How to make best use of off-road tyres

A pointless exercise for the ignorant, a sport for the rest of us. No matter what the season is, some of us are always game to head off the beaten path. But off-roading without knowing the rules of the game and technique can get you into deep trouble. One of the most basic things that can make your life easier while off-roading is the tyres. Off-road tyres use deep tread to provide more traction on rugged surfaces. Here are a few tips as to how you can make the most of your off-road tyres –


Choose the right tyre for the terrain 


Off-roading involves traversing over different kinds of terrains such as dirt, mud, sand, rocks or gravel. So it is advised that you know the terrain you are heading towards and choose the tyre accordingly. Larger tyres offer better contact patch and improve grip. In case you are off-roading up north in the mountains, make sure you get winter tyres and use snow chains for the driven wheels.


Adjust the tyre pressure


For road tyres, the tyre pressure is decided to keep in mind aspects like comfort, stability on highways and fuel efficiency. For off-roading though, the tyre pressure has to be adjusted to suit the terrain. It is beneficial to drop the tyre pressure while off-roading in order to maximise the contact patch with the ground. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to know the ideal tyre pressure for your off-road tyres.


Carry an air pump


Make sure that you carry an air pump with you so you can re-adjust tyre pressure when you get back onto public roads. Driving on public roads with lower tyre pressure can be stressful for the engine as well as dangerous.

Uneven tread wear


Due to the uneven nature of the surface, you could have been travelling on, there are chances of uneven tread wear on the tyres. Always keep an eye out for uneven tread wear and replace the tyres when necessary. Uneven wear can also be a sign of the tyres being unevenly inflated or something being wrong in the vehicle’s alignment or the suspension setup.

Carry a few tools to get tyres unstuck


There might be moments when you get stuck in mud or sand. For such situations, always carry digging tools and mats. Dig away the sand or mud around the wheels and place mats underneath them. This will give the tyres more grip and improve the chances of getting out.