When driving on well made roads and bitumen it is recommended to stick with the Tyre pressure recommend by the manufacturer. If you run a lower than recommended Tyre pressure on made roads it will increase Tyre wear and burn more fuel.
There seems to be a lack of definitive consistency when it comes to Tyre pressure recommendations. When traveling off-road Tyre pressure will be determined by your vehicle weight, experience, terrain, type of vehicle, vehicle loading & suspension. A Tyre Pressure of 23-25psi is a good starting point and you can adjust the pressure as you progress. While the majority of us are not an expert on tyres if you apply the following basic guide it should put you in good stead to conquer the off-road environment.
When tackling rugged off-road terrain reducing your Tyre pressure will improve your Traction through an increased footprint. (See Image Above) Use an accurate Tyre pressure gauge to ensure you do not over deflate your tyres. It is good practice to fire up your compressor first to ensure it is operational before you deflate your tyres. Low pressure allows a Tyre to soak up any bumps on the track, giving the vehicle further insulation from the impact giving you a smoother ride and improved traction.
Avoid Tyre Damage
The type of Tyre you are running on your vehicle needs to be taken into consideration when running at lower PSI. If the Tyre's side wall is not well reinforced a low PSI could cause a puncture on rocky/rugged terrain. Be conscious of your tyres side wall and understand its limitations. Read reviews about your tyres to get a feel of their side wall & bead limitations.
Low pressures Tyre pressures increase the bulge and surface area that can be subject to damage. When running high pressure the side wall is at lesser risk of being damaged.
Inspect Your Tyre's
It is always good practice to inspect your tyres for damage regularly to avoid a blow out. If you notice any side wall damage maybe its time to increase Tyre pressure where applicable and nurse the Tyre back to camp.
Tyre Repair Kit
No matter how careful you are at monitoring your tyres and correctly judging Tyre pressures, accidents do happen. So always be prepared and pack a Tyre repair kit from TJM or equivalent to get you out of trouble. Remember, always be prepared for the worst~! (Murphy's law)
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