How do all-terrain tyres and mud terrain tyres compare driving on sand dunes?

How do all-terrain tyres and mud terrain tyres compare driving on sand dunes?

Together with Performance Driving Australia we put them both to the test to find out.

We got two Toyota Hilux's, one with a set of all-terrain tyres and one with a set of mud terrain tyres, both set to 16psi, with the same driver. Both tyres had the same height & width.

Ps: does anyone know the plural of Hilux?

Full Transcript
Jared Mendham: Welcome back to Tyre View. And today, we're looking at the difference between all-terrain tyres and mud-terrain tyres on the sand. And we've actually, luckily, got two exactly the same Hilux's running exactly the same height and width tyres. The only difference is that one has mud-terrains and the other one has all-terrains. So, we're just going to go for a little bit of a drive and actually subjectively tell you how different we feel about the tyres. And while we go for that drive I've actually got David here from Performance Driving Australia who's going to just give us a little bit of an idea as to why these tyres might be a bit different. So, let's go for a drive.
Jared Mendham: So, now we're in the car with the all-terrain tyres. We're just going to go for a little drive.
Jared Mendham: What sort of differences should I be feeling with this?
David Waldon: We feel that the car feels up on the surface pretty easily, pretty quickly. Especially in this still quite thick sand-
Jared Mendham: Yeah.
David Waldon: And it's been cut up a little bit by-
Jared Mendham: Somebody's been driving around here.
David Waldon: [crosstalk 00:01:17]. And you'll find that the car, even though it pushes a little bit in this soft stuff, still will turn without you having to fight it too much.
Jared Mendham: Yeah.
David Waldon: As you dig into trenches, you find the sand pushes against the side wall, and makes the steering a little bit heavy, but you just push past that and use a little bit of throttle as well.
Jared Mendham: And it's certainly not hard to drive around.
David Waldon: No. At these pressures it should be pretty easy provided you get momentum.
Jared Mendham: Yup. But even coming to a stop. And we're in some pretty soft sand here that hasn't been tracked recently. And I'm going to floor it.
David Waldon: And see, it lifts up pretty easily, pretty quickly.
Jared Mendham: That's right. Whoa! It's a bit dense there.
David Waldon: [inaudible 00:02:04]. Yes.
Jared Mendham: So, should we go out and try the M/T's?
David Waldon: Let's do that.
Jared Mendham: We'll just drive up.
Jared Mendham: So, we're now in the car with the mud-terrain tyres, M/T. We're going to start the car. We're going to go in power mode, same as we did before.
David Waldon: Exactly the same as we had it before.
Jared Mendham: That's right. We're in drive. So, we're going to get going.
Jared Mendham: And even straight away I can notice it's not... It's not driving as easily. So what should I be seeing in this one?
David Waldon: I think you'll find there's a little bit more hesitant to turn.
Jared Mendham: Whoa.
David Waldon: So you turn into here, you'll find.
Jared Mendham: Yeah, it feels like I'm on a... Actually...
David Waldon: You got to use more steering angle and more throttle to get it to turn.
Jared Mendham: Yeah, it feels like I'm actually sort of drifting it more.
David Waldon: Yeah.
Jared Mendham: So that's-
David Waldon: Then it gets a bit hard to know where your wheel is like that.
Jared Mendham: Yeah.
David Waldon: Where you're steering. So you're going to have a little bit more concentration on it. It doesn't quite sit up. Do you feel it bogged down a little bit more?
Jared Mendham: Yup.
David Waldon: You can see what happens when you come to a stop.
Jared Mendham: Yup. So we'll stop here.
David Waldon: There's [inaudible 00:03:18] here.
Jared Mendham: Again.
David Waldon: Make sure your wheels straight ahead and-
Jared Mendham: Wheels straight.
David Waldon: Yup.
Jared Mendham: We're going to go foot flat to the board like before.
David Waldon: Let's do that.
Jared Mendham: Okay, ready?
David Waldon: Yup. I already felt it sink down-
Jared Mendham: Yup, that's right.
David Waldon: On the first movement it went down verses forward.
Jared Mendham: Exactly.
David Waldon: And we're going to have a bumpy bit again. Shake up lunch.
Jared Mendham: Yes. [inaudible 00:03:39]. So it's just not as pleasurable a ride.
David Waldon: No. It still works.
Jared Mendham: I mean, that's right. Still, we'll get there.
David Waldon: And if you're cautious about your line and keep your momentum up, it will work fine. Just not as comfortable, is it?
Jared Mendham: No. And it also, I feel like it actually comes to a stop a lot quicker as well.
David Waldon: Yup.
Jared Mendham: Because it's really biting in, which I suppose is a good thing.
David Waldon: Probably sits a bit lower in the sand all the time. And as tyres are designed to dig and get grip, so on a surface like this they'll do that but that's a bit counter productive.
Jared Mendham: Yeah. Interesting. Cool. I'll [inaudible 00:04:15].
Jared Mendham: So David, we've just been for a drive around on both these tyres, all-terrain tyres and mud-terrain tyres on sand. And the all-terrain tyres were obviously better. So why is that?
David Waldon: I think a lot of it's to do with the fact that the block size is different. It carries across the face of the tyre a lot better with smaller sized gaps in there. So the tyre tends to sit up on the surface, the car rides on the surface much like a boat does on the top of the water. Makes the thing balloon out much better, carry more surface area on the sand.
Jared Mendham: Yeah, okay. And yeah, just makes for a more comfortable ride. And we went through the deep, soft sand much easier. So, let's go across and look at the mud-terrain tyres.
Jared Mendham: Now, these are a lot more aggressive.
David Waldon: A lot more aggressive. They're designed to release a lot of water and a lot of mud. If you're going on muddy trails, bog holes, mud ruts, these work very effectively to act as little walls, to grip and clear out. They still work quite effectively in this sand, but nothing like as good as a A/T in our experience today.
Jared Mendham: Yeah, yeah, so they're actually digging into the sand.
David Waldon: Correct.
Jared Mendham: And also, the M/T's are actually a much stronger build than the A/T's which means that they aren't bagging out as much, they're not presenting as much of a face to the sand.
David Waldon: That's it. So the surface area is a little bit different, it takes a bit more work to get them to balloon out in the same manner as an A/T does.
Jared Mendham: So you're just not going to get that flotation that you do on sand-
David Waldon: Correct.
Jared Mendham: As you do with the all-terrain tyres.
David Waldon: That's right.
Jared Mendham: I mean I guess that's probably the summation of this video is that if you're talking about a tyre specifically on sand, the all-terrain tyre is actually going to be better because it's a little bit cheaper, it's going to be quieter on the road, it's going to be safer on the road a little bit because it's going to be more easily controlled but it's not going to be [inaudible 00:06:11].
David Waldon: Is that?
Jared Mendham: No, that's probably better.
David Waldon: No, that's true.
Jared Mendham: [crosstalk 00:06:14].
Jared Mendham: It's a better road tyre. It's a better road tyre. Whereas these are going to be a little bit more ornery, they're going to be louder, and they're going to be more grumpy. But they are better on trails.
Jared Mendham: So, if you're looking for a tyre to drive on sand with, go with the all-terrain.