object detection

Im searching for a way to have an object on my mesh be able to detect when it meets another object so it can react in animation. Similar to a collider in games, i need for a tire to know when it comes in contact with another mesh object so it can react. I know about attaching hooks and using a shrinkwrap restraint on the hooks for ground detection, but what if it hits a log? Or any other object not defined by the shrinkwrap constraint? Any help is appreciated and I really hope this is in the right place, seems like a physics problem to me!

Just join your log mesh to the ground plane. Then the existing detection method you have should work…right?

you know what, I believe it will. Funny something so simple may be exactly what I need! THX