Categories: Articles, WheelsPublished On: 23rd December 2019

Do your homework before res-hoeing your bakkie

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The farmer and his bakkie is as inseparable as the bakkie and its tyres. But . . . how do you choose the correct tyre for your bakkie? There are so many different models and brands and every salesman will tell you that only his product is the best. Now, what do you do to obtain an impartial opinion?

Most experts will tell you to consider calmly what your needs are. Do you drive mostly on paved or gravel roads? Do you have to cope more with mud, stones or sand on your farm? How much can you spend on footwear for your bakkie? These, and more, questions is probably the best place to start to get the real answers for your own needs.

Three different types of tyres may serve as instant solutions to get the best you’re your bakkie. Should you drive mostly on tarred roads, commercial tyres are probably the best option. This type of tyre has been developed to carry a heavier load than the tyres of a normal vehicle and are manufactured from a reasonably hard rubber type to ensure a long life. However, they are not suitable for use on dirt roads and various other rough terrain.

Standard tyres for light delivery vehicles can deal with heavier loads but are designed for tarred roads.

Should you drive mostly on the dirt road of the farm, or have to deal often with mud or sand, a more advanced type of 4×4 tyre may be the better option. Basically there are two types of 4×4 tyres recommended by most manufacturers. Generally these are known as AT (All terrain) or MT (Mud terrain) tyres. Your decision between these two will again depend on your requirements. Each of these types also have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

The AT tyres are designed in such a way as to cope with a larger variety of demanding road surfaces as best as possible. However, the disadvantage is that even these tyres have limitations. In muddy conditions you will not really be able to cope with AT tyres. Mud assembles ion the grooves and it ends in a tyre without grooves and you have no grip.

These tyres will perform reasonably well in sandy or stony soil, but their ability to grip is not nearly as good as that of the MT tyres. A big advantage of the AT tyres is that the farmer will get more kilometres from a set compared with AT tyres.

The grooves and knobs of AT tyres are designed to give the best grip on different road surfaces.

The advantage of the MTY tyres is that they perform better under very trying conditions. The difference lies in the design of the tyre tread, which results in neither mud, nor water being trapped in the tread. This gives the tyres better grip, even in wet, muddy conditions. The disadvantage is that these tyres will not last as long as the AT tyres because they are made of softer material to assist in getting better grip.

The grooves of MT tyres run crosswise over the tyre surface so that mud and water can be forced to escape on the sides and not stick to the tyre’s tread.

There are a host of manufacturers that supply this type of tyre to the market. BF Goodrich and Cooper are two of the main contenders in the market. However, price and quality will determine the choice. In a market where there is such stiff competition, there is no place for inferior products. A company manufacturing a tyre of inferior quality will simply not make it in the market place.

The golden rule is to be adamant that you get what you pay for. A cheaper tyre may not last as long as the more expensive product, but you have to be mindful of the fact that once-off it will not be such a big outlay. The best advice is to determine your requirements and then choose a tyre that will suit your pocket.

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