Tires are one of the most important features on a vehicle and they must be selected according to the terrain in which you are driving. Mud tires are recommended for those who drive off road or frequently find themselves in situations that may require the strength and tread of strong, durable tires. Whether racing, off road driving, or camping, mud tires can mean the difference between tackling tough terrain or getting stuck in a seemingly endless layer of muck.
No two mud slabs are the same and there is no way to predict what type of mud you will encounter. Due to the possibility of encountering mud that may be extremely deep, you’ll need to make certain that the mud tires you select can handle a variety of situations. Preparation is the most important key and you should equip your vehicle with traction aid and suspension equipment as well as with mud tires. Since there is no way to gauge the type of mud you are dealing with from inside your vehicle, it is recommended to stop your vehicle in a safe place, exit the vehicle and examine the mud first hand. Determine its characteristics, composition, depth, and whether it is slick or smooth. If mud is too slick, a vehicle could possibly hydroplane. The best way to prevent hydroplaning is to choose narrow rather than wide mud tires. Save wide mud tires for situations where the mud has several layers with varying textures. As wider mud tires have a propensity to hydroplane or float above the surface, this principle can be used to your advantage and help you glide over mud that has a thick consistency, similar to cement.
You may find that it is beneficial to decrease the amount of air in wide mud tires before tackling this type of mud as well. This process is referred to as “airing down” and should be used only when necessary. Airing down gives the tire an opportunity to better adjust itself to the uneven and variable texture it may meet, however it is appropriate only for mud that extends several feet deep and you can’t seem to find the bottom layer. It isn’t a good option for mud with a firm, solid bottom layer as this can result in the tire losing traction. Additionally, dirt and debris present in the mud can cause damage to your tire’s sidewalls. Reducing air pressure is a decision that you will need to make based upon the situation you are facing.
One of the most noticeable differences between standard and mud tires is the size of the tread. Mud tires have larger treads that are often designed to provide a self cleaning mechanism. Mud tires have larger lugs that enable them to remove larger amounts of mud in a quicker time. This enables the tire to find traction while in mud without becoming clogged and losing its grip. Mud tires must be able to retain traction in a variety of terrains. Take your time to compare various treads on mud tires, as you will find there are many differences from one tire brand to the next.
Once you have made it through the mud successfully, you’ll find that proper aftercare for your ties and vehicles is a must. Mud can solidify and harden causing harm to your vehicle. Immediately after mud exposure, wash your vehicle thoroughly and ensure there is no mud residue remaining on the tires, rims, or wheels. There is virtually no area underneath the vehicle chassis that is immune to the effects of mud. Mud can damage your braking system, cause tires to deteriorate, ruin the paint on your vehicle, cause areas to rust, and threatens the overall stability of your vehicle. Pay special attention to the underside of your vehicle and make certain you remove all traces of mud. By taking the time needed to choose the best mud tires for your driving needs, and keeping your vehicle clean and free of mud after exposure, you can ensure you have taken all necessary precautions to keep your vehicle operating successfully.