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Mud terrain tires are characterized by large, chunky tread patterns designed to bite into muddy surfaces and provide grip. The large open design also allows mud to clear more quickly from between the lugs.
Depending on the composition and tread pattern, many mud terrain tires are not well suited to on-road use. They can be noisy at highway speeds, and due to the open tread design, they have less of a contact area with the road, limiting traction.
See also 
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