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HT vs AT vs MT: Explore the Best Tyres for Your 4WD or SUV

Bottom view to big offroad car wheel on a country road

With so many options available, how do you pick the best tyre for your 4WD or SUV?

The ideal off-road tyre choice may differ significantly depending on the type of vehicle you drive, how you use it, your budget, and where you drive.

Generally, there are a few different off-road tyre categories to take into account. In this article, we’ll focus on three of them: Highway-Terrain (HT), All-Terrain (AT), and Mud-Terrain (MT).

If you drive an SUV or 4WD vehicle, read on to find out what tyre you should ask about when you see the team at Kogarah Tyrepower. We provide a wide range of off-road tyres to fit most makes and models.

Highway and Urban Use

Highway landscape with mountain Ararat in background.

Tyres designed for paved roads often have smaller and more numerous tread blocks designed to channel water out from beneath the tyres.

Thanks to the positioning of their tread blocks at slightly different spacings, the humming noise associated with driving at high speeds is reduced.

In addition, highway tyres are built to handle high speeds for extended periods of time without overheating.

Highway-Terrain (HT)

If you intend to drive your 4WD more on-road than off-road, HT tyres are the ideal option for you since they are designed to be used mostly on sealed roads.

This type of tyre has the advantage of providing smooth and comfortable driving, with a quiet and balanced ride, thanks to its high-speed rating, low load index, and excellent grip and wear properties on wet roads.

Mixed Use

Red rocks in remote Western Australia

Many drivers may prefer tyres that can be used in a variety of conditions and are not exclusively designed for on-road or off-road terrains. Even though no tyre excels at everything, there are a variety of options that can be used on both on-road and off-road surfaces, such as all-terrain tyres.

Tyres that perform perfectly off-road usually compromise on-road tyre features, such as noise level. On the other hand, perfectly designed on-road tyres, typically compromise off-road characteristics, such as grip.

All-Terrain (AT)

All-Terrain tyres are versatile tyres that can be used in a wide range of driving conditions, including on and off-road terrain. They can typically handle a good mix of sealed and rocky surfaces.

AT tyres have a more aggressive and deeper tread than HT tyres, which gives them more traction for off-road driving.

AT tyres are generally an ideal option for 4WD owners and weekend off-road enthusiasts thanks to their durability, longevity, and on- and off-road performance.

This type of tyre provides a combination of speed and load capacity, with thicker sidewalls and a deep, rugged tread pattern. It is more durable than a traditional highway tyre and has a greater grip on off-road surfaces, including sealed roads and rough trails. Additionally, this tyre offers a good riding experience on the road.

Off-road Use

Messy rural dirt road after the rain with large muddy puddles

Tyres designed for off-road conditions, generally look different from on-road tyres. This is due to their large and deep tread blocks with large voids between them.

Tyres that perform well in off-road conditions should be tough and flexible at the same time. To avoid punctures and sidewall tears, high-quality off-road tyres typically have flexible sidewalls with reinforcement plies.

Different materials are used to make off-road tyres flexible, strong, and resistant, including kevlar and nylon.

Mud-Terrain (MT)

Mud-Terrain tyres are made to perform well in a variety of off-road conditions, such as mud, rocky terrain, and loose dirt. Mud-terrain tyres should generally be considered by anyone who spends 50% or more of their time in challenging off-road conditions, but this is not the only user category. They are best suited for serious off-road driving and are specific to 4WD and similar vehicles.

Mud terrain tyres are designed to take on the toughest Australian conditions, with treads that are more aggressive than those of all-terrain or highway tyres. They can withstand whatever you throw at them, from pebbles and mud to sand and dirt.

On hardened roads, however, MT tyres are less efficient. Because of their high rolling resistance, they consume more fuel and produce more noise on the road.

When compared to AT tyres, MT tyres normally give a less comfortable ride with more noise, but they are a great all-around alternative that performs consistently off-road.

This tyre features an expansive and open tread pattern that is strong and has a low-speed rating but a high load index. It can handle a wide variety of rough surfaces, like loose gravel, steep terrain, sand, and mud, and has great puncture resistance, making it perfect for tough off-roading.

Where can I get quality tyres in Kogarah?

Come see the experts at Kogarah Tyrepower in Kogarah. We offer a comprehensive range of tyres to keep you moving, regardless of your vehicle or driving habits.

Talk to us about your vehicle and your needs today, and we’ll fit your vehicle with the right tyres for the job!

Visit us at 7 Lindsay Street, Rockdale today or phone us on (02) 9587 3366 to book your vehicle to see the team at Kogarah Tyrepower!

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