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How to Choose All-terrain Tires for Your Truck

How can you tell if an all-terrain tire suits your pickup truck?

Come and take a closer look with us on how you could get your hands on the right match via our given article on this matter.

What Are All-terrain Tires?

All-terrain tires combine the traction of off-road tires and the agility of their on road type. This is because you won’t easily lose balance on uneven surfaces and you’ll also have the adequate maneuverability when moving on paved ones. You can identify them with the A/T mark.

What Are All-terrain Tires Used For?

all terrain tires 2

Here’s what makes all-terrain tires a widely used alternative to the seasonal tires:

  • Adequately getting through lightly muddy, sandy, and snowy surfaces.
  • Driving on streets.
  • Lessening tire replacement frequency.

If you believe you really need all-terrain tires on your trucks, consider the following below.

All-weather vs All-season vs All-terrain Tires

types of tires

When it comes to what types of tires you should be using, always bear in mind your priority in terms of your needs and conditions you’ll be facing, the moment you get out there.

Even though all-weather, all-season, and all-terrain tires appear to mean the same thing as far as traction flexibility is concerned. The three are somehow distinct from one another. Check out their notable features below.

All-weather Tires
  • All-year-round useful.
  • Effective even in winter.
  • Bear the Three-peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.
All-season Tires
  • Not effective in winter.
  • Bear the M+S (Mud+Snow) instead of the Three-peak Mountain Snowflake.
  • Good on the road.
All-terrain Tires
  • May or may not bear the Three-peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.
  • Hybrid of (50%) off road and (50%) on road use.
  • All-year-round useful like all-weather tires.

Road Noise

noise reduction capability

Normal off road tires are loud on the highways. They can irritate fellow motorists and have a tendency to easily wear out on such surfaces. However, when you use all-terrain tires, they don’t necessarily eliminate the noise caused by the ground friction but can still be more silent than standard road tires.

In a road noise test conducted by YouTuber Average Alice, wherein she compared a typical street tire with an all-terrain tire on a highway, the former produces a high-level tone, “bbrraahh” but the latter produces a low-level one with “bbrruuhh,” while both are running at 80 miles per hour.

Tire Tread Patterns

tire tread design
Close up image of an all-terrain tire surface with divided blocks and meeting side grooves to immediately remove water.

You can tell the main purpose of tires just by looking at the tire tread pattern. Tire tread pattern is basically the surface design. In the case of all-terrain tires, they consist of open tread blocks that have firm grip for stability and sipes or slits to instantly drain water, which are helpful against slightly icy and wet places.

Another good thing is such tires have thicker sidewalls than usual which prevent possible punctures.

Tire Tread Depth

tire tread coin check

Tire tread depth determines if your tires are nearing the end of its lifespan. You can find out about it when you use a Lincoln coin, hold it upside down, and insert it in the gap between the tire treads. If the head visible, tire tread is already below 2/32” and needs quick replacement.

On the contrary, if you’ll be using all-terrain truck tires, you have to replace them at the early onset of 4/32” because their grooves won’t repel the water to keep your vehicle running smoothly. More on this matter when you read our article on “How to Pick and Measure ATV Tires.”

All-weather vs All-terrain Tires

sunny and stormy weather

The difference between the two tires lies in their rubber component and surface design. All-weather tires are often mistaken as all-season tires because of the assumption that the latter are effective even in winter which is incorrect because they have a very hard rubber that can turn into solid ice during freezing temperatures.

All-weather tires are distinct from them in such a way their rubber is adequately soft even if the temperature dips to negative seven degree Celsius, but they’re no match for pure snow tires. This is the reason why they still bear the three-peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.

Although they’re at par with snow tires in terms of performance, it’s important to note that they’re mostly meant to be used on typical streets and freeways, due to the smoother design and texture of their surface.

On the contrary, all-terrain tires have a thicker rubber which can play with either the rugged or paved paths. Furthermore, they normally consist of reinforced sidewalls that help evenly distribute load which make them the best of both worlds. And since they have open-shoulder lug patterns, they don’t easily slide on slippery surfaces.

Tire Mileage

tire mileage rating

Tire mileage simply refers to the travel distance that your all-terrain truck tires can cover until they’re worn out. In other words, exceeding your tires’ natural travel distance causes their surfaces to lose traction. For all-terrain tires, they can last up to 40,000 miles and anything beyond that can damage or compromise their function.

Pickup Truck Tires

All-weather Tires All-season Tires All-terrain Tires
Tire Mileage 40,000-80,000 miles 40,000 miles 20,000-40,000 miles


All-terrain Tires Price

The cost of buying all-terrain tires go into two categories; those below $200 and those above $200. Generally, for the former, these all-terrain tires are equipped with the standard features like staggered shoulder lugs for improved traction, while the latter are brimming with extra benefits like special rubber tread that prevents chipping and cracking.

Some All-terrain Tires

Nitto Terra Grappler G2 Falken Wildpeak AT3W BFGoodrich Terrain A/T KO2
Price $192.58 $158.00 $208.99

Cheap vs Affordable vs Expensive

A lot of people think cheap and affordable are the same. Technically speaking, they are but contextually speaking (based on condition and other factors), they’re not.

  • Cheap – gives a negative connotation to people which makes them think items under such category have no other value aside from the very low price tag (usually below $50) that comes with them. Either they don’t have much to offer or there’s something wrong with them. Ex., all-terrain tires’ actual weight capacity is different from what’s listed, rubber is too soft, etc.
  • Affordable – refers to items that provide a middle ground for both price (usually $100-$200) and quality. Suppose you bought all-terrain tires worth $170 but they have a really stable traction on wet surfaces.
  • Expensive – as the term suggests, are items which are worth more than $200 because the materials used on such contribute to longevity. For instance, you bought such all-terrain tires because their rubber is resilient to wear and tear, but not susceptible to rigidity in cold conditions. Just a reminder though, not all expensive items are durable because sometimes, you only pay for their brand names.


Choosing specific all-terrain tires for your pickup truck isn’t easy. But if you know what you need under what condition, and for what reason, getting your ideal tires is as easy as knowing the back of your hand. Comment below and tell us if there’s an important factor we might have missed.



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