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Off Road Tires - 4x4 Truck Tires Review and Tips

Before you go driving on beach sand, remember that sand acts like a fluid under some circumstances.

Your off road tires and wheels are all that keeps you afloat on this unstable surface.

The bigger your four wheel drive tire size and the wider your four wheel drive rims are, the more buoyancy you will have to prevent the vehicle sinking into the sand and becoming bogged.

Older 4x4 truck wheels were often narrower than more recent models so fitting a bigger 4x4 tire wheel package will mean a vast improvement in performance.

4x4 Truck Wheels and Four Wheel Drive Tire Size

4x4 truck tires

The weight of the vehicle is also a consideration. A heavier vehicle is more likely to get bogged than a light one with the same 4x4 tire wheel package fitted.

Be careful if you are buying off road discount tires and only purchase something suitable for driving in sand.

Some cheap off road tires or 4x4 mud tires are very noisy when driven on the roads and may not be all that suitable for driving on beaches.

Tire Pressures - Off Road Recovery Tips

Of all the off road recovery tips this is the most important one to remember. The main thing you can do to avoid getting stuck is lower your tire pressures.

A few years ago a tourist couple got stuck in the Aussie outback. They couldn't get out of the sand and one of them perished walking for help.

The rescuers simply let some air out of the tires and drove the truck out.

So, get a tire pressure gauge and let your tires down a bit. The more air you let out, the more tire will be on the beach and the greater the flotation you will have on the fluid sand.

However, there is a risk to this strategy -particularly if you let out too much air. Under-inflated 4WD tires will be more likely to roll off the rim especially if you turn sharply.

For most 4x4 truck tires, 18 psi is a reasonable compromise, but you can go lower if you are stuck.

I often use 14 psi and have been as low as 6 psi on occasion. You should drive slowly and gently at lower pressures as an underinflated tire can come off a four wheel drive rim very easily. If you fit tubes into your tubeless 4x4 tires this will help keep them on the rim.

Tire Re-inflation

You will need to pump your tires up before doing any speed (greater than 30km/h), especially when you are back on the road. I carry a 12v air compressor to re-inflate the tires.

 

Beach Driving Tips

Know the tides and swell height before going onto the beach.

In settled conditions the best time to drive safely on the beach is three hours either side of low tide.

This allows you to drive on the firmest part of the beach and is much easier on the vehicle.

If the surf is high and/or the tides are small watch out for sweepers which can cover the whole beach and drive two hours either side of the low tide.

 

 

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Above: Morgan Barnes with a decent sized snapper from a Whangarei longline set that caught 21 good sized fish from 25 hooks set!

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