Abstract Every mathematical model used in a simulation is an idealization and simplification of reality. Vehicle dynamic simulations that go beyond the fundamental investigations require complex multi-body simulation models. The tyre–road interaction presents one of the biggest challenges in creating an accurate vehicle model. Many tyre models have been proposed and developed but proper validation studies are less accessible. These models were mostly developed and validated for passenger car tyres for application on relatively smooth roads. The improvement of ride comfort, safety and structural integrity of large off-road vehicles, over rough terrain, has become more significant in the development process of heavy vehicles. This paper investigates whether existing tyre models can be used to accurately describe the vertical behaviour of large off road tyres while driving over uneven terrain.  Presented an extensive set of experimentally determined parameterization and validation data for a large off-road tyre. Both laboratory and field test are performed for various loads, inflation pressures and terrain inputs. The parameterization process of four tyre models or contact models are discussed in detail. The parameterized models are then validated against test results on various hard but rough off-road terrain and the results are discussed.