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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to get everyone's opinion on which they prefer. I live in a mountainous region where it can start snowing in late October and keep snowing until April. From December to March, there is nothing but snow on the ground and it can easily accumualte to 2-3 feet. Finally, it isn't unusual to get 1-2 feet dump in a single day.

If you have a car, you must have separate summer & winter tires. But guys with 4x4 trucks either run separate summer & winter tires OR an Off-Road tire all year round.

I am looking for some opinions. Which do people here prefer ... separate summer & winter tires or Off-Road Tires all year round? Second which tire do they prefer for Winter or Off-Road use?

Thanks
 

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You will be required to run tires with the "snowflake" logo on them during the winter months. There's not a lot to choose from if your are looking for all-terrain tires with snowflake. Real winter tires are sooooooo much better than all seasons when you really need the traction in snowy conditions. I think you are much better off to get a set of cheap wheels and mount up some good winters. Keep your nice rims in shape for warm weather driving too!
 

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Well the law states in my town, anywhere past the signs that says winter tire past this point from October 1st to April 30th MUST have winter tires. Basically cops could set up a road block past the sign & start handing out warnings & tickets. They don't. However, I also live in a valley which thenonlynway out is Up. Even to go to Walmart, you past the sign. Horrible hill near the river. Ices pretty bad. What's your life worth? It's not you, it's the other guy that slides into you or slams on his brakes in front. Would insurance cover you? Would the police check your tires? What is the law in your state/province? My 2 snowflake cents ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You will be required to run tires with the "snowflake" logo on them during the winter months. ...
Ah, you are just down the highway from me. On my cars, I always run a separate set of "true Winter Tires" (i.e. Snow Flake, not just M+S). But I don't think BC has yet made it law that you MUST run true Winter Tires (Snowflake), probably because most people in BC live in Vancouver & Victoria where they sometimes don't see a flake of snow all winter.

My truck has 20" rims, but I am looking at buying 18" if I decide on the Winter Tire route. As well the 18s are cheaper than 20s when comparing the same brand & make of tire with equivalent outside diameter (to keep the speedo right).

So what are you using for winter tires?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
... Would the police check your tires? What is the law in your state/province? My 2 snowflake cents ;)
As I stated above, there is no law yet in my province specifically requiring a person to have true Winter Tires (Snowflake not just M+S). I know a number of guys who run fairly aggressive Off-Road Tires all year round and they say they have no problems getting around. They've been doing this for many years too.

I am leaning to true Winter Tires on separate rims for the same reason TwoWheelDave said, it saves my nice 20" Chrome Rims. Some people do get separate winter tires (but not mounted on separate rims), they just have the Tire Store do a changeover every fall and spring and swap their tires onto the same rims.

I think the constant changeovers hurts the bead over time with the constant "mounting/unmounting". As well, the wheels start to get scratches and look like crap. I also know a person where a Tire Store claimed they couldn't find their other tires when it came to do the changeover.

Finally, I personally like to do my own tire changeover. Some of those workers at the Tire Stores overly tighten the lug nuts to the point you cannnot loosen them off if you have a flat along the road.
 

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Ya I'm in BC. Kootenays area. You are right about the law cause Vancouver would have the rain slicks law haha. My truck came with 18s & I bought 17 inch winter wheels & firestones with the winter flake cause like I said, I can't leave my town on m/s. people do & people just drive around for 3 months in 4wheel drive but my life is a lil more special than that. I spend the money & get them on rims & I work some OT to pay them off. I went to OK tire & got my local deal. BF all terrains I believe have the snow flake & when I had my ranger I put 5 season General AT Grabbers cause they had the snow flake but were a harder rubber so they didn't melt in the summer. & good grip. U can always sipe whatever tires you get also? If you go that route on mudders or A/Ts
 

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I run different sumer and winter wheels. But I do run m/t's year round. The set I use or winter I have studded, and I believe they have the snowflake as well.
 

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Living in SK snow is part of life, heck they only plow my street twice a year if we are lucky. That said, I run a mid aggressive all terrain tire on our vehicles. We have a 4 runner & the F150. I run Toyo Open Country A/T's on the 4 runner, and just have the factory Goodyear AT/S on the F150, they are similar to the Silent Armours I had on my 09 F150. I never had a problem getting around, even out in the fields hunting. Stopping is generally not a problem either.

With larger snow depths I think a set of chains will do you better than pure snow tires.
 

