Wheel & Tyre Selection


Wheel and Tyre selection

When preparing a 4WD for touring in remote areas, the choice of wheels and tyres forms a vital part of the vehicle's ability to handle the conditions reliably and safely.

Touring 4WDs are typically heavy, and often run for long distances at high speeds over very rough terrain, imposing heavy demands on the wheels and tyres supporting the vehicle. It's been known for poorly made or inadequately specified wheels to crack and fall apart, and for tyres to fail due to the high temperatures generated under such conditions. Indeed, I had a tyre fail spectacularly on the Oodnadatta Track many years ago.

There are few product decisions that matter more for the active safety of your 4WD, than good quality wheels and tyres.

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Picking a wheel is not as simple as just grabbing something you like the look of. Wheels matter, because if you break one it can easily become a life or death situation. And with the large number of sketchy unbranded wheels making their way onto the market, wheel failure is a situation that's becoming increasingly common.

Twenty or thirty years ago, there were perhaps five common wheel brands on the market. Now there are hundreds. Most you’ve probably never heard of, because they come and go within a few years, selling wheels which are just rebadged versions of whatever they could find on the Asian wholesale market. The Australian distributor often has no input into manufacturing or quality control. With a heavy vehicle like the 300 -especially if you’ve done a GVM upgrade- fitting some no-name wheel imported by a fly-by-night operator is a recipe for disaster.

With 20-odd years of my own experience and safe in the knowledge that they've been making wheels for over 75 years, I was never going to use anything but ROH wheels on the 300. The only choices I had to make were the design and technical specifications.

I ended up choosing the Graphite Raid design, which is a great match for the 300, with metallic grey spokes and a black outer rim. They’re the same 18” diameter as the factory wheels, but wider at 9", versus 7.5" for the factory wheels. These wheels are available in a few different offsets, but I’ve gone with positive 25mm, which is the lowest offset that’s legal on the 300. The +25 wheels have a 1250kg load rating, meaning I’m still compliant with my GVM upgrade. ROH have a number of really nice designs now for the 300, so be sure to check out their website to see them all.

20+ Years of ROH wheels on my 4WDs


Deciding on the brand of tyres was considerably more difficult than the wheels, because there are quite a few good quality, aggressive all-terrain tyres available currently. After initial research, I narrowed my choices down to (Click to see manufacturer's website):

The last tyres I ran on my 200-series were the Nitto Ridge Grapplers, and I was extremely happy with them. They offered excellent on and off-road performance, were extremely durable (with no punctures) and lasted well. Prior to the Nittos, I ran a set of Mickey Thompson Baja ATZP3s. They also offered excellent performance and durability, but they were somewhat noisier to begin with, and became very noisy by the end of their life. I discovered that the tread blocks on the ATZP3 wore unevenly, in a 'sawtooth' pattern, which is common with 4-block tread designs such as most Mud-Terrain tyres. Because I didn't want a noisy tyre, I didn't consider them this time around.

The second tyre that interested me was the Maxxis Razr AT811. The tread pattern of the Razr is almost identical to the Ridge Grappler, and they have received excellent reviews since their release.

I discounted the Toyo and Duratrac reasonably early in the process. The Toyo had poor availability in the sizing I wanted, as did the Duratrac. There was also an absence of quality reviews on the Duratrac, so I decided to leave it off the list this time around, but with new tyres and reviews appearing all the time, it's worth re-examining options each time you're up for a set of new rubber.

So this time, I was left with the RAZR vs the Ridge Grappler. These are very closely matched in specification. Their tread patterns are very similar (see photo above). Both offer 3-ply sidewalls with aggressive shoulder tread. They generally share the same load and speed ratings for a given size. The Nittos come from the USA, and the RAZRs come from Taiwan. Independent reviews for each were excellent. I had previous experience with the Nittos, but not the RAZRs. The RAZRs did have a price advantage, being about $50 per tyre cheaper than the Nittos.

Given previous experience, I was leaning towards the Nitto Ridge Grapplers, but when I checked availability in my preferred size of 33x12.5R18, the Nittos were at low stock levels. This shortage helped me choose the Maxxis RAZR, which were readily available.

