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How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

Posted by jerry_nj (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 12, 06 at 20:06

I had a 4WD Dodge R50 pickup for 16 years and it had "snow tires" (aggressive tread and large) on all four wheels. I now have a 2005 Chevy Colorado 2WD with a automatic locking differential. I figured this could answer my need for traction without having to pay the price in dollars or weight of a 4WD. So far so good, and this weekend we just got through record setting snow in the New York (NJ) area. The Chevy is the basic truck with 205 75R15 (did I get those numbers in the right order? well I'll assume if not, you know what I mean) and an "all weather" street treads all around. Given my drive traction now is limited to the rear wheels (albet it both of them) I'm thinking why not go back to the old practice of putting snow tires (maybe a wider tire? has to have the same diameter if the speedometer is to be accurate, right?) on the rear. I'd just leave them on year round and rotate my existing set of street tires in the front.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

If it were me, the only reason I'd put traction tires on the rear (for winter) would be if I wanted studded tires. imo, a wider traction tire would not be the best idea, especially in a pickup. Part of what gives you traction is how much weight is being applied to the ground. Think of that in pounds per square inch. If you put on a wider tire, though the tread area touching the surface is more, the force down is less because the weight is spread over a larger area. Pickups are already light on the rear to begin with so you may very well end up with less traction with a wider tire. I do think a few hundred pounds of concrete or sand in the box over the axle helps. A good all season radial is pretty good on snow. On packed snow and ice the only thing that helps are studs. jmo


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

One other option is to have the tires (two or all of them) siped. This puts additional cuts into the tread which provide more biting surfaces for snow and ice. It can alter the performance a little on dry pavement, but it's a pickup, not a Miata, so you may never notice it. A quick march through the Yellow Pages or Internet can show you who in your area can sipe tires. Not terribly expensive, either.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

Thanks, a very different response that I thought. I understand the pounds per square inch issue, and hadn't given that a thought. I guess I was let to bigger or wider tires from a like of the look they have on the fancy sport trucks. Still, my old Dodge had aggressive wide tire all around, and 4WD. That too led me to think on a 2WD, put the aggressive tread on the rear. I do have a sporty 70R15 tire on a small car and its wet pavement/snow performance is not as good as an all season. Still too, in the old days of big rear wheel drive cars, I've had a few myself, snow tires (I've had the studded tires too) were common practice. They may have been no wider, but they looked that way because of the aggressive tread.

Looks like I should stay with what I've got. I'll spend the saved money putting on a class III trailer hitch/receiver. I understand installation of one made for the specific truck will require no drilling, just bolt to existing holes. I've already installed the light wiring, easy with the "T" wire adapter now on new trucks. I'd think the sooner the better on the installation. The truck has under 2,000 miles on it so the underside is still clean.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

I agree with gary__, if you don't have problems getting around with the all-seasons then don't get bigger all-seasons. If you're concerned and want to improve winter traction, then get some real snows and have them studded. Additional weight in the bed is also a great traction gainer (but of course gas mileage suffers because your always lugging additional weight). Buy a couple of additional rims and make a set of mounted studded snow tires that can be easily changed out at the beginning and end of each winter season. jmo


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

You mean to tell me you can still have studded tires on the east cost?Those were outlawed years ago in Illinois.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

Put the tires you wnat and are comfortable with. But the recent show in NJ wasn't a record setter. Noo Yawk, yes. New Jersey, no. When I was a kid in Morris County we had a 37" snowstorm.
But it's fummy how snow amounts affect us. I was in Syracuse, NY doing a craft show in February a few years ago and they had 72 inches of lake effect snow over three days! And life went on as if nothing was unusual. People still came to the craft show! Meanwhile Sam Champion on WABC in NYC was acting as if the world was coming to an end this past weekend!


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

John:
My understanding is that technically, you can't buy studded snow tires, but you can buy an aggressive tire and have studs put in. I've been going to a local garage for ~20 years+. We bought my wife a caprice wagon ~95 (RWD and it was a used vehilce that didn't have posi-traction) and after struggling through a couple of winters with new "all-weather" tires I decided to buy real snow tires. I got them through my mechanic and asked him to get studs if he could. He did and they have worked great since. I know in the 80's there was a law limiting the use of studded tires to Nov 1 through April 1 (I got a ticket for it on April 2), I don't think it has ever been modified.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup? II

John:
FWIW, I found this list on the web.
I'm in MA and this says through April 30, so it was probably May 2 when I got written up. It's tough getting old.

Here is a link that might be useful: studded tire regulations


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

Just checking back and see some more good discussion.

I'll just stick with what I have, matched all weather radials, and thus can rotate front/rear every 7->10K miles. As for record snows, I was surprised that 26.9 was an alltime record, for NYC. We had at least 3 feet, in 12 hours, here in NJ, about 60 miles west, south/west of NYC in 1994 (just a guess recall). Then I had the 4WD Dodge R50 and a 4WD Toyota Tercel. Neither was any help, I had to get a "professional" to plow my 300' of driveway. So far the automatic locking differential and AWR have worked fine on the new Chevy pickup. So far the truck has been great in general.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

"It's fummy how snow amounts affect us. I was in Syracuse, NY doing a craft show in February a few years ago and they had 72 inches of lake effect snow over three days! And life went on as if nothing was unusual. People still came to the craft show! Meanwhile Sam Champion on WABC in NYC was acting as if the world was coming to an end this past weekend!"

Wow, Sam Champion's still around? Amazing.

You think that's bad. Here in NEPA--where one might think it shouldn't be a surprise to get snow in winter--we got half an inch the other day and they closed the schools!

In fact, sometimes they close the schools when there's just snow *predicted.*

The best part is that, since the schools are closed, they don't feel it's all that urgent to plow the roads. Once you're out of HS, I guess you become disposable.


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RE: How about 'snow tires' on the rear of a pickup?

The studded tires put on a nice fire show on dry pavement.We use to do this when was younger with our hopped up street cars.I think you could stud your own tires if the tread is very agressive.Use self tapping screws on the deep lugs if you can't find a dealer to install them.


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