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I have a seperate set of General Grabber AT ll that i have mounted for winter driving and highly recommend them
Wear rating is 640 and i dont remember traction rating but they are very good.
They are moderately priced and have similar tread design to BFG's

I have tire chains that give about 150% increase in snow traction over any tire for those special accassions
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
...With larger snow depths I think a set of chains will do you better than pure snow tires.
I have to agree with you if you are in deep snow (and maybe off-road). There a good Off-Road Tire with Chains would be the best setup.

For the highways, here ice is the real concern (along with the Crush -3/4" ... they call sand). But I try to avoid highway driving if I can. Every Highway trip down the Coquihalla, I can just count the rock chips on my hood and the impacts on my windshield. I prefer a "beater truck" for that.
 

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Ice here is a problem.. luckily on the highway the do use a melter when they can. Side & back roads, forget it.. but side roads here are usually gravel, so unless they are blown in, you can usually get through. Streets in town will be pure ice for a few days after a snowfall, they only sand/salt 100' at intersections, residential areas not at all. I think true winter tires are more for on road driving, as opposed to being on & off.

I have to agree with you if you are in deep snow (and maybe off-road). There a good Off-Road Tire with Chains would be the best setup.

For the highways, here ice is the real concern (along with the Crush -3/4" ... they call sand). But I try to avoid highway driving if I can. Every Highway trip down the Coquihalla, I can just count the rock chips on my hood and the impacts on my windshield. I prefer a "beater truck" for that.
 

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1 being the least effective and 5 being the best you can get

1. all season tires are for driving in the rain until the temp hits 32 degrees
2. aggressive off road tires give you good traction but are soft and wear poorly
3. all season traction tires like the grabber are a happy medium giving good traction and good wear ratings
4. special winter tires will give good traction and probably wear about the same as off road tires once it warms up
5. any of the above with a set of tire chains on atleast the front 2 tires or all 4 for ultimate off roading ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
1 being the least effective and 5 being the best you can get

1. all season tires are for driving in the rain until the temp hits 32 degrees
2. aggressive off road tires give you good traction but are soft and wear poorly
3. all season traction tires like the grabber are a happy medium giving good traction and good wear ratings
4. special winter tires will give good traction and probably wear about the same as off road tires once it warms up
5. any of the above with a set of tire chains on atleast the front 2 tires or all 4 for ultimate off roading ability.
I would have to agree with you except maybe we should add the following to the mix ... 4wd vs 2wd, and limited slip vs electronic locker.

And that leads me to my next question, is there a way to override the electronic locker so I can keep it engaged to a more useable speed for internal city driving on slippery roads (and 25mph is too slow)?

I am an old timer and I still have a preference for Limited Slip but I got a great deal on the truck and I found out that with the Extened Cab, I had to have an 8' box to get limited slip, and only with 3:73s. The electronic locker is definitely better than nothing. And SOME 4x4 trucks unbelievable came with nothing ... so they're not REALLY a 4x4s. More like 3x4s or actually an altered 2x4 with one wheel up front and one in the rear. And finally, a 2x4 without limited slip is really just a 1x4 IMO.

Anyway, my question is, does anyone know if there is an "override kit" for the Electronic Locker? A switch where I can either manually control it or possibly, through modifying the PCM's programming, increase the speed that the locker kicks out (and re-activates too)?

This is possible on some other brands of truck. I am just wondering if anyone has seen such a device for the F150 with the Electronic Locker.
 

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you cant compare 4wd vs 2wd with a topic of traction in winter driving because no matter how you look at it 1 drive wheel with the most agressive tire you can buy wont cut it.
the problem with driving in snow is not really dependent on what we typically think of as a traction problem
yes the actual grip that the tread pattern provides is crucial but the real advantage comes when you have rotational power applied to a tire that has some slippery substance piled up in front of it, lets call this snow
lets say you have a 2 wheel drive truck with a solid rear axle or even posi traction, you will have power to both rear wheels but the bed of the truck does not applied much weight to those wheels and about 60% of that vehicle weight is on the front tires
now try driving into just 4" of this snow substance that was mentioned earlier
now you have alot of rolling resistance not only in front of those rear tires but also the front tires which are not powered
the rear tires are slightly compressing this snow and then able to roll over the 3/4" base that is remaining buy utilizing lets say 40% of their available grip the front tires are going to have to rely on the rear tires to provide all their rolling force so even after compressing this snow substance there is still that base or bump that is constantly developed under it and needs to be overcome buy further using the grip from the rear tires which was already low.
with the inertia created from a moving vehicle you dont think much of it but every time you come to a stop you have to start this all over again as that grip becomes dangerously low you are always on the verge of complete loss of traction


