Do You Really Know Why You Need Taller Off-Road Truck Tires?
What is the first thing you think of at the mere mention of offroad trucks? Bet it’s tall tires and steel truck bumpers! Tall, meaty tires are an almost stereotypical upgrade all you offroad enthusiasts chomp at the bit to have because they look so aggressive and cool, right? Do you actually know why those big, tall tires are important? When you’re out on the trails pushing the limits with your trucks and Jeeps, you need to understand the actual purpose of tall tires and the role they play in fun, safe, and successful off roading.
Of course, traction. This is probably the most obvious of all reasons for big tires because larger, meatier tires give better traction over rougher terrain. However you like to play with your own special off-road truck, there is a tread out there that can somewhat improve your traction when used with other upgrades like a locking differentials.
Generally speaking, off-road tires are knobbier than those for driving on the street. Of course, it’s still important to get the right type. Tires that provide improved traction in mud are a lot different than those used for rock and hill climbing. There are also combination all-terrain options that can offer improved traction for both activities, at least at the lower levels. But hold on – there’s a more important reason why bigger, taller tires are an essential upgrade for off-road trucks.
Increasing Ground Clearance
Traction is great – but when you can’t clear obstacles without bottoming out, any off-road truck could sustain unnecessary damage, getting stuck, or hung up on the rocks. The more aggressive the terrain, the more ground clearance comes into play, especially when negotiating big rocks or climbing hills. Higher ground clearance is the main reason why off-roading calls for taller tires.
The fact remains, whether driving through mud, going over rocks, or ascending and descending a steep hill, your amount of ground clearance dictates just how much you’ll be able to do with that great truck. Tread alone doesn’t lift the bottom of the truck further off the ground. This is why off-road tires need to be tall and have the right tread.
Important Considerations When Adding Taller Tires
Adding inches to your truck’s ground clearance will increase what you can do out on the trail; however, there’s more to this upgrade than just bolting on tall tires. While bigger, taller wheels and tires increase the space between the ground and the bottom of the vehicle, they can also interfere with the wheel wells and the suspension above them. Tires need to fit without creating drag in the wheel wells or rubbing when they are turned.
If that happens, as it does on a lot of trucks once those tall tires are added, it means upgrading other parts as well. A taller suspension is commonly necessary and some may have to add a body lift kit as well. These three components together are why some off-road trucks are so tall in general, yet necessity is the driving factor.
Before running out to find the biggest, tallest tires that will look impressive with those steel bumpers and driving lights, slow down a minute and plan out your upgrades. Understand the purpose of those big tires and how they affect the rest of your truck or Jeep. Then check out your options as well as any changes you’ll need to make to your suspension.
One great option is to outfit your off-road truck with steel bumpers from Fab Fours, as their bumpers are made with sufficient clearance to allow you to upgrade to those impressive tires you really want. Then you will have the height and traction you need to tackle more challenging obstacles out on the trail – enjoy!