The best tires for a farm truck depend upon the conditions you are driving in. This will vary based upon where you live and what your climate is like. In some states, you are required by law to fit three-peak mountain tires or chains during the winter months to deal with the snowy conditions. But those types of tires wouldn’t be necessary if you live in the southern United States. So, what are the best tires for a farm truck? Let’s find out.
What You'll Learn Today
- What is the best brand of truck tire?
- What are the pros and cons of all-terrain tires?
- What truck tires last the longest?
- What tires are good for off-roading?
- Do all-terrain tires affect gas mileage?
- Can you drive mud tires on the road?
- Are wider tires better in the mud?
- Will bigger tires hurt my transmission?
What is the best brand of truck tire?
There’s such a broad range of truck tires available, it can all be a bit confusing deciding which is the best brand for the job.
You want to pick something that can cope well in a range of conditions and that works for the demands you’ll put upon them.
Different tires have different qualities, they are certainly not all the same. Some will last longer; some will be quieter and some will provide you with a better grip under challenging conditions.
What do you need to look for?
- Performance – Farm truck tires need to give you good performance whatever the conditions, dirt, rocks, mud, rain, snow are all factors you’ll want to consider and no single tire is best for all of these jobs.
- Safety – Your tires are one of the most important safety features on your farm truck and getting the right ones makes a huge difference to handling and stability.
- Reliability – When you’re a good distance away from home you don’t want to find yourself stuck on a muddy, rocky, or sandy surface. Having tires that can easily cope with the terrain you have, are vital.
- Durability – Some tires are made to be more resistant to punctures and have reinforced walls and treads to keep them inflated under more extreme conditions. They will resist cuts, bruises, or gouges from rocks and stones.
- Tread life – Although it can be tempting to opt for cheaper tires, it isn’t always the best idea, as often the tread will wear down more quickly than on a more expensive tire. Pay attention to customer ratings and see what people say about how long the tires last. They should be good for 50,000 miles, but some will do many more.
This video will show you some comparisons of all-terrain truck tires:
What are the pros and cons of all-terrain tires?
Different types of tires are made for different jobs. For a farm truck, a set of all-terrain tires is the most common choice.
Many farm trucks are driven both on and off-road and need to be able to handle all kinds of surfaces and weather conditions well, but what are the pros and cons of such tires?
All Condition Driving
There are various levels at which all-terrain tires can operate. For example, some are capable of performing well in both mud and snow, while others are not.
If you live in an area that experiences snowfall often or where you are obliged to use tires with a three-peak rating, then purchasing this type of all-terrain tire can save you money as you won’t need to swap them out over winter.
All-terrain tires often have more open, deeper, wider voids between sections that allow the tire to grip better on mud or snow. It also helps the tires to self-clean.
Some all-terrain tires incorporate strengthening materials such as Kevlar into their sidewalls to give additional strength. This can help to protect them from puncturing on rough surfaces, as well as improve cornering ability.
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
Due to the more aggressive grip of an all-terrain tire, particularly when driving off-road, fuel efficiency can be affected.
If you regularly drive off-road, all-terrain tires may wear down quite quickly. Look for brands that use compounds in their rubber to counteract this.
Due to their blocky design, many all-terrain tires are quite noisy on the road. Some are worse than others, so if you’re going to do a fair amount of highway driving this may be something to check when buying your tires.
What truck tires last the longest?
Tires are an expensive consumable for your farm truck, so you don’t want to be replacing them too often. Manufacturers make claims about how long their tires will last, but these claims don’t always stand up.
One complaint people often make is that their tires just don’t last that long. Although the manufacturer says they will cover X number of miles, in reality, they often fall short of this.
- This isn’t because they are trying to mislead you, it’s because so many factors affect how quickly tires wear. A lightweight aluminum body pickup will not wear its tires as fast as a heavyweight steel body one.
- If you’re constantly driving on unmade roads that have a dirt or gravel surface, the tires will wear faster than if you were always on the highway.
- Maintenance of your vehicle is another issue, if your tires are not correctly balanced, they wear unevenly and this can make them need changing faster.
