Tyres to use for Simpson Crossing?

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 at 23:18
ThreadID: 134473 Views:4602 Replies:10 FollowUps:12
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Hi there.
Interested in getting peoples opinions or recommendations about tyres. We are crossing the Simpson Desert in June, travelling from Gippsland in Vic, Over to Adelaide and up through the centre, so lots of HWY km's involved as well and I need something suitable. Im thinking something in between an All Terrain and a Muddy. If you have other suggestions go for it ??.
I currently have Dick Cepek Trail Country's on a general All Terrain (had them for 3 years and close to 80,000km) - Which now need replacing, Im wondering if a new set of those would be sufficient to get us over those red dunes?
I am restricted to 255/65R17 's unfortunately (7" rim). Ive got the stock standard Nissan Rims on my vehicle and dont plan on changing the rims to open up my tyre options due to budget restrictions.
Any suggestions, help, recommendations would be appreciated.
Cheers!
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 at 23:44

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 at 23:44
Kate J2
You do not need a special tyre just for your desert trip. Just a LT. For any outback trip obviously better new or with plenty of thread left.
No need for muddies in sand. Even slicks will do, obviously AT's will be fine.

AnswerID: 609432

Follow Up By: eighty matey - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 16:18

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 16:18
We travelled across The Simpson last year with two other vehicles.
We have Toyo MTs on our vehicle, another had ATs whilst the third had highway tyres.
None of the vehicles had any issues with tyres because the tracks are generally tyre friendly but, as CSeaJay stated, LT construction is a must. You'll be starting with a fair bit of weight and the tyre pressures have to be reduced.
The Dick Cepeks would be suitable but not my choice of tyre.

Steve.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 06:58

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 06:58
As mentioned, AT tyres are the go, probably for most 4WDn people do.

Important with ATs you are going to be deflating for sand and other driving, get good LT (light truck) grade, they usuallly have stronger side walls and elongate more when down to 12psi or so for desert sand, and don't bag out as bad sideways, which is more prone to having sidewalk stakings.

I say usually because the Federal Couragia ATs I have now bag too much even at 15, and I'm slightly worried about airing down lower for some regions if needed.
Even though mine are only 50% worn, I'm seriously thinks Ng of new ones for June Simpson Geo Centre / Geo Hill trip and keeping the Feds for spares.
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Follow Up By: Kate J2 - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:15

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:15
Hi Les,

Thanks for your reply. ??
Seems Ill be right with AT's on and also seems the go is that I should look for an LT - AT at that.
Whats your thoughts in just travelling with a basic AT like my current Dick Cepeks Trail Country compared to say a "heavier duty" AT like BFGoodrich's TA KO2's?

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 16:28

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 16:28
Maybe deflate to 12psi and see what they look like Kate.
They'll probably be fine for normal Simpson crossings on French, WAA lines, or Rig Rd are generally no problems as there are not many risks of stakings . . . just be careful pulling off the tracks into corridors to camp, look for stakes.

It's more the rough stuff in the NT where there is a lot of off track driving, stakes can be a real issue.
Stakes are generally old vegetation that has been burned in fires, leaves short sharp stakes sticking out of the ground, bagging sideways can be damaged quite badly, whereas regular tread stakings are easily plugged (but still need later attention to fix properly).
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Follow Up By: Kate J2 - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 18:14

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 18:14
Thanks Les!
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Reply By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 07:45

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 07:45
We have been through the Simpson (French, WAA and Madigan) with both AT's and a heavier off road STMaxx set and didn't really notice any difference.

However personally, I wouldn't consider "muddies" nor slicks either. I know that was a tongue in cheek by someone (all cool mate).

Phil
AnswerID: 609435

Follow Up By: Kate J2 - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:27

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:27
Hey Phil,
Thanks for the reply! Im going to ask you a question that ive asked someone else, and still a little confused about...
It seems Ill be right with AT's on and also seems the go is that I should look for an LT - AT at that.
Whats your thoughts in just travelling with a basic AT like my current Dick Cepeks Trail Country compared to say a "heavier duty" AT like BFGoodrich's TA KO2's?

Would "heavy duty" AT benefit me better in the desert? Or a basic AT would be enough?

