Conquering Terrain: The Great Tyre Debate – should you use H/T, A/T, or M/T tyres for your pickup truck?

Conquering Terrain: The Great Tyre Debate – should you use H/T, A/T, or M/T tyres for your pickup truck?

In the dynamic world of pickup trucks, where prowess meets practicality, tyres remain a pivotal element in defining performance, safety, and overall driving experience.

Highway Terrain (H/T), All-Terrain (A/T), and Mud Terrain (M/T) tyres each offer unique advantages that suit specific driving environments and styles. Understanding the differences, benefits, and limitations of each tyre type can significantly enhance your pickup truck’s capabilities and match your personal preferences.

Highway Terrain (H/T) Tyres

Toyota Hilux GR Sport

Highway Terrain (H/T) tyres, true to their name, are the kings of the tarmac. They are designed for comfort, fuel efficiency, and longevity on tarred roads, making them the ideal choice for daily commuting and long-distance travels.

The tread pattern of H/T tyres provide a quiet and smooth ride, reducing road noise that can compromise comfort during lengthy journeys.

On the downside, H/T tyres may not be the best option off-road. Although they can handle light off-road duties, their performance diminishes in more challenging terrains, such as deep mud, loose sand, or rocky landscapes.

Some example models include the Michelin LTX Trail, Goodyear Wrangler range, Bridgestone Dueler H/T range and Toyo Open Country H/T.

Typically almost all Malaysian market pickup trucks come with H/T tyres from the factory, with a few exceptions which we will get to later.

All-Terrain (A/T) Tyres

Ford Ranger Raptor

Striking a balance between the tarmac and the trails are the All-Terrain (A/T) tyres. A/T tyres offer increased off-road capability while still maintaining commendable on-road manners.

They feature more aggressive tread patterns than H/T tyres for better grip on loose surfaces, yet they maintain a level of refinement to keep road noise and ride harshness in check on paved roads.

A/T tyres are popular among weekend warriors, offering enough versatility to transition from the office parking lot on Friday to the wilderness camping site on Saturday.

As previously mentioned, the only pickup trucks that come with A/T tyres from the factory are the Ford Ranger Raptor, which wear BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tyres in 285/70R17 size, the limited edition Mitsubishi Triton Phantom Plus which come with Yokohama Geolandar A/T tyres, and the Toyota Hilux E spec which come with Bridgestone Dueler A/T tyres.

Many pickup truck owners who don’t even intend to go off-roading switch to A/T tyres for the macho looks, but if you have plans to do so, just remember that in situations like handling or braking in the wet, A/T tyres will fall short of H/T tyres capabilities.

Other than the mentioned BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2, some other A/T tyre models available in Malaysia include Michelin LTX Force, Bridgestone Dueler A/T 697, Hankook Dynapro ATM RF10 and the recently launched Toyo Open Country A/T 3.

Nevertheless, while A/T tyres might be the jack-of-all-trades, they may not be the masters of extreme terrains, which are M/T tyres.

Mud Terrain (M/T) Tyres

Mitsubishi Triton Rally Car

If your pickup truck frequents mud-laden paths, rocky trails, or sandy dunes more than the average mall parking lot, Mud Terrain (M/T) tyres are the undisputed champions.

Designed for maximum traction on challenging surfaces, M/T tyres feature large, aggressive tread blocks and reinforced sidewalls that can endure the harshness of the off-road world.

M/T tyres, however, are not the best companions on the highway. Their aggressive design leads to a louder ride, and their softer compound wears down faster on tarmac. Furthermore, M/T tyres might not perform optimally in wet highway conditions, which is another important factor to consider.

Some example M/T tyre models available in Malaysia include BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3, Maxxis Bighorn MT-764, Goodyear Wrangler MT/R and Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003.

HT vs AT tyres

Highway Terrain (H/T) and All-Terrain (A/T) tyres cater to different segments of the pickup truck demographic based on their specific requirements and driving habits.

H/T tyres, designed predominantly for on-road use, prioritize ride comfort, lower noise, and longer tread life, making them the perfect choice for drivers who primarily use their pickup trucks for daily commuting or long highway drives. They perform well on paved surfaces, but their traction may decrease on gravel or muddy trails.

On the other hand, A/T tyres strike a balance between on-road comfort and off-road capability. While they may produce slightly more noise and have a shorter tread life compared to H/T tyres, their aggressive tread patterns offer better traction on dirt, gravel, and light mud, making them suitable for drivers who often alternate between highway driving and moderate off-roading.

