Ok, so you’re considering new tyres? What you need to think about will be determined by what sort of traveller you are.
Do you spend all your time on the back top or do you venture offroad? There is a lot to think of when settling on the tyres you need for your style of travelling.
Given this page is about travelling the outback I have to think you are looking at time off the beaten track. That means you are going to be looking at an all terrain tyre at the very least.
An all terrain tyre is generally suited to 70% road & sand and 30% dirt & mud and is a great all round choice if you’re not an overly serious offroader.
If you’re a bit more serious like us though you might look at a 50% on road/50% off road tyre like the Cooper St MAXX that we use. This tyre type has served us exceptionally well over the past 6 years and that’s why when replacing them recently, we went for the same tyre again.
If you want extreme traction then the Cooper ST Pro might be the tyre for you. This one is suited to 80% dirt & mud and 20% road & sand.
To look at these tyres take a look at the Cooper website for more info.
Once you have picked out your tyres and had them fitted what else do you need to consider?
If you’re like us and air down or air up (deflate or inflate) to suit the conditions you’ll need a good air compressor. There are plenty around so do your research and choose wisely.
To make sure you’re setting your tyres at the right pressure you’ll need a pressure gauge. Now again there are all types but we use either the gauge on our compressor hose or the gauge on our deflator.
What’s a deflator you might ask? A deflator enables you to release the valve in the air stem so you can drop the pressure quickly in your tyres before hitting the dirt or sand.
Putting it simply letting your tyres down increases the amount of rubber touching the ground and thereby giving you more traction. It can also reduce the temperature of the tyre and save them from possible damage due to heat build up and the associated pressure increase.
When driving we also watch where we’re going. It’s not just a matter of point and drive so to speak but watching constantly for rocks or sharp objects which might damage your tyres.
Look after them and they’ll look after you.
One last thing, to get good mileage and wear out of your tyre don’t forget to rotate your tyres approximately every 10,000km.
Tyre rotation simply means moving each tyre around the vehicle in a systematic way to balance out tyre wear. It’s important because each tyre on a vehicle carries a different amount of weight, eg your rear tyres if you are carrying loads, this can make them wear at different rates.
By rotating them, as in the example above, you basically even out those differences and ensure that your tyres wear at the same rate. Please note that tyre rotation will not address wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.
So, there you have it, some simple tips to choosing, using and maintaining your tyres. For more info take a look at here.