It probably goes without saying but when you decide to take your 4 X 4 truck or SUV off the road and into the rough, regular tires just won’t do the job. Even snow tires aren’t really made the right way to get traction in sand, gravel, mud and other types of off-road medias. The major difference is how deep the tread is and how wide the grooves are between the treads. Here are some of the factors you should consider when looking for the off-road truck rims that you’ll need to make sure those tires have the support they need.
The offset is just like it sounds, it’s the amount of offset, measured in millimeters, from center or normal. It can be positive, negative or zero depending on what you desire. A positive offset will make the tires stick out farther from center, in other words, they’ll look like your axle is wider, the stance of your truck larger. You’ll need to accommodate this wider stance by raising your truck with a lift kit to make sure your tires clear the truck’s body.
A wider stance gives a truck much better stability when negotiating very rough terrain. The truck won’t be nearly as prone to tipping over when one tire goes into a deep rut. It has other problems though since the tire extend beyond the body, they’ll fling mud everywhere unless wider mud flaps are added.
A zero offset has the tire and wheels exactly lined up to the center line of the wheel and a negative offset extends towards the inner or brake side of the vehicle. Negative offsets can cause problems by interfering with parts of the chassis and should be carefully considered before buying. The most popular footprint for off-road use is almost always the positive offset for the most stability.
One of the most important cautions that you can learn about off road truck rims is that you’ll want to talk to an expert that’s sold and mounted hundreds of tire/wheel combinations on four wheel drives. That experience is invaluable when it comes to matching the right tires and wheels to your rig so that they don’t rub on steering components, fenders, brakes, or other vital parts of your truck.
There are back plate spacers that can also be added that will give extra clearance when needed. The wheel experts will usually already know what’s needed and have it in stock ready for installation. That’s because there really are only a few basic 4 X 4 bodies and frames that are kept the same for years by the auto manufacturers. The original big three, Ford, Chevy, Jeep, and Dodge kept the same frames for about 10 to 12 years at a time and only changed the body for each new year.
The other manufacturers, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Kia do much the same but change a little more often.
Getting just the right off road tires and wheels comes down to doing a bit of research on your own. When you see another truck that has the look you want, ask the owner what he has and write it down. Then go to your expert tire and wheel dealer armed with the information to choose the style of wheels with those same measurements.