At the time of writing, I've now had the wheels and tyres fitted for several months, and have done about 5,000km of mostly on-road driving on them.

The RAZRs have met or exceeded my expectations so far, with excellent on-road performance in both wet and dry conditions, matching the Ridge Grapplers I ran previously. In addition to the good performance, I have been amazed by how quiet they are. I had considered the Ridge Grappler to be a quiet tyre, but the RAZRs set a new bar for an all-terrain. They are barely -if at all- noisier than the factory tyres. Even when driving beside a concrete barrier with the windows down, there is no obtrusive noise from the tyres. Time will tell if this noise level continues as the tyres wear.

The only downside I can identify so far is they seem more prone to picking up stones than the Ridge Grapplers. This can be a little frustrating, listening to the ticking of stones on the tar after driving on a gravel road.

They seem to be wearing well so far, but I'll really need to run them for some time before I get a good indication of their expected life.


Part of choosing the tyres is selecting the ideal size. Given past experience and legal requirements, it came down to two options:

  • 285/65R18
  • 33x12.5R18

These two size options are the largest diameter that can be legally fitted to the 300-series without going through engineering. With both sizes having a diameter of ~830mm (33 inches), they are around 50mm taller than the factory tyres, coming in just under the 7% legal limit. This provides around 25mm of increased ground clearance.

The main difference between the two sizes is their width. The 285/65R18 is ~290mm wide, while the 33x12.5R18 is ~320mm wide. In combination with the +25 wheels, both of these tyres require wheelarch flares on the 300 to keep them legal. The 33x12.5s sit at the very edge of the flares, while the 285s would be around 10mm inside. There are pros and cons for each of the sizes, so consider these and your needs before deciding on a tyre size.



  • Less fuel usage
  • More widely available
  • Cheaper
  • Typically better in mud



  • Better looking/more aggressive
  • Better in sand
  • Better protection for wheels


Installing larger diameter tyres has many effects on the performance characteristics of your vehicle, some positive and some negative.

The main benefit is improved offroad performance. The additional ground clearance means you're less likely to bottom out in deep ruts, mud and sand, giving an overall improvement in offroad capability. There aren't really any offroad situations where larger tyres present a disadvantage.

The opposite is true for onroad performance, with larger tyres causing a slight degradation in handling (however in this case it's offset by the increased track), and also in acceleration due to the effect of the taller gearing. There is also a fuel consumption penalty, which in this case is around 5%.

Factory speedos are deliberately designed to over-read. Installing moderately larger tyres counteracts this, so the dash speedo is now about spot-on.


Obviously the new wheels and tyres have made a huge difference to the appearance of the 300. Looks are nice to have, but performance is far more important. So far, having done about 5,000km on the new shoes, I'm very impressed with them and as you'd expect, there have been no issues to report.

As the build progresses and the vehicle ages, I'll post updates on all the modifications, but this is probably most relevant for tyre choice, with these being a wear item. Time and distance makes all the difference for tyres, so be sure to check back ion the future as I'll be posting updates here every six months or so, and following any major trips.


Promotional and advertising content declaration

Undeclared promotion is rife in the 4WD "influencer" industry. Project300 is different. In the interests of full transparency, every page on Project300 will contain disclosure of what -if any- benefits were received in the process of choosing and installing the listed product(s).

I plan on owning and driving the Project300 LandCruiser for at least a decade. I'll only ever choose and install products which I believe to be of the highest quality, and which will serve me reliably throughout the life of the vehicle.

Disclosure for this article:

  • ROH supplied the wheels at a discounted price, after I chose them;
  • The Maxxis tyres were purchased retail from Katoomba Tyre Service at their normal pricing;
  • No monetary payment was or will be received from ROH, Maxxis or any other company to use or recommend their product;
  • I have no obligation to only make positive comments, and am free to say or write whatever I choose about the products, now and in the future;
  • This page contains affiliate links to eBay and/or Amazon. If you click on a link and then purchase any product at eBay/Amazon within a 24hour period, then I may receive a small commission on the total sale amount. The price you pay is not affected;
  • This page contains advertisements from Google Ads, for which I receive a payment based on views and/or clicks. I do not control the content of the advertisements and do not necessarily endorse the products being advertised.

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