Tyres are a critical aspect of our 4wd hire vehicles. Not only are they a major factor in ensuring your overall safety, but they are also a key component in the performance and driving experience of our 4WD. The right tyres allow you to take on anything from rough terrain to sandy beaches, and lets you enjoy the drive & the holiday – the real reason you hired our vehicle for!
We want to make sure each of our 4WD is outfitted for optimum security and reliability on the road and hence this article which talks about the tyres for our 4wd hire vehicles.
What We Use for your 4wd vehicles
All 4wd drivers have an opinion about tyres. Generally, most just like brands and stick to them. Coopers tyres have performed well for us and are one of the advantages we have over our competitors. Average 4wd vehicle hire companies just go for the standard tyres provided by the manufacturer or they go for an unknown cheaper brand that are usually basic and burn out quicker.
Regardless of the opinion on which is the best brand, most of our clients, who hire one of our 4wd cars are impressed with the high quality of the tyres on our 4wd vehicles.
The benefit for us is happy customers, fewer phone calls from customers out on the road that have blown tyres or have damaged the vehicle because it was stuck when it should not have been.
Some of the advantages we have found in this tyre include:
- Wear a lot better than Standard Tyres
- Fewer Calls from our clients regarding punctures & blown tyres
- Armor tek shield is an added advantage.
For more information on the advantages please check the details here.
Regardless of the brand of your choice, read on to create a good understanding of 4wd tyres.
Why 4wd Tyres Matter
Let’s start first with addressing why 4wd tyres are such an important factor – more important than regular 2wd tyres?
Better Control of your 4wd
Great tyres positively influence your ability to control and handle your vehicle, allowing you to manoeuvre over surfaces and to turn and stop to the best of the vehicle’s capacity. A properly inflated tyre with good traction and long tread life will reduce engine drag, increase fuel efficiency and improve the braking and handling of your 4WD.
4wd Off-Road performance
When thinking about road performance, it is good to consider the tyre tread pattern and your needs. If, for example, you choose an aggressive tread pattern often seen in mud tread tyres, consider how much time you will be spending on sealed roads versus in the mud. Aggressive tread patterns are great for off-roading, especially in mud and rocky country; however, block pattern tyres are noisy on the road. They also have a greater roll resistance when driving, which will increase fuel consumption. For the best performance, think about what type of terrain you will be driving in and try not to under or overestimate the amount of tread you will need.
A/T terrains are often a good pick for many 4WD owners; they offer a fair amount of off-road grip, but also reducing fuel consumption and noise on sealed roads.
Wear, Tear & Traction
Steel belted tyres are a common component in 4WD tyres and are important to consider for the wear and tear of your tyre. Steel plies support the tread of the tyre and create durability for sealed roads, but also allow your tyres to have support and bend while off-roading – giving you better traction and control. High-quality sidewalls will contribute to a longer tyre life. Strong sidewalls reduce off-road damage and minimize the heat build-up at high speeds – preventing premature tyre wear. A high-quality tyre carcass also put less strain on the suspension and chassis of your vehicle, improving the overall quality of your drive and reducing the vehicle wear.
The correct tyre pressure and tread contributes to the optimum braking distance and traction on wet and dry surfaces for your 4WD.
Water dispersion, lug shoulder space and siping are all factors to consider when choosing new tyres. 4WD tyres have become more effective – thanks to computer-aided design to allow for exponential improvements around these elements. Void space on the tyre tread assists in the water and mud dispersion. Interrupted void channels improve the bite of your tyre but can reduce water dispersion. Lug shoulder shape will reduce tearing and chunking of the rubber. Sips are hairline cuts on the face of the lugs and increases traction on wet and dry surfaces. There are, however, some pitfalls of sips in that they can contribute to more wear and tear to your tyre – this is something to consider depending on the type of driving you do and the traction you will need.
Why we get high-quality tyres?
A high-quality tyre will prevent problems on the road such as tyre punctures, premature tyre wear, and loss of traction – all contributing to your safety on your road and the quality of your drive. Whether you are on sealed tracks or blazing your way off-road, having reliable tyres that can help you manoeuvre your way through your trek is essential.
The benefit for us is happy customers, fewer phone calls from customers out on the road that have blown tyres or have damaged the vehicle because it was stuck when it shouldn’t have been. The additional benefit is that high-quality tyres wear a lot better than the standard or cheaper options, meaning we would normally save money or break even with the tyre cost in the long run.
A great tyre can and should provide:
- Straight-line stability when braking
- Good lateral grip
- Responsive steering
- A quiet ride
- Quick recovery from oversteering
- Consistent stopping distance
- Control of heat build-up in the carcass
- Good line-holding
The correct amount of firmness and tread depth is an important factor in preventing punctures for your 4WD tyre. Premature tyre wear can lead to more tyre punctures.
