Lifted trucks are some of the most fearsome vehicles on public roads today. Not only are these trucks bug, but they are also so far from the ground that you’d think they would run over you. That said, those are not the reasons why people decide to lift their trucks.
Apart from the cool factor, these vehicles also offer a much better view of the road ahead. Better visibility also means better safety, especially because you’d be able to see in front of several cars ahead. Moreover, lifted trucks also have much higher ground clearance, which makes them much more usable for driving on uneven terrain. For that reason, you will see most lifted trucks doing off-road duties, especially rock crawling and mud swimming.
That said, lifted trucks also have some glaring disadvantages. Primarily these vehicles are much less stable for on-road driving. Lifted trucks have high body roll through the corners, which makes the vehicle much less stable. Moreover, the passenger’s heads will also sway from side to side more, which is certainly not a welcome experience.
You can rectify some of those handicaps with a good set of tires, though. Also, you can make your lifted truck handle off-road conditions even better with the right tires. On these vehicles, the tires are as important as the suspension, or even the engine and the truck itself.
- How to Find Suitable Lifted Truck Tires
- Best Off-Road Tires for Lifted Trucks
- Best All-Terrain Tires for Lifted Trucks
- Best Rock Crawling Tires for Lifted Trucks
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to Find Suitable Lifted Truck Tires
The best lifted-truck tires should provide you with outstanding traction for off-roading. And, by outstanding traction, I mean the best possible traction you can get. Moreover, the tires should handle daily tasks with aplomb, especially because the truck won’t handle as well as a regular one.
Ultimately, lifted trucks tires will see a lot of abuse throughout their lifetime. Consequently, they must be outstandingly durable. And, that word, in this case, has many meanings. First of all, the tires must be able to sustain the weight of the whole truck.
Then, the sidewalls should be extremely tough so that you can deflate the tires for even better traction. That’s usable for driving over large rocks (rock crawling) but also driving on sand. Ultimately, the tread on the tires must be cut- and -chip resistant. If not, the tires will get damaged the first time you attack some hardpacked surface.
But what tires can really satisfy all of those needs? If you want an honest answer, there is no single tire that will work amazingly well in all categories. There will always be a compromise. For example, aggressive mud-terrain tires will give you the ultimate off-road traction, but they will suffer on the road. With tires, there are always compromises.
Furthermore, the tire market today is simply flooded with various models, from budget-friendly tires to expensive tires. The price is important, sure, but you need to keep in mind that there is a reason why some tires cost so much (or little) money. Premium tire manufacturers often employ high-quality materials, which cost more, but also provide you with better performance overall.
Whatever the model you choose, though, make sure that it’s available in the right dimensions. When owners lift their trucks, they open the door for installing much larger rims, or larger tires altogether.
Usually, off-road-focused tires are installed on smaller rims but have much higher sidewalls. That said, if you want better on-road handling, you might want to install larger rims with low-profile tires.
With that said, what are the best tires for lifted trucks? Well, you arrived just in the right place to find out. I prepared a curated list of the most models available in the market to help you extract the best possible performance from your lifted truck.
My list of the ten best lifter truck tires contains the most popular maximum traction off-road tires on my list for those off-road aficionados. I also threw a pair of all-terrain tires for drivers that want better on-road dynamics and a rock crawling tire for real enthusiasts. Let’s dig in and find some excellent tires for your lifted truck.
Best Off-Road Tires for Lifted Trucks
The Mud-Terrain KM3 is the newest addition to BFGoodrich’s popular lineup of mud-terrain tires, and immediately it’s my favorite. Overall, this feels like the best-engineered tire for off-road aficionados, and also for owners of lifted trucks. BFGoodrich has really done an excellent job – it’s hard to find any fault with this product.
For off-roading, few can beat the Mud-Terrain KM3. Thanks to the symmetric Terrain-Attack tread pattern, the tire works well across various surfaces. It’s especially good for rock crawling, an area where the previous model wasn’t as good. Moreover, the tire works outstandingly well over hardpacked surfaces, such as gravel or dirt.
BFGoodrich managed to retain the exceptional traction in deep mud, which is still the main feature of the tire. Moreover, the company included the Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture technology, which makes the tire much tougher than the competition.
