Did you know that 4WDs are one of the fastest growing segments of new vehicle purchases in Australia? 4WDs come in a range of sizes and the uses for these kinds of vehicles are varied (and at times, a lot of fun!). When it comes to choosing the right tyres for your 4WD you need to ask yourself - how much time do you intend to use your 4WD off-road? We’ll let you think that one over for a moment while we list the three kinds of 4WD tyres available and their uses.

As outlined in the video clip, the three kinds of tyres available are Highway Terrain (HT), All Terrain (AT) and Mud Terrain (MT). So let’s dig deeper, shall we?

Highway Terrain (HT) - 90% Road, 10% Off-Road

Highway Terrain tyres are suited to 4WDs that spend most of their time on-road and a limited amount of time off-road (like parked up on the nature strip while you give it a wash). 
Example Highway Terrain (HT) Tyre

Obviously, using these tyres will limit your off-road driving capabilities but that doesn’t mean that they’re no good at handling off-road situations. It just means that they don’t handle obstacles like sand and mud as well as some other tyres.

The benefits of a Highway Terrain tyre include:

  • Good ride comfort  
  • Highway speed durability and road handling  
  • Lower noise levels (because of the shallower tread depth) 

As already mentioned - these are the tyres to go for if you intend to spend a limited amount of time off-road.

All Terrain (AT) - 60% Road, 40% Off-Road

All Terrain, or AT tyres, are designed to be used mostly on-road with some time spent doing light off-road duties. Pardon the tyre pun, but when it comes to 4WD tyres, All Terrains are considered a good all-rounder.

The benefits of an All Terrain Tyre include:
  • Versatility - suited to a wide range of surfaces from dry sealed roads to muddy tracks
  • Robust (more so than HT tyres)
  • Extra void in the tread pattern improves grip on unsealed surfaces

All Terrain tyres tend to be the popular choice for 4WD owners who want to be able to use their vehicle both on and off the road. They can tackle camping trips, dirt roads and some light four wheel driving, but also offer an acceptable level of grip and ride comfort in everyday driving.

Keep in mind, too, that there’s a range of All Terrain tyres out there, from those that are more road oriented, to those that are more aggressive all terrain. The more road oriented tyres will have traits that make them better for day to day driving, while the aggressive tyres can handle a beating on the track, but also do the day to day grind.

Example All Terrain (AT) Tyre

Mud Terrain (MT) - 15% Road, 85% Off-Road

If you watched the above Tyre Review Video Clip, then you’ll have heard Jared refer to Mud Terrain tyres as well suited to ‘Weekend Warriors’. They are generally characterised by their large and chunky tread patterns and are suited to anyone who plans to drive their 4WD at least 80% of the time off-road.

Example Mud Terrain (MT) Tyre

The benefits of Mud Terrain Tyres include:
  • Allow mud and dirt to pass more easily
  • Good grip, owing to the large, open tread pattern
  • Can handle serious, off-road driving conditions including steep terrains and lots of mud!

It’s important to note that Mud Terrain tyres are not really intended for highway use and can be quite noisy (although some modern muddies are bucking this trend). Their open tread means that they have less contact with the road and this means their traction on the black top can be limited.

If taking on sand, loose gravel, steep terrains and of course, mud, is your kind of thing then Mud Terrain tyres could be the right choice for you.
Now you've read this, are you curious about the top 10 4WD cars? Check out what our mates over at Driva had to say-