now as far as the E-lock and a limited slip i have not been through a winter yet with this truck so i really dont know how effective the E-lock is gunna be and i will promise this to anyone reading if i find out i hate it this winter it will get unplugged and i will install a limited slip carrier either aftermarket or from Ford.
i dont really like the fact that it is so aggressive when its locked because if you try to turn at all you already lost 50% of your traction because the inside tire is now slipping it even does this on the dry summer road.
the limited slip is not governed by your speed and does allow the outside wheels to spin faster than the inside wheel without loss of traction so im a big fan of it
my last ruck had a limited slip 8.8" rear and i only used 4wd in extreme cases because it did all the work for me with good snow tires on
i even found a 8.8 trac lock at the junk yard where someone pulled a rear apart to get the axle out so i have that in a box out in my garage for future use
of couse now i have a diff rear altogether 9.75" which puts a crimp in my plan
 

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^^^^^^I chose NOT to go with an e-lock rear axel for just that reason. Bought the 4x4 for driving on snow covered roads / highways and didnt see the benefit to a locking rear end that unlocks past 25mph and binds up when I turn.
 

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IMHO it all depends on the type of winter conditions that you deal with. If it is a lot of snow then having the better offroad tires and 4x4 is just fine. If it is slick ice that you drive on then having the studded or blizzaks might be your best bet. I use all seasons with my truck and do just fine up here and routinely pull people from the ditch.
 

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i think it is funny how nobody mentioned there is a proper way to drive in the snow too
or atleast to know how your vehicle handles and reacts in the snow, i found every vehicle i have owned is different
i get to do my fair share of driving on snow and ice here in PA and NY because i own a property close to lake Erie also.
i will say this i am not looking forward to learning how to drive in the snow all over again with this brand new pickup and im concerned that the open diff is not going to cut it with the torque this thing makes even with good winter tires.
 

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With brian351w on this one. You have to drive very carefully in the snow because these trucks throw so much torque, that even at the stop lights in town I find myself really babying the throttle until I have crossed out of the intersection. I have spun tires standing still with very little throttle. I'm definitely not a fan of the Good Year Wrangler SRA's that came on the truck. Come September they are going to disappear and I'll probably put a set of Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo 2s, Dueler H/L Alenzas or Cooper Discoverer M+S tires on. Have heard good things about both of the Bridestone tires and have run the Coopers both studded and non. I have also run Bridgestone Blizzaks, but since I am looking more for an all season the Blizzaks are a not a good summer tread as the tire is very soft due to the compound they make it with.

I guess what I'm saying is that I will probably just put on a good all-season geared more towards winter driving with decent off road type capabilities, even though my truck is a highway queen.
 

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Reaper, are you talking about driving on unmaintained side roads? The hiway scenario you describe happens frequently around here and for that dedicated winter tires are probably best. My example is when I ran a 2000 v6 5 speed Mustang for 2 years on a set of Dunlop Graspic DS-3 tires summer and winter. I had them install the factory posi when we bought it new and I would put 80 lbs of sand in the trunk for winter. I had no problems with that car in any of the SW PA winters, even in the second season of driving. I didn't expect it to drive through 12" of snow but several times I would come home at night with 3-4" of crud snow on unplowed hiways and it just went. We traded it with those tires on it and they had over 50k miles with a little usable tread left. I know, smaller lighter car plus I was driving hiway 95% of the time so that helps a lot with tire wear.

That being said, I am also concerned about the e-locker in this truck this winter. It will take some learning on how it reacts in various conditions. I played with it on a very slick wet road last week and things got interesting very quickly trying to go up a curved hill, for the record I was being stupid with it just to see what will happen. Watching a couple videos it seems like the traction control may do a better job in the snow than the e-locker. Thinking about it now the e-locker may be better used for severe off camber off roading, rock crawling or as a last resort to get out of a nasty situation.

For where I drive I think the factory Goodyears will be ok for this year but at the speed that they are wearing out I will be buying a new set of tires next fall. Heck I may have 8000 miles on it by then. The last 2 years I ran Kelly Safari ATR and they were ok. I bought them because they had a 50k mileage warranty and after about 30k miles were shot. I ran them in moderate snow in Warren PA (near Erie) when new and still needed 4wd on a road that I didn't think I should have needed it. I'm not sure what I'll be buying but it won't be those again. I may try the Goodyear Duratrac or Terra Grapplers.
 

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The irrelevant post in the thread:

it rarely gets below 35* in SE Texas. You're welcome for the insight.
 
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