EXPERT’S CHOICE: Bernie Williams (Khwela 4x4 Adventures and Dynamic Driving)
As a tour operator, tyre reliability is the very last thing I want to be worried about. There’s enough on my plate to deal with when I’m miles from home and leading a group of adventure travellers on an extended off-road trip.
Having spent more than 20 years in the 4x4 tour industry, I’ve led countless convoys into some of the most unforgivable and remote parts of Africa, and during that time, I’ve been exposed to every tyre brand on the market. Whether it be tyres on a client’s vehicle, or my very own 4x4, I’ve seen first hand how a set of tyres can cause the entire convoy to limp to a halt.
That said, your choice of tyre on an overland trip not only plays a role in how confident you feel on a tour, it also affects how relaxed you are on holiday. Losing a tyre to sidewall damage can be highly stressful when you’re halfway through your journey and miles from any hope of finding a replacement tyre.
The terrain we traverse on our tours varies from normal gravel roads, to rocks, sand, ice and tweespoor tracks. Such a wide range of conditions places huge demand on a tyre’s performance and versatility. Which is why mud-terrains have always been my preferred choice.
Leading 4x4 tour groups through remote regions is how I make a living, and with that in mind, I need to be prepared for any sort of condition whether it be the sand dunes of the Namib, the jagged rocks of Van Zyl’s Pass, the muddy trenches of the Makgadigadi, or the icy roads of Lesotho. I need a tyre that can adapt to change.
As the saying goes: Different strokes for different folks. But in my experience, mud-terrains offer the best grip on the widest range of terrain types, and I’ve yet to find a MT tyre that outperforms the Cooper STT PRO in that department. Switching to these tyres has made a huge impact on my peace of mind.
Our trips typically cover distances between 1 500km to 3 000km, and after 5-years of service, the STT PRO has never failed me. Five years, thousands of harsh off-road kilometres, and not a single puncture to date. What more could I ask for from a tyre?