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Tyres for your pickup truck - A brief guide

A pickup truck with offroad wheels on driving over muddy terrain.

Looking to switch out your truck's current tyres for something beefier but not sure where to start? Whether you have a brand new Ford Ranger, or a K74 L200 - you'll need to have an understanding of tyres and their differences. We'll give you the rundown on everything you need to know about tyres before choosing what's best for you and your truck.


Lets start from the beginning and breakdown the meaning of the tyre sizes and how to read them. You'll find the tyre size on the sidewall.

The first number you see on a tyre reading is the width of the tyre in mm.

The second number is the profile (this is sometimes also known as the 'ratio') This is the height shown as a percentage of the full tyre width, aka the height of the sidewall. Essentially, the bigger the number, the more sidewall you will have.

The letter 'R' depicts the variety of tyre. In this case, it refers to the tyre being a radial type. This is likely the one you will commonly see on a lot of tyres out there. Occasionally there are others used, such as 'B' (which means 'bias') or 'D' (meaning 'diagonal')

The last number on the tyre is the wheel rim diameter in inches. e.g. if you see a tyre with 'R20' on, this will fit a 20" wheel.


Another thing you will want to be certain of is deciding what type of tyre you are wanting to fit on your truck. Will you be doing a lot of off-roading? Or are most of your miles spent on tarmac roads? Or perhaps, you're needing a tyre for a little bit of both?

ROAD TYRES - The clue is in the name with this one, these are your best choice if you only do driving on normal roads. These are designed for regular road use; their shallower and less aggressive tread pattern means that they have better grip on paved surfaces, but less traction on uneven terrain.


  • The most fuel efficient choice compared to all terrain/mud tyres.

  • Reliable for road use, provides a smooth and quiet ride.

  • Better grip on wet or slippery surfaces, meaning they are a safer option for driving in adverse weather conditions.

  • Better handling and stability.


  • Their shallow tread pattern makes them more susceptible to damage on harsh terrain.

  • Not suitable for off-roading. They may not provide the necessary grip and traction on rough/unpaved roads, which can result in reduced performance and safety.

ALL TERRAIN - Also known as A/Ts, these are typically used for traction on all types of surfaces including on and off-road. This combines the open tread design of offroad tyres with the addition of good handling of street tyres. Popular brands for all-terrains tend to be the likes of BFGoodrich, General Grabber and Cooper.


  • The open tread design of all terrain tyres improves traction of the tyres both on & offroad. This provides good grip on trickier terrain such as rocks and mud, but at the same time still provides good handling on normal roads.

  • Reinforced sidewalls are present on some models of all terrain tyre, these provide a more load carrying capacity.

  • All year operability - not only are these tyres great for off-roading, but they also provide traction on snowy and icy terrain. Winter tyres may still have an advantage over all terrain when it comes to snow/icy surfaces, but if you're wanting adequate performance all year round without the hassle of switching from summer to winter tyres, then all terrain is the way to go.

These Wolfrace Sahara wheels for the Ford Ranger are fitted with Terramax ARV Pro 285/50/R20 AT Tyres


  • They can be quite noisy!

  • Shorter tread life - the softer rubber of the tyre means that the tread life is shorter.

  • Lower fuel efficiency - All terrain tyres rank in the middle of fuel efficiency, as typical road tyres use less fuel and off-road/mud tyres use significantly more.

  • They may not provide the same level of handling and stability on paved/tarmac roads as road tyres do.

MUD TYRES - Perfect for those of you using your truck for primarily off-road purposes, these are used for driving on rough & soft terrain that is not suitable for normal road tyres.


  • These are designed to be more durable & puncture-resistant compared to normal road tyres.

  • They use a softer rubber compound which will give you more grip on loose surfaces/terrain.

  • Their aggressive tread pattern provides more traction.

  • Their tougher sidewalls absorb impact of rocks & damage from other off-road hazards/obstacles.


  • These have a much shorter tread life than all terrain & road tyres.

  • Due to their aggressive tread pattern, rolling resistance is increased which means fuel efficiency is reduced.

  • Mud tyres can be noisy and uncomfortable on normal roads, and may not provide the same level of handling and stability as road or all-terrain tyres.

  • Mud tyres tend to be the most expensive compared to other types of tyres, so make sure to keep that in mind!

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