Thanks!
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:35

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:35
Sorry Kate but I don't know anything about the tyres that you mention. I hope someone else pops in to answer you.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 06:51

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 06:51
Kate, we did the Simpson early September last year, I got the "your tyres are to aggressive for sand" thing.... but due to all the mud and water around, we did well.. only vehicle to not get stuck... tyres are the Dick Cepek FC2.. they don't make these exact tyre anymore, to get my second spare, I found one in Perth, got it freighted to Canberra, just wanted to be able to rotate all six, with same tyres.. was all a big hassle, and a little dearer, but worth the effort in the end.. AT will do the job comfortably... great trip.. enjoyed every minute of it.. safe travels.. cheers Odog
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Reply By: gbc - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 08:47

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 08:47
A size or two bigger will still fit on a 17 x 7 inch rim. A tyre's ability to carry weight with less pressure is a function of its volume. You don't have to go a lot bigger to reap some rewards with a loaded patrol in sand. Last time I crossed the Simpson it was on mud tyres with no issue. I wouldn't go and buy them unless you were using them for touring only though. Some good AT's will do. Not necessarily LT rated, but load rated high enough. LT's generally score a bit more tread depth but lose out in comfort.
AnswerID: 609440

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:33

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 15:33
Before going two tyre sizes etc bigger it would be prudent to make sure that it's allowed.

You do as you wish. Just saying . . . .

Phil
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Follow Up By: gbc - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 08:07

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 08:07
Definitely, I wouldn't suggest going outside the law - not worth it. The NCOP is pretty generous with bigger tyres on beam axle vehicles however, I believe you can get to approx. 32" tyres on a patrol legally, depending on what you do with the suspension in combination. The OP would have to check - I don't run illegal rubber on my ranger, but it is as big as I can go because I tow in sand a bit.
Slightly taller tyres would be one of the easiest/cheapest ways of making a better offroader out of any given vehicle - unless it came with decent rubber in the first place.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 18:45

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 18:45
The desert isn't that tough on tyres, but the roads in and out can be. Depending on which tracks you take, there can be some pretty large sharp rocks on the road. I suggest a good AT in light truck construction.
AnswerID: 609458

Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 19:50

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 19:50
With a bit of care - over the pressure and how you drive - passenger construction is fine. In the Centre HT is fine outside of mud, too.

Everyone says go for LT but it isn't necessary.

I've done the Simpson twice plus gravel and corro roads plus some gibber and embedded rock* with PC tyres that were labelled ATs but were more HT.

------------

* Oodnadatta, Perdika, Birdsville, Mt Dare-Finke-Chambers-Alice, Finke Gorge NP etc.
AnswerID: 609464

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:37

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 at 22:37
Use any tyres in the Simpson desert. Just need plenty of tread to prevent tread punctures on the tracks to and from the desert.
AnswerID: 609467

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 08:59

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 08:59
2nd that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:25

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:25
Egg Zackery. That is my view too.

Especially around that NE corner of SA.

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Follow Up By: Kate J2 - Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 at 14:39

Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 at 14:39
Thanks Guys, this helps alot.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 09:02

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 09:02
There's no point in sweating over distinct lugs as you can't bite in soft sand. You actually want the max rubber area in contact with it.

Added: but if you get rain over the Simpson you'll of course welcome a bit of chunky tread to get across the claypans.
AnswerID: 609478

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 10:28

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 at 10:28
Kate
"I currently have Dick Cepek Trail Country's on a general All Terrain (had them for 3 years and close to 80,000km)..."

My thoughts - stick with them if you are happy with them!

If you have got 80K out of them they are serving you well. And think of the overall use the tyre will be put to throughout its useful life, rather than focussing on one particular trip...

My experience with tyres suggests it is about as much as good luck as anything else, there are no puncture proof tyres, some might be better at the margin, but once you lower pressures and expose sidewalls you are at the mercy of the next stick or sharp protruding rock in your path, regardless of tyre choice...

Sand driving is all about technique and pressure management rather than tyre choice.

As for traction, for the type of driving you are outlining, AT's will be the most suitable.

Tyre management via correct pressures will be more important than actual choice of tyre and importantly, a good set of tyre pressure monitors to ensure you can identify a puncture prior to causing any damage to the tyre.

Apart from that, enjoy your trip.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 609483

Reply By: Jessy H - Monday, Mar 20, 2017 at 10:40

Monday, Mar 20, 2017 at 10:40
Hi mate,

I would recommend you BFGs all-terrain KO2 or KM2 if you get 265s on your rims. They are awesome in mud and desert! Other than that I know that these one here are pretty good as well https://www.tyroola.com.au/hercules-terra-trac-at-ii-owl-25565r17-110t-tl-ty5584ec3cc8.html. Where do you live? Compare the prices also on ebay!
AnswerID: 609547

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