Apart from the outstanding off-road performance, the Mud-Terrain KM3 works excellently on the road. Dry handling is very good, and the tire feels safe in rainy conditions. It is expensive, though, which is the only gripe I have with the tire.
Goodyear’s maximum traction off-road tire immediately catches attention with its aggressive styling. Not only the bold tread pattern makes any lifted truck look better, but it also helps immensely for off-roading.
Thanks to the advanced mud-flow geometry tread pattern, the Wrangler MT/R has some of the best mud-terrain traction out there. Traction in deep mud is simply outstanding. On top of that, the tire impresses over large rocks, where it provides the driver with good feel and excellent traction. It’s great for dirt and gravel as well.
Thanks to the use of Kevlar reinforcement in the casing, the Wrangler MT/R is also an extremely tough and durable tire. Goodyear managed to improve the sidewall cut and puncture resistance by about 35% compared to the previous model, which is mightily impressive.
On the road, the Wrangler MT/R behaves very well for an off-road tire – dry and wet traction are excellent. That said, while the ride is very smooth, the tire can be noisy at higher speeds.
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The Cooper Discoverer STT Pro is easily one of the most accomplished specialized off-road tires right now. And the best thing about it? It isn’t very expensive, at least not for the quality it provides. That’s especially true for its off-road credentials, which compete with the best out there.
The mud traction, for example, is simply outstanding. The Discoverer STT Pro simply churns through deep mud without breaking a sweat. On top of that, the tire is capable of delivering excellent traction over larger rocks and feels responsive and planted on hardpacked surfaces.
On the road, I was impressed by how quiet the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro is, especially given the aggressive tread pattern. The ride quality is also reasonably smooth, and the traction on dry and wet surfaces is commendable.
That said, even though it looks like it will work in the winter, the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro isn’t the best choice for driving over packed snow and ice.
The Dick Cepek Extreme Country is a popular option among owners of lifted trucks, primarily because of its aggressive tread pattern. Fortunately, it’s not about looks with this tire. Like most Dick Cepek products, you can expect some serious off-road traction here.
That’s especially true for rock crawling, where the Extreme Country excels. The super-tough construction with the next-gen High Tensile (HT) Body Ply Cord further helps by aiding deflating but also keeping the tire safe from punctures.
Furthermore, the Extreme Country churns through mud without an issue. It also has zig-zag sipes on the tread blocks, which improve traction over snow. And, on top of everything else, the tire manages to handle daily driving without too much hassle.
That said, Dick Cepek still didn’t manage to silence the tread noise or make the ride more comfortable.
General’s latest foray into the off-road category has many excellent qualities, including a fair price. The American company did a great job of producing a tough and durable tire, as evidenced by the DURAGEN technology with a three-ply body casing. Thanks to it, you can deflate thee Grabber X3 for better rock crawling performance without worrying about damaging it.
When it comes to traction, the Grabber X3 competes with the best out there. Rocks don’t pose a big issue for the tire, and the same can be said for hardpacked surfaces. Moreover, the Grabber X3 manages to churn through deep mud easily – it’s one of the best off-road tires for this surface.
That said, the Grabber X3 doesn’t handle daily driving like the best off-road tires out there. I also found that it’s noisy on the highway and can become tiresome over time.
Firestone is one of those companies that’s very popular among owners of SUVs and trucks. The Destination M/T2 is a perfect example of why. This is one of the best off-road tires on the market right now, covering most of the basics for a quality driving experience.
The only gripe I have with the tire is the slightly worse mud-terrain traction than the best models right now. It’s not bad, but you can have a better experience in deep mud with other tires. Conversely, the rock-crawling abilities of the Destination M/T2 are second to none. Not only the tire provides excellent traction, but the 3-ply construction helps with deflating.
The tire also works well on the road, with good overall traction. Meanwhile, you can also expect good traction on snowy surfaces – the Destination M/T2 isn’t afraid of the winter. Ultimately, this is a very durable tire – the treadlife is exceptional.
The Federal Couragia MT is the cheapest tire on this list, but it’s certainly not a bad one. Sure, you should expect a shorter treadlife than the premium competition, but you can’t complain too much at this price point. Also, the on-road dynamics are average, and you can hear a lot of noise and vibrations coming from the road.
