If you’re going to take your truck off the flat, predictable roads and venture out into the wilderness, there are plenty of things you’ll want to make sure are up to the task, from your suspension system and shocks to your underbody and bumpers. But beyond skid plates and tow hooks, don’t forget to check your tires. There are plenty of Chevy trucks for sale that can handle rough terrain and do well on OHV trails, but even the most capable ZR2 model isn’t ready to leave the roads behind if it’s not equipped with durable tires that are up to the task.
Tires are your truck’s only point of contact with the ground, so they need to be able to handle whatever terrain you’ll be venturing into. For one thing, they need to be tough enough to withstand stray rocks and the elements. They also need to be able to provide traction on a wide range of surfaces, from loose sand to mud to rocky ground, in order to be versatile enough for all of your off-roading adventures. Luckily, there are plenty of tires out there that are up to the task.
If you’re looking to take your Chevy truck out for a grand adventure, whether you have a nimble Colorado or a full-size Silverado, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to delve into the wonderful world of off-road tires and give you all the information you need to stay safe and have a blast out beyond the pavement. Whether you’re a first-timer or looking for a refresher course, you’re sure to find plenty of helpful info.
Pay Attention to Size
Tires come in countless different sizes, and it’s important to pay attention to the size of the tires you’re looking at. In general, larger tires are better suited to off-roading. The wider a tire is, the more surface area it has to grip the road, creating better traction. The taller a tire is, the more it increases your ground clearance, giving stray rocks and roots less chance to scrape up your undercarriage and test the strength of your skid plates.
Of course, the tires need to actually fit your truck, so you can’t just get the biggest tires possible without checking to make sure they’ll be compatible with your model. Some trims can accommodate multiple tire sizes, while with others, you’re best off sticking with a specific size. If you’re buying tires through a Chevy dealership, then they’ll be able to let you know with confidence what sizes are right for your truck if you let them know its model year and trim level.
Be Aware of Trade-Offs
Off-road tires are trying to balance several different attributes at once, and each product will prioritize different things in order to accomplish its goals. More aggressive tread patterns that are better for navigating extremely muddy trails can make driving on pavement loud and uncomfortable. A well-rounded tire that can handle most situations fairly well may not be up to an especially difficult off-road task that requires a more specialized tire. On top of on-road vs off-road performance, some tires wear down faster than others, requiring more frequent rotations and replacements.
Which type of tire is best for you is dependent upon your specific situation. If you need to use your truck daily for errands or to commute and can only take it off-road every once in a while, then you’ll want to look for a tire that’s fairly capable and comfortable on the pavement, even if it means sacrificing a bit of off-road prowess. On the other hand, if your truck mostly comes out when it’s time to hit the OHV trail, then it probably makes more sense to get a trail-ready tire above all else.
Stay on Top of Maintenance
Whichever tire you end up with, it’s extra important to stay on top of maintenance when using all-terrain tires. The specialized tread patterns often wear down more quickly than regular all-season tires, so you might need to go in for a rotation more often than you think you do. You should head to your local service center right away if you notice any irregular wear. When shopping, you should also pay attention to any warranties that come with the tires: some offer coverage for tens of thousands of miles, generally ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 miles.
Which Tires Should I Get?
Unless you really need a specialized tire for a particularly muddy trail or other unique situation, you’re probably fine sticking with the OEM tires that came with your truck. After all, you’ve already paid for them, and the Chevy truck trims built for going off-road come with all-terrain tires well suited to the task. But eventually, as all tires do, these tires will wear out and need to be replaced. If you’re happy with their performance, you can always replace them with identical tires. But if you’re reading this, you’re likely thinking of mixing it up, so let’s go over a few popular types of off-roading tires and what each set brings to the table.
Several Chevy off-road trucks, including the Silverado ZR2, come with a set of Goodyear Wrangler Territory AT tires. They’re a versatile option that provides good traction in all seasons and a reasonably comfortable ride. If you want to stick with the Goodyear brand, but the base tire isn’t working for you, there are plenty of options you can choose from. The Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar is more durable than most off-roading tires and delivers great traction in rain and snow, so if you use your truck all year long, it’s a solid pick. If you need a tire that can handle a wider range of terrain with ease, the Wrangler DuraTrac is worth considering: it’s dependable on-road as well as on loose gravel and dirt and is rated for deep snow.
Of course, there are plenty of tires from other brands that are worth considering. BFGoodrich makes both all-terrain and mud-terrain tires that are a bit pricier than other options but are also highly durable and chip-resistant. On the other hand, Firestone Destination tires are a great value, have solid traction on wet surfaces, and offer a variety of sidewall choices, so you can pick the one that best suits your style. General Grabber A/TX tires are well-balanced, providing a comfortable on-road ride, a solid grip off-road, and a severe winter service rating.
Good Tires Make Off-Roading Easy
Off-roading can feel intimidating to new enthusiasts. There are so many different elements to keep track of, and being underprepared can have serious consequences once you get out into the wilderness. But if you tackle everything step by step, from finding a model that suits your needs to equipping it with the appropriate tires for your favorite trail, you’ll be driving with confidence in no time. Just make sure that you stay on top of your maintenance, both when it comes to tires and your truck in general. Always get it checked out before heading out on a major excursion so that you’ll know you’re starting your adventure with a clean bill of health.