Talking Trucks Tuesday: Winter Treads

Pickup-Snow-Tire_BWS_8943A II (002)

By G.R. Whale

When much of the country is getting pounded by winter storms and deep snow, our thoughts turn to tires. Some pickup truck owners have separate wardrobes for summer and winter. Nome, Alaska, and Miami residents maybe not so much.

Pickup winter wear can include anything from a fresh wax to do-it-yourself undercoating to lighter lubricating fluids to a block heater to winter diesel fuel. But does your truck's cold-weather wardrobe include winter tires?

Winter tires are designed for cold weather and associated precipitation. Tires rated for mud and snow (M+S) may not qualify as winter tires and often don't excel in either mud or snow. A winter tire's specific compound, tread design — and studs if you want them — is far more suitable and safer on cold roads and the various forms of water you might find on them.

In every road-based comparison in which I've participated, dedicated winter tires were more valuable than the number of driven wheels. However, while winter tires can improve performance, they are no substitute for common sense and can be pushed beyond their limits. They also add expense and create the issue of storage logistics.

The U.S., unlike some countries, does not mandate winter tire use, although some states and cities have laws about the use of studded tires or chains. It's worth noting that some insurance companies offer discounts for using winter tires.

Do you think winter tires should be required for new drivers or general safety, and if so, under what parameters? And if you don't believe in running dedicated winter tires, studs or chains, how do you deal with marginal winter traction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; cars.com image by Bruce Smith

Comments

No, to me a "new" driver is 16 years old, in schoo,l and borrows the family car or has an old beater
1. how is a "new" driver going to afford 2 sets of tires?
2. Where is a "new" driver going to store a set of tires?
3. What does driving on snow have to do with a "new" driver.

As for safety, here in the central part of the country, we have had 1 ice storm, ice on roads for a day and that is about it. Waste of money

No, to me a "new" driver is 16 years old, in schoo,l and borrows the family car or has an old beater
1. how is a "new" driver going to afford 2 sets of tires?
2. Where is a "new" driver going to store a set of tires?
3. What does driving on snow have to do with a "new" driver.

As for safety, here in the central part of the country, we have had 1 ice storm, ice on roads for a day and that is about it. Waste of money

In general, I would prefer as few requirements as possible. I'd rather big brother stay out of our lives as much as possible.
Saying that, I don't think the problem with new drivers is so much with the tires as it is with judgement and experience. Winter tires are not going to give them either and I feel that they are just as likely to push the edge, only snow tires will make that edge that much worse.
Personally, I run two sets of tires on my truck-the newer set is used in the winter and the older set the summer. Same tread, just taking advantage of the greater tread depth in winter and maximizing my use of the tires in the summer.
I run only one set of tires on my car and SUV.

The RMA/RAC Rubber Manufacturer Association / Rubber Association of Canada Mountain & Snowflake symbol should be required by the year 2020.
But I bet most truck tires will have them by 2019, so it doesn't need to be an edict.
M&S means basically nothing.

Only one name for winter tires Nokian. I just installed Nokian Rotiiva AT. They are really more of an all weather tire, but living in Seattle area I do not need the specific winter tires. But Nokian is the king of winter tires.

I switched from the Goodyear Wrangler SR-A tires that came stock on my truck, to Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac. The Duratrac's are not specifically a "winter" tire, however they have been exceeding my expectations on snow and ice. I have not seen any difference in how the truck handles. Fuel milage has not changed much as well. The new tires do produce a little more noise, but not enough to be annoying.

If you live in an area where roads are known to be icy for much of the winter season, go with ice rated radial tires. I have the michelin X-ICE 2. Awsome! I hear the X-ICE 3's are even better. With that said, nothing beats studded winter tires if you can afford it and they are allowed in your area.

I've had a couple of trucks that were useless on snow or ice. Both were single cab and long box. Both required chains and a load in the back to achieve an traction. I doubt if winter tires could have helped either one.

