When choosing tires for your vehicle, you’ve likely come across MT tires or Mud Tires. Choosing the correct tires can be a bit overwhelming, especially with so many different types of tires.
Do you need mud tires for your car? Can you use them in your regular commute? Are they even street legal? I’ll answer these questions and more below.
What Are MT Tires?
MT tires or “mud terrain” tires are typically very large blocky tires with deep tread gaps to filter mud and dirt away from the wheel. In most cases, this allows them to get better traction in difficult, off-road conditions. Usually, these tires are recommended for unpaved roads and rural areas.
However, just because you travel on unpaved roads occasionally doesn’t mean that you need MT tires. Keep reading for everything you need to know about this type of tire.
What Are The Difference Between MT and AT Tires?
Mud tires and all-terrain tires may sound similar, but they are actually very different. For those who plan on going off-roading, choosing the right tire for your situation is essential.
Generally, all-terrain tires aren’t all that different from highway tires. They’re designed to do some minor off-roading while also driving nicely on the highway.
Usually, their tread design is a bit more rugged than your general highway tires, but not enough to really affect its highway performance.
At the same time, MT tires are extremely rugged and built mostly for off-roading.
Typically, they are designed to maintain grip even when in slippery mud, hence their name. If you do any sort of driving in mud, then these tires are essential.
Typically, mud tires are also best for unpaved roads that commonly get muddy. In many cases, these tires are also best for farms and cross-country driving.
However, mud tires are not designed for comfort. In fact, they can be quite uncomfortable and noisy. Therefore, most people don’t want to use them for their daily commute.
However, if you’re traveling off-road, you can’t get much better than these tires.
What Does MT Mean in a Tire?
Usually, the “MT” in a tire name or description means that the tires are mud tires.
Usually, these tires are mostly made for off-roading, particularly in the mud and other slippery conditions.
To help in this matter, the tires have very large tread blocks with wide channels. Under the correct conditions, these channels push mud and rocks away from the tire, which helps it maintain grip.
When you’re in the mud, you aren’t going to find better traction than with mud tires. Otherwise, you may find your wheels spinning endlessly off-road.
Are MT Tires Good for Highway?
Before you invest in some MT tires, you’re likely wondering if you can drive them on the highway as well.
Typically, yes, these tires are highway legal. They can be driven on the road up to highway speeds, allowing them to be used in your daily commute.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should use them for your daily commute. Mud tires may be able to drive on the highway, but they won’t drive as well as other tires.
After all, these tires are not made for comfort. Instead, they’re largely designed to be used off-road when you aren’t really thinking about comfort.
Therefore, they tend to produce a rough and noisy ride – which is the last thing you want on your daily commute.
Furthermore, mud tires can last for a shorter period than other tires on the highway. Sometimes, you may only get 20,000 miles out of a pair of mud tires. Obviously, this is far shorter than other tires on the market.
Therefore, driving these tires on the highway, when you could use a less expensive, longer-lasting tire, is a huge waste of money.
What Are The Downsides Of MT Tires?
Generally speaking, there are several downsides to choosing mud tires.
Usually, you shouldn’t choose them just because you may go off-road at some point. Instead, they’re really best for those that off-road regularly, such as farm workers.
Firstly, these tires make a lot of noise. Typically, they feature extravagated tread blocks and depth. While this helps drive through the mud, it is significantly less useful when you’re on the highway.
In fact, in Europe, these tires do not have to undergo noise testing. In other words, they’re simply very noisy – but that comes with the territory. If you want them to work off-road, then you’re going to need a higher noise level.
Similarly, these tires do not provide a good fuel economy. Usually, they require extra energy to move forward, which means more money out of your pocket.
Thirdly, MT tires have lots of added thickness on their sidewall, which is essential when you’re driving off-road.
However, this thickness makes the ride much rougher. Usually, you don’t want to use these tires when driving to work each day.
Are MT Tires Good in Snow?
You might imagine that these tires are good in snow because they are good in the mud. However, this is not the case.
Due to their design, these tires actually get very little traction in the snow. In many cases, they work well with a lot of snow, because it is a bit like mud.
However, if there is only a little bit of snow, they actually perform worse in most cases.
Either way, the blocky tread isn’t going to get a good grip in snow. Instead, you’ll want to invest in some winter tires, which are specifically made for this purpose.
In most cases, mud tires are not a suitable alternative to winter tires.
Mud terrain tires are designed for use off-road. For the most part, they are used on farms, unpaved roads, and other rural areas. As their name suggests, they are very good at performing in the mud.
While these tires can be used on highways, this isn’t necessarily recommended. Because they are not designed for highway travel, they often produce a rougher ride and a lot more noise.