The kind and quality of wheels and tires on your UTV matters a great deal for performance, comfort and safety.
In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about buying the right wheels and tires for your farming UTV.
What You'll Learn Today
What are the Different Types of UTV Tires?
The first thing you need to decide is the type of UTV tire you need. UTV tires are categorized based on the terrain they are intended for use on.
The most common types of side by side tires, and the best ones for most farming UTVs, are all-terrain or general purpose tires. These perform better on different kinds of surfaces from hard trails, to moderately muddy or snowy conditions.
If you often drive your UTV in deep mud or snow, get mud and snow tires. These have deep lugs to provide a better grip in mud and snow.
If you drive mostly on sandy trails, get sand tires. These are lighter, and usually have paddles to scoop up sand to push the tires forward.
If you need more help figuring out which type of UTV tire to get and what else to consider when buying UTV tires, watch the video below.
How are UTV Tires Measured?
The next thing to consider is size. Generally, you should replace your UTV stock tires with aftermarket tires of the same size.
To know the size of a tire, check for three numbers on the sidewall. You’ll see something like this – 27×9-14.
The first number is the diameter of the tire, the second is the width of the tire, and the third is the height of the wheel the tire can be mounted on.
Sometimes, you’ll see an R before the last number. Something like 27x9R14. That indicates the tire has a radial construction, as opposed to a bias construction. We explain the difference in the next section below.
In most UTVs, you can get tires that are up to 1 inch taller, but check the user manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Getting taller tires gives you more ground clearance, but increases the risk of your UTV tipping over because of a higher center of gravity. But since most UTVs on a farm are driven slowly, getting a tire that’s 1-2 inches taller than stock should be alright.
What’s the Best Ply Rating for UTV Tires?
The ply rating of a tire tells you how tough the tire is. The higher the ply rating, the tougher the tire. It can carry a heavier load and has better puncture and slash resistance.
For farming UTVs, we recommend an 8-ply construction. It makes the tires a bit heavier, but it allows you to traverse over rocks and thorns without worrying about puncturing your tires. It also allows you to carry heavier loads.
While we are on the subject of tire ply, check the type of ply construction. There are two types: radial and bias.
For farming UTVs, a bias ply tire is the best.
A bias construction handles heavier loads better, has better puncture-resistance than radial construction (especially on the sidewalls), and offers excellent traction.
What are the Different Types of UTV Wheels?
Onto wheels. The first thing to consider is the type of wheel that will work best on your side by side.
In regards to material, you have two options: steel or aluminum.
Steel wheels are strong and durable, but they add too much weight to an ATV. Most UTV wheels nowadays are made from different kinds of aluminum.
Options include aluminum alloy, cast aluminum, spn aluminum, and forged aluminum.
Aluminum wheels are lighter, and a good quality set will serve you just as long as steel wheels. Just make sure you do not exceed the weight capacity and air pressure indicated on the wheels.
Something else to consider is whether you should get standard or beadlock wheels.
In standard wheels, the tire’s air pressure keeps the bead secured. But rough terrain or low tire pressure can unseat the bead.
If you plan to run low tire pressure or drive on rocky trails, get beadlock wheels. A beadlock wheel mechanically clamps down on the tire’s bead, keeping it in place no matter what.
How are UTV Wheels Measured?
Wheels have just two measurements – the diameter and the width.
The size will be indicated by a number like 14×7. That means the wheel has a diameter of 14” and a width of 7”.
To choose the right wheel size, check what the manufacturer recommends in the manual.
Another number to check is the offset. Offset refers to the mounting position of the wheel. It can be a positive offset like 5+2 or a negative offset like 2+5.
Negative offset wheels stick out more from the vehicle, while positive offset wheels are tucked further in.
Choose a wheel offset that matches the requirements for your UTV. Either check the user manual, or measure the offset of the stock wheels.
Another measurement you need to match is the lug or bolt pattern. This is usually indicated by two numbers such as 4/110. 4 refers to the number of bolts, while 110 is the distance in mm diagonally between two of the bolts.
Can You Put Same Size Tires on a UTV?
Most UTVs have staggered tires. That means the front tires are thinner than the rear tires.
The main purpose of this design is to ease steering. Thinner front tires are easier to steer and maneuver. The wider rear tires provide traction and high payload capacity.
Increasingly, however, manufacturers are ditching staggered tires for uniform tires. The advent of power steering has eliminated the need for thinner front tires.
Some UTV owners are also switching from staggered tires and putting on similar size tires. If you want to do this, you’ll need to buy new wheels for the front that match the rear wheels.
If you want to change all four tires to a different size, you’ll need to change all four wheels.
Only put the same size of tires on your UTV if you have power steering. If you have an older side by side without power steering, stick to the staggered design.
Are ATV and UTV Wheels The Same?
Yes, ATVs and UTVs typically use the same types of wheels.
ATVs wheels and tires are sized the same way as UTV wheels and tires. When you go shopping, you’ll see many tires and wheels listed as being ideal for ATVs and UTVs.
How Much do UTV Wheels Cost?
The cost of UTV wheels varies greatly depending on size, construction, aesthetics, and material.
You can get a steel wheel for as little as $50 per wheel, while aluminium wheels start at around $60 per wheel and can go as high as $100 to 200 for high-end and beadlock wheels.
But you can get a decent wheel for under $100 and a full set of four for under $400.
As for tires, prices range between $50 and $100 for most all-terrain tires. Specialized tires such as off road tires, can cost over $100 per tire.