“Being in the job I am in, I get to test any tyre I wish. Now when I say test I mean fitting them to my own Ford Ranger FX4 4×4 company vehicle and driving in every direction, down any road, across any terrain and through any river, stream or bog. What follows on from here is my experience of the top 5 tyres out there with a description of the conditions where they really perform and how they compare regarding their construction. Please bear in mind that all information is based on my own personal experience and I honestly believe that all these tyres are the perfect option for their respective classes. Happy reading!” –Josh Boakes.
The Top 5 4WD tyres put together by Gas & Tyre 4WD specialist Josh
This is a true 50/50 tyre that has everything that anyone is ever going to want out of a tyre!! This tyre is my Number 1 personal preference across ALL tyres I’ve ever tested and across ALL conditions I’ve ever driven in. Why buy a noisy mud tyre when you can buy the ATZ-P3??? This tyre has seriously amazing off-road and mud capabilities. See the related video below – this is my ute currently running the ATZ-P3 in a 285/55R20 on a set of Mickey Thompson alloy rims. Let’s start on the inside of this tyre; the carcass sidewall construction features Mickey’s trade-mark PowerPly technology which is a unique construction that lessens the ‘twist’ in the tyre. Less twist means faster response to your steering resulting in safer and better handling in all road conditions. We all want to be safe out there on our roads! This tyre also boasts Mickey’s ‘T4’ rubber compound which has a high natural silica content with reinforced tread caps improving the cut & chip resistance of the tread and also increasing mileage and traction on wet roads. The more silica the less slip! In short, the ATZ-P3 delivers an amazing driving experience across all dimensions of possible driving situations. This tyre certainly deserves the almost 5 out of 5 rating I’ve awarded it.
If the ATZ-P3 is perfect, the Deegan 38 A/T is almost perfect!! Although the Deegan 38 A/T doesn’t have the PowerPly carcass construction like the ATZ-P3, it has Mickey’s all-new high-tensile cords which are 33% stronger than standard tensile cords. It also has super-tensile steel belts which are 15% stronger than the standard high-tensile steel belts. These two features combined improve both puncture resistance and also performance under severe load. Although it is officially an all-terrain, the Deegan 38 A/T is a stunning tyre to drive on highway or bitumen roads in both wet or dry conditions; it is incredibly quiet, sticks to wet and dry roads like no other A/T tyre can and offers unbeatable braking ability. It’s ability to handle our harsh gravel roads is excellent as well – all thanks to the unique, chemically-coupled silica compound. All in all, if you’re wanting an outstanding performing tyre for all road situations but do hit the harsh tracks as well, you won’t be disappointed in purchasing this tyre.
A longtime favourite, the older style Bighorn MT762 had a little brother born called the Bighorn MT764 – but it soon became the predecessor! The MT764 offers excellent value for money and traction in most off-road situations to match. Although it is a great mud tyre, it seriously performs well on wet & dry tar seal roads, but it is a little noisy. However, its ability to punch out mileage results like the Mickey Thompson isn’t quite there. If you’re after a great mid-range tyre for your 4WD that gets you safely from A to B and a lot further in to the back blocks, then this is the tyre for you.
A proven mid-range performer again, the Maxxis AT980 is hard to bet in its class for price and results. One area this tyre shines is on gravel roads, it delivers a controlled driving experience on our harsh back roads. With almost every size in its range offering either an 8Ply or 10Ply carcass construction, it does have excellent load handling capabilities as well. Mileage would be above average for this class of tyre but again can’t get close to its Mickey Thompson rival. All in all not a bad tyre for the money.
This tyre in a nut shell is a great tyre in almost all road conditions – as my rating below indicates. It’s a pleasurable tyre to drive on in wet & dry tar seal, cuts an excellent line on gravel roads and can deliver the expected in the sand. The carcass construction is standard with no sizes offering an 8Ply or 10Ply option, so it isn’t really an ideal tyre for carrying or towing heavy loads. It also really has nothing to offer when we talk about off-road capabilities so if you are only looking for a mid-range tyre for your ute that offers a good on-road experience with a little off-road ability then look no further than this tyre.