I'm gunna fit fatter tyres", that is what is often mentioned and so becomes a unwritten yardstick of measure of tyre width. The concept varies with different sized vehicles though.
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 22:59

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 22:59
There have been many studies conducted by military and civilian organisations into the topic of which tyre is best. I spent a considerable time surfing the net and reading these studies in the hope of finding the holy grail.

The only conclusion to which all studies seem to agree is that the larger the diameter of the tyre, then the better the tyre performs.

I have just returned from a safari in Africa, and in Masai Mara, where you do not have to stay on formed tracks it was raining and the country was wet and very slippery. The drivers, all African locals, did a good job of keeping us going even though we did do a few spin outs. The tyres they had were quite narrow 235/85R16.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 07:52

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 07:52
"There have been many studies conducted by military and civilian organisations into the topic of which tyre is best."

Yes - I was in the army when they replaced the old Inter's with Unimogs; the Mog's came stock with huge balloon tyres on them. The army had done heaps of testing before they bought them & had the big tyres taken off before they took delivery delivery & put the skinny ones on.

At the time, the general feeling amongst the guys I spoke to was that the powers that be had done the wrong thing by taking the big tyres off. However, looking back, I can't remember seeing a Mog stuck anywhere for too long with skinnies on it. They even had trouble bogging them on driver courses at Cultana so that the students could practice getting them out!
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 10:09

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 10:09
Kevin - There's one simple winning part of the design of Unimogs, when it comes to superiority in bogs - massive ground clearance created by planetary wheel hubs, which raise the axle line, well above normal axle line.

This give you the ability to sink in deeply without the drag of buried axles and chassis dragging on the ground.

Mind you, the old MK5's were pretty phenomenal with their big 12.00x20's and 6WD.
When we were hauling sand off the beach at Long Hai, NE of Vung Tau, for the concrete plant at Nui Dat - we, as clever Engineers, loading the tippers on the road (Route 44), bet one RAASC tipper driver, he couldn't drive through the sand dunes, down to the beach and back, fully loaded with 6 tonnes of sand.
He made it down and back, in bog cog, fully loaded, and we all lost our money!!
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 23:59

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 at 23:59
I've rarely come across a bog that has a bottom within reach of a wheel and tyre. I've been bogged with the best of them, I've sunk my old 4WD F100 in a tree stump hole, until the top of the bumper was below ground level.
I've pushed a 1.8M crowbar into the ground and not had it touch hard bottom. We've got yellow loam off ironstone gravel ridges in W.A., and if you drop into that after heavy rains, you'd better round up a tractor.

"Widies" help your vehicle float across soft ground, but if you break through, and drop the axle housings into it, you're pretty well stuffed, no matter what tyres you're wearing.
The resistance created by axle housings getting dragged through the mud is phenomenal.

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 08:46

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 08:46
Back in my Ag spraying days..the only way to stay on top with 800L on a hilux was to fit fat tyres. Yes, it worked within limits but with a hefty increase in fuel consumption.
I don't see any upside for the average motorist, but the young'uns like the "look at me"
effect but pay for it at the bowser..cheers.....oldbaz.
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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 08:49

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 08:49
The issue is not just the width. It's all about the pressure at a given point. The bigger the footprint of the tyre, the less the pressure and therefore the more traction you will get. So for general driving on fully inflated tyres, the wider tyres will give more traction if you encounter soft stuff.
But, and it's a big but. This all starts to change when you reduce tyre pressures, which is what we all do (don't we?) when we are in mud/sand. As tyre pressures are dropped, the real increase in traction comes not from the increase in width of the footprint but from the increase in length of the footprint. The increase in width as you drop tyre pressures is minimal but the increase in length is very considerable. Surface area being a function of length X width, the increase in length makes a huge difference (at regular pressures the length of the footprint is very short). With decreased tyre pressures, the wide tyre still has an advantage but things have evened out a lot.
But, tyre construction becomes relevant. Modern radial construction tyres behave quite differently to the old pre radial construction. Radial construction tyres bag in length, but not as much as the old construction. Those old 30's, 40's 50's photos of truck with narrow tyres chugging across the sand were getting much more bagging (longitudinal flattening) from lower pressures than we get today.
For mine, I don't think the hassle/cost of running very wide tyres is worth the gains once tyre pressures start to be dropped.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 09:18

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 09:18
Yes agree, length will give you a track style of action giving maximum surface area will the least resistance and any additional width is adding to the resistance doing more harm than good

BUT wide tyres look the best, even when you are bogged :)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 11:27

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 11:27
Mfewster, I would like to understand this better.
If "Surface area being a function of length X width", can you explain why "the increase in length makes a huge difference" over an increase in width?

And Alby, can you clarify why length provides "least resistance" and width "is adding to the resistance"?