@Don E

Dead right!

there is no tire that will much help a pickup on snow/ice/black ice.

Most tires are ok for getting the load rolling, but there is no tire in existence that will help you steer or stop if you're going too fast. On ice, we are all going too fast.

It's all a big hoot until you end up hurting yourself or someone else.

Studded Hankook iPike winters on my truck and van get me through Canadian ice and snow covered roads

G R. Whale - - -
.
"Pickup winter wear can include anything from a fresh wax to do-it-yourself undercoating to lighter lubricating fluids to a block heater to winter diesel fuel".

The "do-it-yourself undercoating" is something I have done on both my 2007 Jeep Wrangler and my 1996 Dodge Ram pickup. Completed the Ram this past summer: took two months of meticulous work. Have documented and photographed the methods.

Would like to send the resulting ".pdf" to you, if you are interested. How can I best do this? (again, assuming you are interested...)

==========================

Uhmmmm... NO!!!!!
We don't need anymore laws and regulation. We already have the stupid tpms.. Quit trying to make people lazy and stupid... How about improving the driver road test.. include in the test a more vigorous test procedure... today's mandated technology on vehicles is what's causing and spawning lazy and stupid drivers. You can't fix stupid.

It would be best for everyone if the underprepared, underequipped, untrained and unsure just stayed off the road when the conditions are bad.

It seems to me here that most negative comments are coming from people that never use winter tires. I personally switched to using them 10 years ago when I started as a volunteer firefighter. I couldn't believe the difference. I live in a part of Canada (Ontario) where the use of winter tires is NOT mandated so it was a personal choice. Once I tried them on my car, I was hooked. I now have them for all vehicles in our household now (4). Trust me, they are worth it! And you actually save money by buying them if you own your vehicle long enough.

The fact that BFG All Terrains wear the mountain and snowflake symbol makes said symbol a joke.

They offer decent puncture resistance, but a snow tire they ain't. Brand new, they're "ok", but after 10 thousand miles, they go hard, and would spin on a banana peel...

LOL... deeply embedded in winter, I spent last weekend walking around in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops.

I replace the all-season Michelin Defender tires on my car with Bridgestone Blizzaks for winter. The difference is huge, even though the Defenders are pretty good all-season tires.

On the pickup I use the same tires year around, and I avoid driving long distances with it on particularly icy days.

As a teenager, I drove a '67 Plymouth Fury w/ 383 big block. Standard procedure was putting studded snows on the rear, throwing 2 or 3 of the A/S tires in the trunk along with four bags of rock salt...car got around pretty darn good in the snow, busting through snow drifts that were higher than the hood.

Fast forward to post-college world and a decade living in the south. Never thought about winter tires. Then moved back to snow/ice Country. I figured my new Fwd car with modern A/S tires would be fine, and it was, most of the time Until I couldnt get up the hill on my street. Next winter, invested in winter tires and could not believe the difference. Now have extra sets for my car and my wife's car.

Yesterday I drove home with 4 inches of fresh new snow, and more snow coming down at 2"/hour. 4x4 SUV in front of me could not make the hill. I don't know if he had the axles locked in, but I did see both wheels on the same side of the SUV spinning. He got halfway up the hill and had to back down. Then I drove up the hill, no wheelspin, no tach jumping, in my Fwd 2002 Accord with 4-cyl. and 5-speed manual, and General Arctic Max snow tires....

Never bought a set of winter tires in my life and get snow every year in northern PA. Waste of money if you ask me.

Do you think winter tires should be required for new drivers or general safety, and if so, under what parameters? And if you don't believe in running dedicated winter tires, studs or chains, how do you deal with marginal winter traction?
/QUOTE

No,,
I use all season Michelins with fairly agresive tread year around on my two wheel drive..
,to get traction in winter I toss bunch of weights,rocks,sand bags etc. in the back of the bed and get thru any snow with ease,,g80 posi locker helps tremendously and is obvious necesity..

Any driver who sees winter conditions, especially colder weather should be using winter tires.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us