Tyre pressures on stony roads

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 at 05:14
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Hi All, we are about to travel into Karijini National Park. Normally we have been reducing our tyre pressures on the van and the cruiser to around 28psi and this has served us well down the Strezlecki and Gibb River Roads except that very unexpectedly we had a blowout on the road into Bell Gorge off the GRR. The road was pretty solid and stone free in the centre but a bit of loose stuff had gathered at the edges. Close inspection and tracking back after the blowout caused us to suspect that the van tyres cut into the loose stones on the edge and the very sharp pointed stones cut the wall which let go approximately 100 metres further down the road. This leads us to suspect that the "bagging"of the walls made them vulnerable to this type of damage with sharp rocks. From memory of 6 years ago, the roads in Karijini have very similar sharp triangular stones and we are concerned if we follow our usual practice of dropping pressures we may have more tyre problems.
I was wondering if anyone else with experience would share their opinions on whether to drop pressures in this area or not?
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 at 06:01

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 at 06:01

Different tyres have different sidewall strength makes it hard to comment & compare,

we recently travelled the GRR and across Karratha to Wittenoom of which all except 90ks was similar to what you will travel on & I do think the Pilbara has sharper rocks. I drop my speed and 10psi on vehicle & van once i get on the dirt, 38psi on the F250 and 28psi on the van, we have had no punctures on the van so far, we have had two on the truck in the past 40,000ks both recently and as the tyre tread is wearing down, an old tent peg went through the edge and sharp rock sliced through on middle of tyre, both i plugged up and continued on.


Mick & Vickie


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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 05:55

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 05:55
If we are travelling any great distances on the rough stuff we reduce the F250 to 35 psi and the van down to 25 to 30 psi. On the black top we run at 50psi on F250 and 40 psi on the van.

If it is only a short distance 20 to 30 ks on the rough stuff we leave the tyres as per bitumen but slow the speed right down and haven't had problems.

I should also say that we reduce our speed with the reduced tyre pressures also.

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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 at 01:41

Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 at 01:41
Ditto all the above - but I run Bridgstones all round - tard top 36 on the van (cold) and 34 front and 36 back cold on the old cruiser.

On the dirt anywhere between 22 cold on horrendous stuff to 26 - 28 cold on more reasonable tracks.

Slow down and drive to the conditions - which are often characterised by sections of good stuff which suddenly deteriorates before coming good again.

Cheers John
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Aug 29, 2008 at 07:29

Friday, Aug 29, 2008 at 07:29
Hi BT Dreaming

Jim was always paranoid about letting tyres down because of the farmer's fear of side wall damage - but after running all at 25 to 26 in the Kimberley, he is now convinced. Like a full balloon, a gash from a side rock will do more damage on a full tyre, than on a soft one. You were just unlucky. We were lucky to get through so far with all tyres intact.

We lost our fridge once (severed gas line) on a corrugated road with hard tyres on the BT. A $2,000 lesson.

We went through the Karajini pre BT - with the little wind up van - ran normal tyre pressures as the corrugations weren't excessive - just annoying. Went down to 28 for the Tanami, and 25 for the horror stretch into Chambers Pillar yesterday.



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Reply By: Freewheelers - Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 03:19

Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 03:19
hi guys
we went into bell last sept only about 15 vehicles & trailers(we were the only van) that night the were 4 punctures theory was that the water crossing just before you get there is the culprit
we also did karigini last oct/nov road fine but hot and dusty
we travel 0n dirt around 28 psi & like brian for short distances we stay at road pressure 42 psi which by the way still look slightly baggy
tyres are one of the easier things (& not a big cost compared to other stuff) to replace & generally to find, plus having 2 spares plus the car spare make me think van components are more precious than tyres but slow & steady is our mantra
Stephen & Deborah

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Reply By: Sooty & Sue - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2008 at 18:48

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2008 at 18:48
We've been through Karijini twice this year. I have an F250 with dual rear wheels. The front tyres I ran at 25psi and the same on the van. The duals we have no choice but to leave at 50psi otherwise they'll rub. The first trip through I had a puncture on the inside rear, quite sizable so I couldn't plug it. The second time through no problems at all. Other than this puncture we've have no problems through tasmania, Flinders ranges, Oodnadat Track, Painted desesrt, Great Central Road, GRR and all things Kimberley etc. I now swear buy BF Goodrich All Terrain Tyres!!!!! have just fitted a second set.

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Reply By: BT Dreaming - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2008 at 00:54

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2008 at 00:54
Thanks everyone for your contributions. The Karijini roads didn't have as many sharp stones as I remembered from a previous trip 6 years ago. We dropped our tyre pressures as is our normal practice and came through unscathed.

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Reply By: Cobber - Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 07:07

Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 07:07
We did Mount Augustus, Mill Stream and Karijini last month, just left the tyres on the Cruiser and the Van at 40psi all the time, no problems, just slowed down for the condition of the road
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