|08-19-2010 10:13 PM|
Basically you want an open tire tread, one that doesn't fill up easily and become slick. Minimum tread depth, if worn, would be nothing less than 1/8". Stopping is a priority versus going forward.
I would look for LT versus P tires with minimum tread depth of 13/32". Any tire with the mountain/snowflake symbol should work. Here's what Tire Rack has to say.
Winter Tech - How to Confirm a Winter Performer
Goodyear Ultra Grip is capable looking tire.
|08-19-2010 07:35 PM|
|gus54||Give your BFG ATs a chance. They are great in snow. I have had several sets on various trucks and Jeeps.|
|08-19-2010 06:54 PM|
I have over looked one outlier actually. Arctic Trucks of Iceland makes their AT405 Radial which is a 38x15.5R15 tire. It is really more intended for unploughed heavily snowed roads and winter off roading. It has about 55% tread to space which isn't as much as the road oriented snow and ice tires I've mentioned have. The tread blocks have a decent amount of siping, and are studable. This tire would be great for driving out to a cabin on a road that hasn't been ploughed for several snow falls, on service and access roads in the middle of no where, across frozen rivers, and wind swept pack ice. I'm not sure it would be tame on icy pavement in traffic. Nor do I know if it has been tested to those industry standards. It is made in a multi-mold so it should balance better than some big tires. In my experience poor balancing is deadly on icy highways so that might be less of an issue, but still one to avoid.
To my knowledge only 800 where made and they are only for sale in Iceland. They probably are not cheap by any measure, and shipping them across the island let alone the North Atlantic would be pretty expensive.
If I bought one of their trucks for use up here I sure would use those tires. I would not however use them on my daily driver, nor would I use their trucks as my daily driver.
Maybe you could get the local fire department to pay the bill if you agree to provide ambulance service during the next storm of the century.
|08-19-2010 05:17 PM|
The Mountain and Snow Flake symbol signifies that a tire meets an industry standard for increased traction on packed snow against a given metric. Many states use it as a code standard required for use on specific roads during inclement weather, certain months of the year on all roads, or commercial passenger vehicles. It does not mean a tire has been purpose built to provide good traction on ice. Nor does it even mean the tire was even tested on ice, only packed snow. The DuraTracs are an all season tire. They do carry the mountain and snow flake symbol. If you look at their tread blocking you'll notice they have large open areas between them, this is good for clearing sticky mud or plowing through sand and gravel but it reduces the tires contact patch on the road. In icy and snowy conditions that is not good. Especially the large open side lugs which are there to help shed mud however cut down on cornering stability on ice. They do have some siping but if you compare the level of siping present on them to dedicated winter tires like the Blizzaks or Hakkas it simply isn't much. They are probably fine for an all season tire that will see occasional snow and little ice. They do meet the requirement of having the symbol and come in a 33" size. They will look more impressive on a lifted jeep than a 235/75R15 or even a studded 31" but they aren't the best performance option.
The Hakka 5s come in a 285/65R17 which is pretty big for a true snow tire. Their info sheet says they measure at an over all diameter of 31.6". The problem is the name of the game in snow tires is a combination of maximizing the tread contact and tread edge grip(this is what siping does) on the patch you have while reducing the width(which naturally limits height) so the tire cuts through the snow and provides a greater amount of pressure on its given patch. If you want a good snow tire it might just look a little more funny for part of the year. But being in the ditch with a lifted Jeep probably looks funny too.
If some of your lift is from a body lift maybe removing it seasonally would help in the looks department. I'm not sure the time or energy required for that but I'd probably just leave it my self.
|08-19-2010 02:07 PM|
|pakman55||Goodyear Wrangler Duratrec's ^^^^^|
|08-19-2010 02:05 PM|
Hi im also from the north and i know i need to get some new tires this year. Here in quebec they made it a law that you have to have the snow and ice rating on your tires from november to march. last year i ran the biggest nokian tires i could buy for my yj but it looked kinda silly cause of my lift and i only had 3 inchs of lift. This year i have 5.25 inches of lift and i run toyo m/t 35 12.5/R17 tires in the summer.
This was not my yj but it looked alot like this.
This is the sign i need on my tires.
I searched for a long time but i keep getting info about just random offroad tires and im not sure what the rating on them are. anyways what i want to ask you cause you seem to know alot about this is. What can i buy that is close to 35 inch tire that are studded and have that sign on them for ice and snow thanks alot in advance.
|08-19-2010 07:00 AM|
The Blizzak DM-V1 is probably the tire from them you'd be looking at. Like I mentioned before the siping, channeled tread blocks, and softer rubber compounds do seem to make it a decent design, and from the reviews I've read they should be good. Michelin makes the Latitude X-Ice which looks to be a comparable tire that is getting solid reviews as well. Throw in the Hakkapeliitta R SUV or one of the other Nokians and you should have some decent choices.