Both Pirelli and Michelin are makers that generally stand up to their claims and although they may cost you a little more to purchase initially, the savings you’ll make from not having to change them so frequently can make them a good investment.
What tires are good for off-roading?
When it comes to tires that are suitable for a farm truck, there are two basic choices, either All-terrain or Mud tires.
All-terrain tires, as we have already discovered, come with different qualities, some are made purely for road and general off-road use, while others are also suitable for snow and ice.
Mud tires are another option for a farm truck, especially one that’s driven almost exclusively off-road. They are designed specifically for handling mud and other difficult surfaces although they aren’t generally suitable for snow, or heavy rain.
If you frequently drive on the highway, then mud tires will wear very quickly, particularly during the summer months.
The gold standard in off-road tires is the Goodrich K02. They offer:
- Anti-stone penetration
- Interlocking tread pattern for grip and durability
- Good in wet conditions
- Strengthened sidewalls
- Can be driven aired-down
- Good traction in deep snow and soft mud
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3
Another offering from the Goodrich stable. This tire is for serious off-roading conditions in mud and dirt. They are not however as suited to snow and ice as the K02’s and they can be quite noisy on the road. They offer:
- Tough tread and sidewall
- Blocky tread pattern
- Good treadwear
- Excellent grip off-road in mud, rocks, and dirt
General Grabber Arctic
If, like me, you are nervous about driving in snow and ice then you might want to consider a tire designed especially for the job of wintertime driving.
These have great traction, even in serious winter conditions, and you have the added option of fitting metal studs for packed ice and snow. They offer:
- Flat, wide tire
- Winter sipes and squared shoulders for wet and dry performance
- Snow gripping blocks
- Quieter than many other snow tires
- Three-peak Mountain certified
- Metal studs optional
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
This is another great winter tire that can handle snow, rain, and mud. They aren’t so good for heavier vehicles as they don’t have the reinforced sidewall like some others and they are less good in rocky conditions for the same reasons. They do however offer:
- Aggressive looks
- Excellent grip in all types of weather
- Great off-road performance
- Long tread life
- Smooth and quiet ride on paved road
Do all-terrain tires affect gas mileage?
All-terrain tires are not as fuel-efficient as regular car tires and they will cause you extra trips to the pump. However, when compared to mud tires, they are better on fuel economy.
The amount of additional fuel consumption isn’t all that great, only a few percent more according to experts who tested them against regular highway tires.
This will of course depend on the type of driving you’re doing and the brand of tire you choose, along with the weight of your vehicle, suspension, and other factors such as weather conditions.
Can you drive mud tires on the road?
Many, but not all, mud tires are road legal and can be driven on the highway just like any other type of car tire.
However, due to the excessive wear, road driving causes mud tires and because they can quite negatively affect your fuel economy, you might be better choosing all-terrain tires instead if you drive on the highway a lot.
Are wider tires better in the mud?
Selecting the best tire width can sometimes be a little confusing. As a general rule, narrower tires are good for driving on hard surfaces such as packed ice, snow, or dirt and on rocks. Wide tires have a floating action and work well on soft, deep surfaces such as mud, sand, snow, or loose gravel.
Will bigger tires hurt my transmission?
Putting bigger tires on your farm truck may improve its off-road abilities and its looks, but it can have a very negative effect on your transmission, resulting in transmission failure.
To prevent this, you’ll have to re-gear the vehicle at the same time as putting on the larger tires, otherwise, you’ll end up destroying your gearbox.
There is unfortunately another downside. When you regear your transmission it affects how your speedometer works and can cause problems with the incorrect speed being displayed.
In order to remedy this, the speedometer will also require recalibration when you regear after putting on bigger tires.
When it comes to tires, the wide number of choices available can make it very difficult to decide which are the best for you.
To avoid making a costly mistake – do your homework! Write down the types of terrain and weather conditions you are most likely to encounter and the kind of driving you will be doing.
Will you be towing a trailer a lot? Using the truck off-road only? Carrying heavy loads?
If in doubt, talk to a tire expert, and ask for their advice. They deal with tires every day and will know what is best suited to your needs.
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