When it comes to off-roading on islands like Fraser Island, everyone has a different set of expectations from their tyres. Everyone also has a different set of criteria upon which they base their judgements.
Dave Darmody is the chief trainer at Australian Off-road Academy and an expert on heading off piste on the world’s largest sand island. His sagely advice is to consider everyone’s experience and opinion (including his own expert one below) and then form your own opinion.
Tyred of picking dud tyres?
Not all tyres are created equal. Your tyre purchasing decision should be based upon your needs and ambition – not what your vehicle manufacturer decides. First up, choose between a ‘passenger’ or a ‘light truck tyre’; then decide upon tread pattern. Lastly, buy a premium brand that meets your needs. As Dave says, you’ve just forked out a small fortune for your car – don’t skimp on your tyres.
How Low Can You Go?
There are very limited wheel/tyre options so you need to weigh up the potential rim damage and bogging potential when purchasing. The undeniable truth is that low profile tyres are generally a problem off-road and highly inflated low profile tyres are a bigger problem.
We’ve all met the bloke who refuses to let his tyres down. They are nearly as obnoxious as the “pfft, I did it all in 2WD” guy. Just remember that you gain clearance by reducing pressure because you stay on top of the sand instead of going under it.
So, that dude on social media who recommended 22psi – without asking any basic questions
about your load, your tyre size and construction, the terrain and conditions – should probably not be your only source of info.
TOP TIP: As an aside, if you’re headed to Fraser Island, QPWS put out a fortnightly condition report that’ll let you know what to expect, pre-arrival.
One Gadget To Rule Them All!
Purchase a quality tyre gauge and use it because uneven tyre pressures can result in an inconsistent rolling diameter and can cause havoc with your vehicle’s safety and traction systems. But wait, there’s more… look at your driving style and avoid harsh braking and sudden steering and tight turns on higher traction surfaces.
This abridged content has been reproduced with permission. To read Dave’s full blog, head to the Australian Offroad Academy website. Want to know more about Dave’s training courses on Fraser Island? Click here.