Unfortunately from what I've been finding you shouldn't expect too much life from them. To maintain a supple rubber compound at cold temperatures they trade high mileage durability. So use them sparingly, perhaps even letting the first snow pass till the roads really freeze. There maybe models with more durable rubber but using a winter tread and siping that will last longer but it will be up to you to determine if a small loss in winter performance is worth the savings. Either way my friends, who are Macalester alumni, with whom I consulted recommended some kind of snow tire as being prudent for your area in their experience
Also if you pick up a tube of ice klister from a ski shop dabbing some on the tire can make the difference between spinning out on ice and driving away, in a pinch.
|08-15-2010 07:08 PM|
I'll take a look later today at a few of them, but my first impression is that they have a lot more siping, better block design, and probably better cold weather compounds than those Duratracs. The Tire Rack has some videos on winter tire choices. I do take issue with some of their testing methods, vehicle and tire choices, and the fact that they don't sell Nokian tires which means that their test results are basically leaving the best in the class out.
I'll post my impressions on them and some others later.
|08-15-2010 06:17 PM|
|08-15-2010 05:38 PM|
|ESP||Good Year Duratracs AT.|
|08-15-2010 05:24 PM|
Your BFG's AT's are snow tires! AKanti^ has some great points and both you guys live wayyyy north of me but we get a little ice too and I have never felt the NEED to own studded tires. 4x4 hi/lo got me anywher i need to go.
I think you'd be way better off having an extra set of rims just for them like AK said as well.
|08-15-2010 05:18 PM|
First you should decide if you need or want studded tires or if stud less tires will be sufficient. Stud less tires have a lot of siping on the tread blocks to provide grip on hard snow and ice, and typically have a slush shedding chevron pattern to their lug placement. Many manufacturers produce decent versions of these. If you look at Nokian tires you can see the cutting edge design most companies will emulate in short course. They will provide better grip for most driving conditions and are pretty economical. Depending on local laws studded tires maybe prohibited or limited in use to certain months to prevent increased road wear. If this is the case stud less tires maybe your only choice. Up here many people get by with out snow tires however even with a Jeep they are more limited in the road conditions they can go out in reliably, and may have to choose what streets to take based on where there are icy hills and sharp corners. Those with stud less snow tires usually can go most places just fine and can drive feeling more relaxed.
Studded tires cost more than stud less ones and maybe be limited by law in the months they may be used. They do provide better grip, especially on ice which aids in acceleration and braking. Acceleration may not seem important on icy roads but when you're making a turn and notice the truck behind you isn't slowing down(not paying attention to your turn signal) you may need to gun it to avoid the impending collision or atleast lessen the impact. Braking needless to say is important especially in moose country. Driving with good studded tires is like night and day compared to ATs or even most stud less ones. They can eat up black ice on the highway or sheet ice with dry powdery snow that acts as a lubricant. In many conditions you can drive almost as though the roads were bone dry in summer.
There are some cheap studded tires out there that are simply stud less tires with studs put it. Don't get those, studs require a strong deep lug designed for them and may even be reinforced to provide back pressure so they don't push in when driven on. Also avoid any stud that doesn't have a carbide core. Those studs will not hold up to multiple seasons of use and will perform more poorly.
In my opinion Nokian again makes the best studded snow tires. The Hakkapeliitta 5 (Hakka 5) is their premier SUV tire. I could not recommend a better tire. Other manufacturers will have tires that are similar to the Hakka 4 which preceded it and was in its own right the best tire available. You could probably save money by comparing other companies offerings against these two tires but I don't think you could find a better bench mark.
Adding good snow tires will cost a bit, but you'll also be cycling through two sets of tires so their wear per year will be less. Also the seasonal change of tires can substitute a tire rotation. On a Jeep with studded tires there should be no excuse for missing work due to weather which may help pay for them.
If its in the budget having them mounted on another set of rims can also save money in the long run.
Sizing down from your ATs is a good idea, 235/75 R 15 is a very popular size that should be reasonably priced and do decently for your gas mileage.
|08-15-2010 12:06 PM|
I know this is pretty early to be talking about snow tires, but after experiencing my first winter of driving my TJ on glare ice with almost bald tires, I've decided to get some snow tires for it. I'm currently running some 31/10.50 BFG A/Ts that I bought this summer and I feel they may wander a bit to much for winter driving so thats why I've decided to get some snow tires. Any suggestions on brand of tire and or size would be greatly appreciated.