Thicker Tread depth is one of the best way to prevent through-tread punctures as it stops objects from embedding to the tyre casting. Over flexible tyres can overheat, resulting in greater tyre wear and puncture probability. Additionally, flexible tyres may not properly support the weight of your 4WD. Strong tread patterns decreases the chances of punctures.
Finding a quality tyre that will not produce a lot of noise comes down to the design – particularly the tread pattern – of the tyre. Pattern noise is a common factor contributing to noise on the road. Tread designs made up of short repetitive patterns commonly generate a ‘whining’ noise. Tyres with the same size pattern around the circumference tend to create higher noise levels as well. To find tyres that will provide a quiet ride, look for variation in block sizes on the tread pattern; this prevents air trapping in the tread pattern.
Generally, more noise will result from larger block patterns on treads. Mud terrain tyres can have more noise due to their large block patterns and propensity to kick up mud and gravel off the road. The more variety of shapes you can find on the surface of the tyre, the greater chance you will have for a quieter ride.
What to Look for in a 4wd Tyre:
There is also a nice article here, which talks in details on what to look for in tyres feel free to check it out.
4wd Tyre Ratings
UTQG Ratings Awareness
The Uniform Tyre Quality Grading (UTQG) are the markings that get placed on the sidewall of your tyre. They indicate treadwear, traction and temperature to help you compare tyres and choose the best one for you and your needs. UTQG is not mandatory on all tyres in Australia, but certain brands such as Cooper Tyres do hold this rating.
It is a good idea to see, if the tyre brand you are after are also available in USA, and then you can check their UTQG ratings to take more informed decision.
Treadwear indicates the amount of time it takes for a tyre to wear down. Treadwear ratings are based on road tests where the test tyres are run in a vehicle convoy along side a standardised course monitoring control tyre. Manufacturers then assign ratings at the conclusion of the test based on the observations made in comparison to the standardised control tyre. The control tyre is given a grade of 100 and all tyres are compared to this grade. This means that, for example, if a tyre receives a grade of 300, it will take three times longer for this tyre to wear out than the control tyre.
This rating indicates the extent to which heat is created and dissipated in the carcass of the tyre. Knowing the temperature grade of your tyre can be important especially when you are driving long distances in hot weather. If a tyre becomes too hot for a long period of time, it can lead to tyre deterioration and eventually could cause a tyre blowout. The temperature rating indicates how well a tyre resists heat and is graded from highest to lowest in A, B or C respectively.
Traction grades are based on the tyres straight line wet traction as the tyre skids across a test surface. The traction rating of UTQG does not take into account dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering or hydroplane resistance. Traction grades are evaluated by having the tyres adjusted to the axle of a skid trailer and monitoring the coefficient of friction after braking at 64 km/h. The treadwear tyre ratings span from AA – highest performing tyres to A, B, and C grades respectively.
What is the best 4WD Tyre for you?
High Terrain tyres
If you spend most of your time driving on sealed roads and you only head out off-roading for the occasional adventure, then you may want to consider high terrain tyres. HT tyres will ensure a comfortable ride and good traction in wet weather. HT tyres can, however, accumulate mud build up and have less grip than some other tyres when going off-road.
If you spend equal amounts of the time on the road and off the road, then all-terrain tyres are likely best for your 4WD. AT tyres offer smooth driving on motorways with good off-road traction. AT tyres have tread voids that debris can escape from to prevent buildup and loss of traction.
If you spend very little time on sealed roads, mud-terrain tyres can be a good option to consider. MT tyres provide some of the highest traction in the extremely muddy conditions. However, if you aren’t spending most of your time off-road MT tyres won’t be the most comfortable tyre as they can be noisy and kick up debris on sealed roads.
Here is a good article which talks about All-terrain tyres with reviews for most of the popular ones.
It is always best to check all road conditions before travelling and make sure you have everything you need for various road conditions. Generally, all-terrain tyres are a good start for 4wd.
At FleetCrew, We use all-terrain tyre and heavy-duty all-terrain tyres for our 4wd hire vehicles.
Comparison of Popular All-Terrain 4wd Tyres
|A/T TYRES||Puncture Resistance||Traction||Tread Pattern|
|Cooper Tyres||super tensile|
steel belts.Smaller gauge sipes – reducing stone drilling and stone retention. Chemically bonded silica improves cut and chip resistance
|Chemically bonded silica tread compound provides improved wet and dry traction with less friction. Smaller gauge sipes in tread elements – giving more control and stability3D sipes for increased traction||Stronger steel belts to support the tread3D sips. Interlocking tread elements reduce squirm and increase stability. Broken centre rib for improved soft surface traction|
|Bridgestone||Light truck construction in most sizes hence made for load-carrying purposes.||Aggressive tread pattern||Optimised steel belts to support tread. Under tread compound for good heat durability and resistance|
|BFGoodrich||Heavy gauge steel belts to reduce punctures||Innovative tread blocks and interactive siping for enhanced traction||High void tread – fights against gravel and repels stone. Super sidewall traction bars and wider shoulder grooves for better traction on and off-road|