Not wanting to simply challenge for an argument but wish to comprehend the physics involved.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:03

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:03
Hi Allan. Yes, you gain a bit more surface area with wider tyres. But when you drop pressure, most of the increase comes along the length of the footprint rather than the width. This is just a function of the way tyres are constructed. You can check this by having a look at your actual footprint with a fully inflated tyre. Now drop the pressure and you will note a long flat footprint rather than one that spreads sideways a great deal more (it does increase sideways a little, but not nearly as much as it increases lengthways). It will bulge, but the width of the actual tread in contact with the ground doesn't alter a great deal. if it did, dropping tyre pressures would be very inadvisable as you would then be running on the soft sidewall.
I understand what Alby is getting at but I'll let him answer for himself.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:22

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 12:22
I recognize that tyre internal pressure has a greater influence on footprint length than width. This is probably due to tyre construction profile. But that still does not explain to me why "the real increase in traction comes not from the increase in width of the footprint but from the increase in length of the footprint." After all, for a given vehicle weight/tyre pressure, the footprint will be the same area regardless of tyre profile. (Ignoring the more minor influence of sidewall flexibility)

Why does the shape of the footprint have a bearing on the support or traction?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:03

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:03
Allan
I think what he is saying is simply that, when you deflate your tyre, the length of the footprint increases greatly (twice the footprint!) and the width increases only marginally (in my case with square shoulders none at all!)
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:47

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:47
Yep, Csea Jay. That's it. the maths remains the same (area =width by length). When you deflate a tyre the width of the footprint barely changes but the length sure does.
I understand and accept that a wider tyre, fully inflated has a little large footprint than a narrow tyre fully inflated (when both are of the same diameter) In this case the wider tyre will give a bit more traction.
When we start deflating tyres however, as most of the change is made made to the length of the footprint rather than the width (which stays pretty constant) the narrow tyre doesn't lose much in traction ability. In fact, with tyres before radial construction they bagged longitudinally even better. And I think those are the tyres you see on the old photos of narrow tyres in sand etc in the outback. I have always understood that the thinking behind narrow tyres on military vehicles was for the same reason.
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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:01

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:01
When you are driving in soft sand there is always a build up of sand in front of the wheels, like you are driving uphill all the time. So wide tyres will always have a wider build up of sand causing more resistance.

wizzer
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 16:16

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 16:16
Umm. I don't think I follow that wizzer. I'd have thought narrow tyres also dig in and probably dig in a little further (at the same diameter and tyre pressure) so that the hill of sand in front of the tyre would be a little higher? Maybe?
I rather thought the rolling resistance was in the body of the tyre itself. Which is why tyres designed to minimize fuel consumption such as those on Toyota Prius or the solar race vehicles, always go for narrow tyres. Of course there are other factors such as the increased weight of wide tyres and rims and the effects this has on steering and general suspension performance. And I certainly agree with the comments posted about aquaplaning occurring at lower speeds with increased tyre width.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 20:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 20:00
Alan B,
The way I see it.
More soft material / sand is acumulated in front of the wider tyre so more rolling resistance is being created to push it out of the way to get to firmer material suitable for good traction.
When you deflate a tyre, the longitudinal footprint is one that provides the traction surface with less rolling resistance than width of footprint does, a bit like dragging a piece of wood through sand sideways as opposed to from one end, both ways have the same surface area but one way has left resistance to move forward
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 20:26

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 20:26
Allby, Hmmm, yes I see your point. A bit like the "pointy-end" of a ship.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 21:19

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 21:19
Hi

With respect to sand driving ...Its not about reducing the pressure applied to any one point of the ground by your tyres..its about INCREASING the total FRICTION between tyre and substrate (sand grains in this case), in the direction of drive that allows you to proceed without getting bogged.

The important thing about the length of the tyre footprint is that it is in the same direction as the force being applied (i.e. the drive from the tyres).

People go on about increasing "flotation" but that is incorrect - it's about the tyre not spinning (never seen a car sink in dry sand when stationary). What you are doing by reducing tyre pressure is stopping the tyre from spinning - your not making it "float". By lengthening the footprint the area of sand from back to front and therefore the amount of friction between sand grains in the direction of drive is increase progressively to a point where your tyre will not spin..and away you go.

This is why you have to let you tyres down on sand even if you have "fat" tyres. Going wider isn't in the direction of the force being applied and therefore doesn't help as much as going longer.

