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Choosing A 33-Inch Mud Terrain Tire For Your 4x4
One of the most important choices you make as a 4x4 owner is your tires. This page will give you information on the different tires available, as well as specifications and side by side comparisons. There's also links to check prices, reviews, and links to the manufacturers.
Hopefully, this page will better inform you of the tires available.
Looking for a 35-Inch Mud Terrain? Click HERE.
Light truck tires come in basically (3) designs:
All Season - The all season tire belongs on cars and 2wd trucks. They're pretty much a passenger car tire with no off road capability. Keep walking past those to the better tires.
All Terrain - Every 4x4 truck or SUV should come with all terrain tires. An all terrain tire is built with off-road standards, but designed more for street performance. They'll typically give you slightly better MPG than a mud terrain, and don't create the noise associated with some mud tires. They're best suited for snow, and mild off-road conditions such as dirt roads and mild trails.
Mud Terrain - If you ever plan to take your truck off-road, this is the tire you want. In fact, it doesn't even need to be a true off-road vehicle. Some people use them for traction on the trucks they tow their off-road vehicles with (because you usually end up having to park it in a field somewhere), or on farm vehicles that need to drive in to fields. The aggressive tread and deep voids allow them to get a good bite without clogging up with mud.
(The colored area shows the void in this mud terrain)
In addition, there are some competition and rock crawling specific tires, but we're not going to get in to that. If you're in to competition rock crawling, then you're likely not reading this.
Besides choosing the type of tread design, there is also Radial and Bias ply tires.
Bias Ply - Although they're not as plentiful as they use to be, there are still several bias ply off-road tires out there. Bias tires typically have the ply cords that extend diagonally from bead to bead at a range of 30 to 40 degree angles. Each successive ply is laid at an opposing angle, forming a criss-cross pattern. This design allows the entire tire body to flex, as the tread and sidewalls share the same casing plies. The flex allows for better gripping, better clean out, and conformity to rough and rocky terrain. Bias type tires are best suited for extreme off-road conditions where grip, cleanout, and traction are top priority. These tires are just as strong in the sidewalls as in the center of the tread. While they may not flex as readily as a radial, the flex in the tread makes up for it.
Bias tires tend to wear out quicker and form flat spots compared to their counterparts. The flexing also means increased rolling resistance, a noisy tire, and less control and traction at higher speeds. A set of bias ply off-road tires will usually only last 20,000 - 30,000 miles when used on the highway.
Radial - Radial constructed tires utilize ply cords that extend from bead to bead at approximately right angles to the centerline of the tire. They are parallel to each other, and are combined with stabilizer belts. They have good directional stability offering a smooth ride, and tend to last for more miles than a bias tire.
Their drawbacks are weaker sidewalls, and the steel belts hamper the radials ability to conform to trail obstacles.
While bias tires have been considered to have a stronger sidewall than a radial tire, manufactures have been working to improve the sidewall strength of their off-road tires.
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
Goodyear offers their Wrangler MT/R with a Kevlar reinforced sidewall, and they claim it helps increase sidewall puncture resistance by 35%. Some manufacturers also list their off-road tires with a 3-ply sidewall, and claim that it makes them more puncture resistant.
Below is a chart showing the different 33-inch mud terrains available. The chart includes:
You'll notice that most of these tires are not a true 33-inch tire. You'll also see that some have a deeper tread measurement than others. Recommendations follow the chart.
Shopping Online & Warranties:
Some people feel that they need to go to their local tire shop to buy tires. Sometimes that can limit your options. Some tire shops won't have the size you want when you walk in, and will have to order it.
Companies such as Tire Rack have agreements with local tire shops to install tires. When you buy the tires online, they send them to your local tire shop for installation. Other companies will charge a flat rate for shipping, or may offer free shipping.
Some people have concerns about their warranty when they order tires online. If your tire has a manufactures warranty, any dealer that carries that brand will be able to honor it. Any tire shop will mount tires that you bring in. Having a shop mount your tires doesn't usually cost that much.
In this day in age, you have to be an educated consumer and get the best deal. Even if it means getting tires online with free shipping, or having them sent to a local tire shop.
Our Recommendations From The Chart:
There are very few 33-inch tires anymore under $200.
The Maxxis Buckshot Mudder - Is probably one of the oldest mud terrains on the market. It's a quality tire, and the cheapest name brand 33-inch mud terrain you can currently find. It has a 20/32 inch deep tread.
The Mastercraft Courser MXT - Is another great value under $200, and measures 32.83 inches with a 20/32 inch deep tread. Much closer to the true 33-inch diameter.
The Dunlop Mud Rover would also be in the top (3) picks for mud terrains under $200. It's 32.5 inches in diameter with a 20/32 inch tread depth.
The Goodyear Wrangler MTR is 32.8 inches with 21/32 inches of mud tread. It also has sidewalls reinforced with Kevlar.
The Firestone Destination with it's diameter listed at 33 inches and a deep 22/32 inch tread depth.
The BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM2, a proven winner in various off-road motorsports.
What's The Ultimate Mud Terrain:
Really, anything made by Interco (Super Swamper). The Super Swamper bogger is hands down the best mud tire. It's not that great on rocks, and not a tire you want to drive on the street. Super Swamper TSL's would be the best tires for a dedicated trail rig, and a setup consisting of Super Swamper TSL's on the front, with Super Swamper Boggers on the back, is an amazing mud setup.
The Super Swamper TSL and SSR radials would be a great tire for a trail rig that sees a lot of pavement driving.