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Driving down steep wet clay mountain roads


Chaski
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I liven the Andes Mountains of Peru and we have two seasons, wet and dry. It is necessary that I travel up and down some some very hazardous roads. 

The roads are very steep and narrow. There are various types of soil that when when turns into a very soapy, greasy  form. I have had times when I had to let the off of the brake completely and pray for safe landing. I now drive a Landrover Defender 110 but have had a Landcruiser and gotten into trouble. Some of the problem was due to BFG tires filling up and not cleaning out turning into slicks. I am looking for a new set of tires for the Landy which currently has Goodyear Durawalls 235/85/R16 as stock tires from Factory. I drive 90% off road on mountain gravel,rock roads which change in rainy season.

I am looking for two recommendations: 1. What tires would be recommend? 2. Recommendations on steep greasy roads down mountainsides?

I have been looking at the BFG Mud Terrain T/A Km2 tire. Any thoughts or suggestions? 

 

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Probably the most aggressive tyre that works on your terrain would be the best bet. I don't know what brands you have locally. Something from Interco or Simex maybe?

Can't really advise on the driving, other than common sense. As I've not been to your part of the world.

Common sense being:

-Use as low a gear as you can (or even low range if it's that slow)

-Use diff lock if needed

-Don't drive too fast

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I dont know a lot about tyres but I know a bit about clay and it will stick top most tyres with a narrow grooved tread pattern so you need something chunky with plenty of space between the driving surfaces and deep treads to give you as much chance of gaining traction as possible.

Tractors for instance use narrow tyres to cut through clay and mud to the better more tractable surface underneath.

Something like these makes sense to me (and going on Tacr2mans reccomendation of size and qwakers thoughts on type....though feel free to poo poo my suggestion )

 

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A non-directional open tread like the Interco Swamper , or a BFG mud terrain (less aggressive , but good for everything ) would make sense to me as travelling downhill in mud using engine braking and/or wheel braking would tend to clog an aggressively directional tyre . Narrow and tall also makes a lot of difference , and as Tacr2man said , if it's really bad chain up . I always have the centre difflock engaged when off hard surface as a matter of course .

 

cheers

 

Steveb

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On 6 October 2016 at 4:06 AM, tacr2man said:

BFG Mt  or any tire with high void self cleaning (in theory) tread pattern , and stay narrow  ,ie 750x16 or 235/80 , you need to avoid flotation,   the ideal is chains !  One set only, on front , or both axles.

Yes. Clay is not mud and will stick to the tyres. The narrower tyres will at least cut through the slick layer to an extent, but even then I have gone for a mighty toboggan slide more than once. So, when its like that, fit the chains and drive on those. Use diamond pattern chains, not the standard side-to-side ones.

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