My guess is that even the skinniest 4WD tyre has the capacity to lengthen its footprint past the frictional threshold point for driving on the softest sand. I have never had problems on sand (apart from not letting my tyres down enough:) even when using "skinny" road grippers.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 22:32

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 22:32
Hello Explorer.I started writing to say I think floatation and your explanation are the same thing, but having thought more about it, I think you are correct.
Possibly we have been confusing the mechanics of lowering pressure for sand driving with lowering pressure for driving on sharp stones etc. Same solution but different physics at work. In the latter case I'd argue for low pressures on the grounds of low pressure (flotation?) decreasing the impact of sharps on the tyre and of course assisting the suspension.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 07:51

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 07:51
Hi Explorer, that is an excellent explanation you have given and agree
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 09:40

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 09:40
The downside of widies is the steering drag created when you hit deep puddles or the "floatiness" created when you have to travel in heavy rain on bitumen, and the water is deep on the road surface.

If you hit a deep puddle at speed on one side, the steering "pull" to that side created by widies is substantial.
Unless you're on the ball and prepared to counter that pull with steering, you can end up on your roof, quick-smart.
Lost one of my dual-cab Hiluxes that way via a young employee who wasn't expecting that steering "pull" at 100kmh.
5 blokes in it, and it ended up on its roof in the scrub. Luckily no-one got seriously hurt, just a few bumps and bruises, because they were all wearing seatbelts.

On wet bitumen, "widies" aquaplane terrifyingly fast, and you can get in trouble pretty quickly, unless you slow down.
Look at your tyre tracks in the mirror, if you can see the road surface in the tyre tracks through the water, you're O.K.
A widie won't cut through the sheet of water, to the road surface, when the rainfall is heavy.

Tyres fitted as standard to a vehicle are designed as a compromise to try and meet an average range of expected conditions.
If you're travelling continuously in soft sand or muddy conditions, then widies are the only choice. However, they're a poor choice for good to very good road conditions.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 10:25

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 10:25
If you want to get a better understanding of impact and function; a good place to start looking is in the agriculture market where extensive research has been done comparing standard tyred ag gear and track type ag gear....... smaller foot print vs bigger foot print.

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/ba3468a2a8681f69872569d60073fde1/5f171202688a28fe87256e32004f9812/$FILE/952097.pdf

Do a search on Google for "tracked vs tire ag vehicles"

Back in my rallying days if it was muddy we would run narrower tyres due to the fact we could cut through the soft stuff and get to the harder stuff, a theory they use in ice and snow.
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:04

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:04
Remember Barry Ferguson back in the 60's rallying in the Vdub with the little narrow tyres. My Dad had a Pug 403 back then with 155x15 tyres back then and it used to go everywhere including all through Central Australia.
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 11:23

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 11:23
Gday,
At least your comparing apples to apples I guess....albeit BRUISED apples.
What I mean is the tyres you are comparing had a rough start by being fitted up on a Landrover after all! LOL
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:06

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:06
Although it makes some difference, I think other factors makes a much much bigger difference.
Tyre pressures, tyre profiles, driving style, weight distribution of vehicle, and clearance plays a much larger role in muddy bogs than skinny v fat tyres ever could.
AnswerID: 520788

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:23

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:23
Axle.
What do you mean "Might start it again", the thread is not bogged down it is rolling along quite well.
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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:38

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:38
dont know about mud but Ive seen conclusive proof that thinner tyres 235/85/16 go alot better on sand than wider 285/75x16
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 19:23

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 19:23
Not sure where you have seen the "conclusive proof" but I run 235/85x16 LT on my 75 series and have had no major dramas on sand, rocks or mud. Go pretty good on the black stuff as well. I think the higher profile helps a bit too.
That's conclusive enough for me.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 20:24

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 20:24
couple of occasions

I have an 80 series and came accross a bogged 80 running a turbo, lift and 285s bogged on the beach. I actually drove around it to get into a position to snatch it

I let its tyres down to about 12psi and then snatched it out it promptly just bogged down again so i snatched it again and it bogged down again.

next time i just towed him all the way off the beach

second time was near lancilin I was with another 80 running a turbo and 285s (15psi). We came to a soft stretch and he didnt make it needing maxtracks a couple of times to get through.

he waited filming presuming I would get bogged which I didnt

My 80 runs 235 tyres, no turbo and no lift so theoretically isnt as capaple as the other 2 8os both running turbos, 285s and lifts

but yet my 235s went much better through the sand
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 10:48

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 10:48
Getoutmore
I would bet my bottom dollar that other factors played a role. Driver style, tyre pressures. I have helped several people in the past who were bogged in sand by simply lowering their pressures, and driving the vehicle out myself!
And other factors such as weight in vehicle, power available etc. all add to my case.
CJ
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 08:24

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 08:24
Nope one of the guys I let his tyres down to 10psi and they still just bogged down. The other was running 15psi so could have gone a bit lower.
My 80 when last weight was 3tonne and these 80s wouldnt have ben heavier.
Main difference was thier 285tyres to my 235s
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