Is your idea of “adventure” tackling rough, muddy terrain in your pickup, or driving down main street on Saturday night in your tricked-out SUV? It’s an important distinction when it comes time to putting tires on your light truck.
Mud terrain (MT) tires like the Duraturn Travia M/T are designed for drivers and that do serious off-roading. They feature:
- Aggressive tread design with larger, more widely spaced blocks for better mud cleaning action between the tread blocks and biting into soft surfaces for traction (see Travia M/T tread design to the right).
- Deeper tread blocks for providing traction in deep mud.
- Greater void space between the blocks for better cleaning.
- Wider and squarer shoulders, again for traction.
All terrain (AT) tires like the Duraturn Travia A/T (pictured to the left), which have smaller, shorter tread blocks and less void between the blocks, are designed for light trucks that spend most of their time on the road, but when their owners do go off road, they deliver the necessary traction in moderate off-road terrain.
While tire technology is advancing all the time at an amazing rate, tires are still about trade-offs. MT tires will deliver better off-road traction than AT tires, but they are typically noisier on the road and do not last as long as AT tires.
So which light truck owner are you? The enthusiast who enjoys four-wheel drive events; the ones you see going down the road with vehicles completely covered with mud, dirt or dust? The outdoor adventurer who enjoys mountain biking, hunting and fishing . . . and needs to get to out of the way places. Talk to your tire dealer about a MT tire.
However, if you are tackling modern terrain when you occasionally take your vehicle off the road, an AT tire may be your best choice.
Then there are those folks who never go off road, or when they do, the terrain is not at all challenging. Then a HT (highway tread) tire like the Travia H/T is your best choice – quieter ride, long tread wear.
Then there’s the appearance/image folks. They NEVER let their vehicle go off-road, but they want the most aggressive looking tires and sidewall treatments on their big, bad truck. That’s perfectly fine as long as they realize the trade-offs.
Talk to your tire dealer about how you use your light truck. How often do you go off road and when you do, what type of terrain are you typically dealing with? What did you like and dislike about your last set of tires? He or she will be able to guide you in the right direction.
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