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Designed for light trucks and SUVs that require both on and off the road driving, off road tires provide better traction and handling on unpaved road conditions including dirt and gravel. The aggressive tread patterns make off road tires a visually appealing choice, even for consumers who prefer to keep their vehicles on the pavement. Consumers looking for an off road tire will select either an All-Terrain or Mud-Terrain tire.
All-Terrain (A/T) tires are typically purchased by consumers looking for performance whether on or off-road. To balance the needs of gravel and rock with pavement, the tread pattern of All-Terrain tires will have small tighter tread blocks. The tighter tread blocks result in reduced road noise and a smoother ride when driving on dry pavement compared to a Mud-Terrain Tire.
Mud-Terrains (M/T) tires are mainly designed for more extreme off-road driving and will have thicker heavier tread blocks and sidewalls. Thicker sidewalls help protect the tire from some of the abuse they may experience while driving off-road.
When purchasing either A/T or M/T tires, consumers must look past the ruggedness of the design and consider the application of the tire. Common problems associated with off-road tires include tread block chipping, chunking, and tearing due to tire spinning on rocks. The best way to minimize risk is to ensure that you start with the right tires.