Your Trip Right presents
The Great Central Rd Guide
The make or break of any car
To get good at making any decision we need practice and gain feedback. You don’t get to choose tyres often and the feedback you get from your choice is poor. We never get the ability to know what would have happened had we chose a different tyre or a different brand. To make the matter worse sometimes you buy the exact same tyre again and it does not perform anything like your previous set.
We have just put a second set of Cooper ST MAXX's on our Prado. The first set had a dream run. The second set had a tyre replaced at 4,000km!
When picking a tyre you need to consider four things:
- Budget: Well… The price of the tyre is only important until the point you pay for them. After you leave the tyre dealership the price of the tyre is the most irrelevant information about the tyre! You should think about the long term effects of your choice such as the effects on your fuel economy. How long are the tyres going to last in your driving conditions. The cost of replacing a tyre will quickly make the cheaper alternative more expensive then the tyres you actually wanted. My Final word on budget.. when your heart skips a beat as you slam on your breaks, thinking your about to crash…. what is $400 to you at that moment?
- Where are you driving? Get real on this one. If you own a stock standard car and only go camping a couple of times a year on a well maintained dirt road., buy yourself a good road tyre. It will last you well over 100,000km, save you buckets in fuel and improve your safety around town. If you are a person who lives in town but heads into the bush regularly, well your decision just got complicated.
- Features: All tyre's are inflatable round and have tread. Different tyre’s do it in different ways to help you achieve your personal needs. By going up a tyre size you can gain additional clearance at the differentials and increase your footprint providing extra traction in muddy and sandy conditions however this does have implications on your drive train and your fuel economy, breaks, speedo and center of gravity. Can you get your tyre easily repaired if needed? In the bush many people use split rims so they can repair them at home. Individual tyres offer so may different features too, from softer rubber compounds to additional water and mud clearing technologies and extra strength in the sidewalls.
- Safety: Safety turns into the middle ground between all your factors. For example, here in Docker River things are complicated. I need to have a tyre that will stand up to daily high speed driving on unmaintained dirt roads, throw in some off track adventures in very remote conditions and sprinkle 130km an hour on the Stuart highway. In this case we cannot achieve a perfect solution, we compromise and adjust our driving to suit.
I really encourage you to know everything you can about your tyre. Load rating, speed rating and even what 265/17R means. When you’re in the bush knowledge is the difference between a good day and a bad one!
We have an eBook available soon for $3.50. The eBook covers tyre selection, tyre Pressure, tyre features, changing your tyre size, emergency repairs, how to prolong the life of your tyre’s and much, much more.
Out here I recommend the Cooper ST MAXX with their reliability, warranty and availability they are a sure bet. I’m not going to sit here and tell you they are the only option. If you're buying a well known off-road tyre brand i.e. Mickey Thompson, BF Goodrich or even Maxxis you're probably not making a bad decision.