What tyre pressure should you run on sand? We did some testing to find out!

What tyre pressure should you run in your tyres on sand? Believe it or not, it makes a significant difference. How much difference? We tested three different pressures on a sand hill to find out!

Full transcript:
Gudday, I'm Jared from Tyre Review Australia. And today we're actually gonna be looking at what tyre pressures you should be running in the sand. And we're not be just talking about this, we're actually going to be demonstrating it. So, we've got David from Performance Driving Australia here in our Toyota Hilux which has the Yokohama Geolander Ultra end tyres on it. These tyres are currently inflated to 34 PSI in the back and 32 PSI in the front, which is factory specs. Some people do run higher pressures in these but this is what the factory says so we'll start off with that.
And we're actually gonna see if we can run the car up that hill. So, David, what sort of settings are you gonna run today?
I think we'll just keep this fairly simple, so we'll keep the car in four low, we'll have it in power mode so it allows the extra torque of the motor to work the car a little bit more easily. But other than that we won't switch anything else and we'll just let the car do it's work.
Easy. Switch her on and see how you go. All right. Go.
Oh, he's not making it. He's digging a hole. Oh dear, so he's got about half way up.
So David, you only made it about half way up that time. You want to have another go at the full factory specs?
We'll have another go and we'll just see whether or not ... I know we've pushed a bit of sand down whether it tracks a little bit better.
Yeah. All right so factory pressures, take two.
About the same spot right there. Car's still straight, feels good, just can't get enough grip on the sand unfortunately.
Get some momentum up. That's about as good as it gets. I'll keep the car straight. Let it fall back down on its own tracks. Keep good momentum up, so we don't bury in the bottom of the dune. And try not to run anyone over.
So, we've just run this car up the hill with factory pressures, so 34 in the back and 32 in the front, and it made it maybe a third of the way up. We've just lowered the pressure's down to 25 PSI. Let's see how it goes. Go.
Definitely got a bit further that time by a couple metres. Kinda felt like it hopped up a bit more quickly onto the top of the sand as well. Pretty trying conditions in here. Very soft sand and very warm.
25 PSI, take two. Go.
Definitely got a bit further that time by a couple metres.
25 PSI, take three.
About the same point again. [inaudible 00:03:26] consistent.
Okay. We're now at 16 PSI which is the minimum recommended pressures by the experts for driving on sand. And so, David here from PDA is trying to get up that hill at 16 PSI. Take one.
Almost. Almost got up the top with no run up.
Okay. So he got three metres further on take one. So this is 16 PSI, take two.
They probably do it again on [inaudible 00:04:16] now. We might try a little line off to one side so we don't dig holes quite as big. But it's certainly easier to get the car moving backwards and forwards at the moment.
Okay. 16 PSI, take three.
Come on you good thing. Come on you good thing. Come on. Come on.
So, at 16 PSI on the last attempt he actually made it to the top. And I think he's just about run over one of our Go Pros. But, this is proof that you really need to be running a low pressure in the sand dunes.
So David, you made it to the top of the hill, 16 PSI. The factory recommended pressures just didn't cut it, you got maybe half way up the hill, a third of the way up the hill. We went down at 25 PSI that got two thirds of the way up the hill. And then even on 16 PSI you only made it on your third attempt. So, it just shows how sandy, well obviously it's sandy, but how powdery the sand is and how difficult that actual hill was.
Sure. And the idea of the test is to actually put it under an extreme circumstance to see what it does. With a little bit more momentum it would have been a bit easier, but at the same time, it's a fairly steep and arduous dune to go up. Most people might choose to find another way around it, but certainly the changes in pressure just make the job a lot easier.
That's right. So lowering the pressure makes it easier on the car, makes it easier on you as the driver, and just makes it easier in general because people don't have to come and pull you out when you get stuck.
Great. Thanks David.
No worries.