Still, there is a reason why the Couragia MT sits in this list, and that’s off-road ability. This is one of the best tires for off-road driving, and certainly the best in its price point. Mud-terrain traction is on point, even in deep mud. Moreover, the hardpacked traction is excellent, and you can use this tire for rock crawling.
Ultimately, the Federal Couragia MT surprised me with its excellent traction over snowy surfaces.
Best All-Terrain Tires for Lifted Trucks
The Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar is the most popular all-terrain tire in North America, and there are numerous reasons for that. First of all, it’s by far the most durable tire in its category. That’s primarily thanks to the Kevlar reinforcement, which helps with toughness and puncture resistance. Moreover, Goodyear provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, a record in the category.
The Wrangler Adventure also has an aggressive tread compound that helps tremendously for off-roading. For driving in mud, this is one of the best all-terrain tires out there, and the same is true for rock-crawling. Besides, the tire works amazingly well over hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel.
Goodyear managed to design a tire that works well on the road, too. Dry and wet traction are among the best in the category, while snow traction and braking are exceptional. That said, noise can be an issue on the highway. Also, the aggressive tread pattern digs a little bit too much into the sand.
The T/A KO2 is another super-popular all-terrain tire among buyers in North America. BFGoodrich again showed that it knows how to design and develop successful all-terrain tires with this one. That’s especially true for off-roading, where the T/A KO2 still competes with the best tires out there.
For example, traction in mud is excellent for an all-terrain tire. Moreover, the tough construction with cut- and -chip resistance helps tremendously for driving over hardpacked surfaces. Traction over rocks is exceptional as well, of course, within the limits of an all-terrain tire.
One of the best things about the T/A KO2 is that it works equally well on the road. It’s a tad noisy, but the ride quality is smooth, and there is ample traction on dry and wet surfaces. The responsiveness is top-notch as well.
BFGoodrich even provides an outstanding 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which only confirms that the T/A KO2 is a high-quality product.
Best Rock Crawling Tires for Lifted Trucks
Mickey Thompson is a name synonymous with off-road driving, and also among owners of lifted trucks. The reason? Well, probably because they develop and produce awesome off-road tires. One of my favorite models is the Baja Claw, a tire that’s specifically developed for rock crawling.
This is the only bias-ply tire on this list. This means that it can’t provide the best possible stability and traction on the highway. Nonetheless, that design brings other improvements, such as exceptional off-road durability. This tire won’t get easily damaged – it’s one of the strongest available.
Moreover, thanks to the aggressive tread pattern, traction is exceptional on all surfaces. These, of course, include rocks, but also mud, hardpacked surfaces, and even light snow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is it okay to deflate off-road tires?
Most off-road and all-terrain tires are designed with deflation in mind. That’s because by deflating the tire, you increase the traction on hardpacked surfaces. Moreover, a deflated tire will flow over the sand, thus helping you overcome obstacles more easily.
Nonetheless, you need to ensure that you don’t deflate your tires too much. Each tire has a minimum inflation value, and you shouldn’t go below that. Otherwise, the tires might get warped and damaged, and you might need to replace them.
Also, don’t forget to inflate the tires again when you hit the road. Underinflated tires can make your highway drive much less stable and more dangerous. On top of that, underinflated tires wear much faster.
- How often should I rotate my lifted truck tires?
A general rule of thumb is that you should rotate your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles. By doing this, you ensure that the tires last as long as advertised. Otherwise, one side of your tires might wear faster, which usually renders them unusable.
That is especially true on off-road tires. Your lifted truck puts more stress on your tires, especially when you use them for off-roading. For that reason, you might even want to shorten the rotation interval – do that every 3,000-miles for increased longevity.
I hope that my list of the best tires for lifted trucks helped you find the perfect set. If not, I am open to suggestions, especially because lifted trucks were never my forte. Please don’t hesitate to message your recommendations to us.
That said, I firmly believe that you’ll get the best results by purchasing high-quality tires from reputable manufacturers. These companies spend a lot of time and money on research and development, and that shows through their products.