Are you the type that loves going camping, fishing or just getting down and dirty in the wild outdoors? Being an outdoor adventurer not only requires a passion for nature but a knowledge for safety as well.
Chances are, you’ve already owned a four wheel drive but you need to know how to drive through the harsh terrain. To make things easier, it’s better if your four-wheel drive have off-road tyres.
What are off-road tyres?
An off-road tyre is not like the ones that you use on the normal roads. As their name states, they are built to provide better traction when your vehicle is moving through rough terrains whether it’s in the jungle, in a sandy beach or through snow-covered grounds.
When driving through a muddy surface, a normal road tyre wouldn’t perform because the tyre grooves would be clogged easily due to its shallowness. It will not have enough friction to manoeuvre through the ground. Instead, it will just spin uselessly while digging a hole in the ground.
However, the off-road tyre will win the match with it’s deeper tread grooves unable to clog up the tyre grooves. The larger gaps between the treads also enable the tyres to retain their friction to the ground in this situation when it moves. There’s more of its rubber in contact with the ground almost all the time even though if it’s covered with dirt and mud.
The problems with off-road tyres
Unfortunately, the off-road tyres are just like animals. Certain animals only belong to their rightful habitat and it would be difficult for them to adapt elsewhere. Same goes to off-road tyres where they don’t work best on normal roads.
Since off road tyres are built to conserve friction, they would be worn faster when used on normal roads and they make vehicles move slower. Thus, making the engine harder to work in order to move the vehicle at the same speed and finally ending up to a higher fuel consumption.
Off-road tyres are also noisier, with a loud persistent whining, because the tyre’s rubber is more in contact with the road compared to normal road tyres. However, they are quiet when on the correct surface and they will not wear easily.
How do they vary among companies?
How does this brilliant idea of inventing off-road tyres came to be? The first off-road tyres are invented in 1921 by the manufacturing tyre company, Goodyear which is named Rut-proof.
From then, different tyre companies come out with their own variations. For example, Cooper Tyres’s STT Pro tyres are built to travel through mud and dirt. These tyres are able to eject stones and gravel from the tread and reduces a chance of stone retention. The STT Pro tyres are formed from advanced silica compounds to enhance traction while on wet surfaces.
Meanwhile, Bridgestone’s Dueler tyres are built for toughness and to withstand harsh terrains. Its tyres are puncture resistant to prevent sharp objects from penetrating and also have superior chip resistance to resist against cuts and chips.
What are the types of off-road tyres?
Other than different companies having their own variations, off-road tyres come in different types for specific functions and designs.
The sand dune tyres are shaped like a paddle propeller in order to enable traction through the fine grain of sand.
Although winter and studded tyres are meant for the same season, they both function differently. Studded tyres work around freezing temperature and on clear ice while winter tyres are better off in subzero temperatures and while the vehicle moves through both wet and dry pavement.
The future of off-road tyres
Where will the future of off-road tyres lie? Well, according to The Future of Off the Road Tyres to 2020, there will be more opportunities and emerging disruptive technologies that will change the supply and demand of off-road tyres in the next five years.
According to Arthur Mayer, the author of the report, he said that off-road tyre manufacturers, raw material and component suppliers will have their opportunities presented by a number of technological trends to meet emerging needs in the marketplace.
“At the same time, new opportunities appear to be opening up to savvy market participants in the areas of sustainability and standardisation, where there has been relatively little activity compared to other tyre industry areas so far,” he also added.