When it comes to off-road trucks and SUVs, there are few things more important than good sand tires. They're the only way to make sure you get the traction needed to get your truck or SUV to the sand dunes in comfort. Unfortunately, without them getting the job done, you're out of luck. While most people just pop on the tires and go, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you have the best traction possible. Sand has a special kind of grip that can only be felt with the proper type of tire pressure and a straight sidewall.
One of the first things you should do before even getting off the beaten path is to go over your vehicle and check the condition of your tires. This ensures you're using the right tire pressure, which in turn ensures you get the optimal amount of traction. The ideal scenario is to have one to two inches of rubber between each of the wheel wells. Anything more will leave you fighting the terrain, not racing it. Wide tires are better for sand because they have more width, which increases your cutting ability on sand and reduces tread wear.
When you go to buy a new set of off-road tires, ask the salesperson to pull up a picture of the actual dune and then compare that to the image on your computer monitor. It's important to have an accurate comparison. Not only does having an accurate photo of your truck mean you can compare it to the stock picture, it also means you'll be able to choose from among the widest tires on the market. Choosing between narrow and wide tires without an image can lead to purchasing one with too little grip or one that wears too quickly.
Know what type of environment your truck will be traversing when you shop for sand tires for trucks. Asphalt and tar tracks are the worst for this type of tire, but there are still some options out there. If you're getting one for a truck that will primarily be used on sand, consider getting a self-cleaning tread pattern on the outside of the tire. This will help you to keep the tread clean without the extra wear and tear of a self-cleaning wheel. On the other hand, if your truck is primarily used on pavement, you can opt for a gum rubber tread pattern to keep the mud out of your wheel wells.
Buy the most ideal size of off-road tires you can afford. There's no point in overpaying for a larger diameter than you need. The most extreme of conditions will take a bigger diameter tire than you'd otherwise prefer for this terrain. If you live in a colder climate where ice and snow are big concerns, go with a smaller diameter tire. Having a smaller sidewall also allows water to slip more easily off the wheel, so you can choose a winter model if you need to do so.
One of the biggest pros for these types of off-road tires is the fact that they last longer. They can hold up against heavy use for many years, and there's not the immediate degradation evident with an on-road tire. This long life is another reason many people prefer to buy them.
Sand traction is a real advantage for these tires. They work well on gravels, mud, and snow, as well as pavement. The traction helps you get your vehicle stuck better, and helps you avoid skidding. A lack of tire pressure can make it difficult or impossible to drive on some paved roads, so keep that in mind when choosing which tires to purchase. Checking the pressure periodically is the best way to ensure the tires have adequate traction.
These all make good choices for anyone who drives an off-road vehicle. Talk to friends who drive trucks equipped with these types of tires, as well as people who drive off-road vehicles in general, and see what their recommendations are. If you're not sure which ones you should get, ask friends and family for help. You may be surprised at the variety of answers you get! Once you've made your decision, you'll be able to easily shop for sand tires for trucks at a local auto part store.