ATV and UTV Tire Types for the Farm

ATV and UTV tire types apply to all sort of situations on the farm? It depends on the ground conditions your machine will be asked to handle.

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by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Finding the correct ATV and UTV tire types can be tricky. For the most part, choosing the right tires for a tractor is straightforward. Three main types—R1 agricultural tires, R3 turf tires, and R4 industrial tires—offer varying pros and cons when it comes to traction, strength, and suitability for lawns.

But if you’re a hobby farmer using an ATV or UTV, you’ll find a wider variety of ATV and UTV tire types to consider. What type of tire is best for your machine? It depends on the ground conditions your ATV or UTV will be asked to handle.

Tire Type to Start With

Start with general-purpose, all-terrain tires. There’s a strong chance your machine came equipped with these tires. While they’re not specifically geared to handle any particular type of terrain (like mud, sand, or snow), all-terrain tires —much like R4 industrial tires for tractors—can be the perfect choice for hobby farmers who need their machine to traverse gravel driveways, grassy lawns, bumpy fields, and a little mud. In other words, a bit of everything.

Speaking of mud, hopefully your farming needs don’t require driving an ATV or UTV through deep mud. But if that’s on your agenda, consider mud tires, which features deep and widely spaced lugs designed to stay clean and power through the sloppiest conditions. Just keep in mind that mud tires can make for a bumpy ride on dry ground; like the R2 tractor tires designed for use in extremely wet conditions, ATV and UTV mud tires are great when mud is deep and less suitable anywhere else. The lugs can even be damaged on hard ground.

The same goes for sand tires, which are largely smooth, but with paddle-like lugs designed to scoop through the sand and not get bogged down. They’re great in deep sand, but the paddles will take a beating on hard ground, so you’re probably not interested in sand tires unless your farm has a lot of loose, sandy terrain.

Racing tires are another option; they’re designed to maximize traction over hard ground, particular when traveling at high speeds. But there not necessarily as durable as all-terrain tires, and they won’t be as effective in mud or sand as specialized tires (or even all-terrain tires), so racing tires have some shortcomings when viewed through the eyes of a hobby farmer. After all, you probably won’t be tearing around your farm at racing speeds.

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Other Types of ATV/UTV Tires

Now, it’s worth investigating whether you can acquire other types of tires for your ATV or UTV. For example, snow tires with treads designed for optimal performance on snowy ground, or turf tires with wide treads and closely spaced lugs that will inflict minimal damage on lawns. A typical hobby farmer is more likely to drive an ATV or UTV through snow or grass than deep mud or sand, so seeking out snow and turf tires compatible with your machine may be worth the time and investment.

Chances are an all-terrain tire will serve you well as a hobby farmer. But it’s helpful to know all your options in case snow tires, turf tires, mud tires, racing tires, or even sand tires prove perfect or complementary for your specific needs.