AT OR MT For Desert Trip

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 08:41
ThreadID: 5589 Views:1514 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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I'm presently running BFG AT 265/75 on the Patrol. The question is will a set of MT tyres such as Goodyear MTR's be too much of a compromise in sandy dune country given that their flotation may not be as good as the AT's. I'd probably accept that trade off if the experienced members thought that they made up for it by being significantly better in rough gravelly situations.
Is it perhaps better to adopt the worst case scenario attitude and expect lots of wet muddy sections and just wear the MT's anyway?
Does the more open block pattern of the MT make the tyre more vunerable to puncture in sharp rocky stuations?
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Reply By: Bob - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 10:56

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 10:56
Lex I've travelled the Simpson on road tyres without any problems. The only tyre failures in our group were ATs on a Cruiser and a Patrol on rocky roads out of Birdsville. My tyres seemed to perform better in the sand too - hard to measure performance - but dunes, including Big Red appeared easier for me. In desert country you need momentum and flotation to go over the sand and the last thing you need is digging power which only gets you into it. Aggressive tyres I imagine are OK while you are moving quickly but really come undone when you slow down in sand and bury you.
AnswerID: 23190

Follow Up By: johnsy - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 11:33

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 11:33
Bob you got a very valid piont regarding the road tyres as far as sand goes. roadies have a round shoulder on the tyre so dont dig like the at's will and it will be even worse with muddies and the heavy lugs on those.Also road tyres aren't as stiff /heavy in the side walls so flex better
FollowupID: 15390

Follow Up By: Ruth - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 21:12

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 21:12
Well said Guys. Locals use skinny tyres in the Desert but are really really strict about lowering the tyre pressure and use a lower pressure when on the road as well. Wish I was out there now - but too much traffic going west for me. Weather's good, track rough.
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Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 14:50

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 14:50
Lex, Stick with your AT's . We did the Simpson last year on Dueller 265/70 AT on 22psi no prob till Big Red (my falt pressure to high) droped to 18 & straight over. On gravel i ran at 25psi & no trouble , heavy load too .Regards Bob
27th June Gulf trip
AnswerID: 23203

Reply By: Phil G - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 15:44

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 15:44

Any tyres will do fine. We go on club trips in groups of many vehicles and nobody has problems provided they take notice of a few things. Don't overload the vehicle, don't drive too fast on outback roads and lower your tyre pressures - like 25psi on gravel roads and 20 psi in sandy country. Last year we had 12 vehicles cross the Simpson without a puncture - all sorts of tyres. Only tyre problems were the chipping out with some of the BFG and Coopers on the outback roads. One guy was wishing he was running the Grand Treks as they seem to fare better! People who complain their tyres were no good in sand, just haven't dropped their pressures enough.

Actually, BFG M/Ts are a better sand tyre than BFG A/Ts, but there's not a lot in it.

Don't know about Goodyear MTR's yet as I got my first set about 6 weeks ago. So far, they don't chip at all in the rocky stuff in the Flinders Ranges (2 trips), but I haven't used them in sand yet - thats coming up in the next 2 months.
AnswerID: 23209

Follow Up By: kezza - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:23

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:23
Can agree that tyre pressure most important factor apart from driver skill.

I am Currently comparing MTRs and Bfg MTs so far the MTs better in the mud but as long as pressure is low both do very well in the sand - IF you know how to drive in sand. Had a dream run through a very windswept (ie high jump ups) simpson desert and never had to go below 20 psi (otherwise often go down below 15 psi in other very hard conditions).

The MTRs seem to be wearing very fast approx 3mm (of 15mm of tread) in 7,000kms while the BFG MTs (USA) are down 5mm (of 16 mm) in 32,000
On rough rock at low pressure both tyres seem fine I have had no problems though others say MTs soft in side wall .

I have managed to put a horseshoe through a MT but that was on the Strezleckie track and my only problem with MT.

FollowupID: 15421

Reply By: diamond (bendigo) - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:05

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:05
gday lex.
my personal opinion would be at not so agressive for the amount of mud compared to dirt/dust you might encounter.
also on sant the more closed tread pattern the better.
as far as floatation goes when on sand dont be scared to go down to 14-16 psi
looking foward to september(landcruiser park/fraser island)
AnswerID: 23227

Reply By: huntin - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:51

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 19:51
Just done the Simpson trip for the second time via Innamincka etc on 265/75 All Terrains. Ran 20 psi in the sand 40 psi everwhere else including gibbers. 122000 k's on the first set of tyres made me stick with em again. Never had a puncture yet. Vehicle is a Defender.
AnswerID: 23230

Reply By: desert - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 21:19

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 21:19
Lex, on the surface of it all (no pun intended), you would think that MT's would bite in and have a harder time of it over the dunes, but this has not proved to be true. Watching all sorts of different tyres types in my convoys, shows me that the tread design is of little matter to touring for central desert environment. Unless it is very wet. Floatation is the key, and the MT's will bag and footprint just as well as AT's. What most people do not take into account, is the more rugged construction of the ply overlays and shoulder bands that an MT exhibits over an AT. This reason alone makes the construction of the MT tougher than a comparable, same brand AT.
All said and done, it is splitting hairs. Use what you have.
AnswerID: 23237

Reply By: Member - Paul - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 09:18

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 09:18
Go for the BFG Muds - I am currentlt on my way around Oz and have found them great - on Fraser I did not even let down the pressure!!

AnswerID: 23261

Follow Up By: petprass - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 14:28

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 14:28

Did you go north of Champagne pools/rocks and upto Waddy Point without letting tyre pressure down? We were there in Oct last year and had to help a few vehicles to get past some of the softer sections around that area.

FollowupID: 15465

Reply By: Member - Paul - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 17:20

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 17:20
Went about 20kms up the beach past the last camping spot. As long as you hit the soft stuff with the right amount of forward I didnt have a problem. Currently in Townsville on way to Cairns and Cape.
AnswerID: 23300

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 19:37

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 19:37
Lex 1 thing to rember with tyres is that if you are unlucky enough to totaly destroy
1 or 2 tyres are you willing or able to sit & wait for new ones to be shipped out to where you are & are you willing to pay throu the nose to get them. I think you are better off keeping it simple & sticking with the more popular tyres . to give you an example we came across a guy in a flashed up holden ute in the north west of wa,
had blown 2 tyres so we gave him a lift to nearest town ,as he was hoping to get them straight away we siad we would wait & give him a lift back to his ute he came out of the trye place with a total look of dispare on his face, tyre place said it would take 3 weeks to get his tyres up to them
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 23312

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