AT vs MT tyres

Comparing All-Terrain (A/T) and Mud-Terrain (M/T) tyres showcases a shift from versatility to specialized performance.

A/T tyres are designed as a compromise, providing acceptable performance both on-road and off-road. They offer a combination of decent highway manners, lower noise, and good traction on a variety of surfaces such as gravel and dirt, making them a popular choice for drivers who occasionally venture off the beaten path.

Conversely, M/T tyres are built for extreme off-road conditions. Their aggressive tread patterns and robust construction deliver exceptional traction in mud, loose sand, or rocky terrain, making them the optimal choice for dedicated off-roaders and adventure enthusiasts. However, the trade-off for this off-road prowess is often an increase in road noise and a decrease in comfort and tread life when used predominantly on paved roads.

The decision between A/T and M/T tyres usually comes down to the proportion of time spent off-roading versus on regular roads.

Which type of tyre should I use on my pickup truck?

In conclusion, the best tyre for your pickup truck heavily depends on your driving preferences and conditions. H/T tyres are ideal for road warriors valuing comfort and fuel efficiency, while A/T tyres are the versatile option for those seeking balanced on and off-road performance. M/T tyres, though less comfortable on paved roads, excel in tackling the roughest terrains.

Choose wisely, and your truck’s tyres will empower you to conquer any path with confidence and safety.

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Harvinder Sidhu

Harvinder Singh Sidhu thinks there's nothing better than Formula 1, not even sliced bread. Having written about cars since 2006, he plunged head first into the industry out of a passion for all things four-wheeled and everything in between. The F1 enthusiast has been following the sport since 1999 and has been keeping up with it since. In between races he keeps himself busy as the host of the Driven motoring show and as our version of the Joker.



  • Zhafri on May 23, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    Not only Ford Ranger Raptor and Mitsubishi Triton Phantom Plus is equipped with AT tires, but surprisingly lower variant of Toyota Hilux E is also equipped with A/T tires as standard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Bangsar Cottage gals club on May 23, 2023 at 4:14 pm

      Agreed. Oftentimes seeing these pickups commute around bangsar telawi area only never ever goes off-road sigh

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Ga vin on May 23, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Bridgestone HT are by far the quietest highway 4×4 tyres. Absolutely no reason for A/T and M/T that produces a low frequency hum which causes fatigue

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
    • Metatron on May 23, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      Absolutely right furthermore there are prone to aquaplane during thunderstorm and high rolling resistance begets less milage

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
      • MTs are not prone to aquaplaning, they have huge channels for water to escape when squeeze between rubber and tarmac. Other than that, they are not as good on tarmac as AT or HT.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
        • DonkeyKong on May 24, 2023 at 10:12 am

          I think you haven’t driven a truck with M/T tyres before on a highway during a thunderstorm? Those big channels do nothing to evacuate water from the tyres’ contact patches because they’re meant for grip in loose terrain, not for water evacuation. The truck will even start sliding and you’ll have to slow down.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Mamak basi on May 23, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    there are 2 basic types of pickup truck owners.

    First are those living in places with poor road conditions, like Sabah. They are required to use these cars on their horrible roads. They should go with AT / MT tyres.

    The second type are those who live in the city, and the pickup truck is for hauling goods. These should go with HT tyres.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • Chris on May 23, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    Sir… u sure LTXTRAIL is HT tyre!? I thought it was suppose to be AT tyre

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • dellen on May 23, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      i think you see how the ltx trail bunga look like also you know its HT tyre

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Agree generally with article except the bit about soft sand. Don’t need aggressive treads, HTs work great. Drove across the Sahara, learned from local guides who used botak tyres. Key is to lower pressure to as low as 14psi and if still stuck, lower to 7psi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • Casual rider on May 24, 2023 at 7:43 am

    Just switched from Toyo HT to Cooper Tires ATT on my 1.5 years old hilux. Wanted to buy Michelin LTX but it’s a bit pricey. AT give me more confident than HT and transformed the truck look since I changed to Lenso rim as well

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
  • Autodriver on May 24, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Good sharing. There are many people not aware of what type of tyre they should use in different road condition.s

    Hope can write a similar article on normal passenger car tyres. Many people do not aware of entry level tyre, touring and sport. What are the differences of these tyres and which tyre suit for daily drive, aggressive, comfort, long mileage etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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