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Truck Snow Tire Questions

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by durallymax, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Sorry if this was a repeat but didn't quite find what i was looking for browsing through the forums.

    Couple of quick simple questions.

    Basically our tires are all worn to the point they would go another summer but not through the winter. Looking at either just buying a new set of all terrains for them, or possibly buying snow tires for them.

    We do snow plowing for our farm and a couple other places. Neighbors, landlords, parking lots etc. Most of the time we are on hard packed snow on top of gravel. Some of the plowing is blacktop/concrete too. In the event of a large snowfall we have much larger equipment available at our disposal so the plow trucks do not need to be able to tackle everything, but at the same time we don't want to be using the bigger stuff more than we need to.

    When the trucks are not plowing during the winter they are pulling trailers. An occasional heavy load of bales, but not many of those in the winter, mostly just a skid steer or load of cattle.

    Due to the towing we need to stay with "E" range tires. Currently we run Bridgestone Dueler A/T 695's on the trucks. These have worked well for us as a good all around tires. Both plow trucks are 02/03 GMC/Chevy 2500HD EC/LB Duramax/Allison 4x4 trucks with 265/75/16's on them. One has a Hiniker Straight Blade the other has a Blizzard 8100PP. The other truck that is the main run around truck for the farm is a 2011 in the same configuration as the other trucks but with 265/70R17's.

    We have started running snow tires on the cars and have been very impressed which is what got me thinking on the subject.


    My questions are:

    Would it be worth our time doing the snow tires seeing as how we do not have to completely depend on the trucks and will run them hard the rest of the winter when not plowing (about 5,000 miles average on each of the plow trucks, 15,000 or so on the newer truck).

    The three tires that we would decide between would be the Blizzak W965, Firestone Winterforce LT, and the Michelin LTX Winter. The Firestone is cheapest and looks like a good tread pattern but I'm no engineer. The Michelin is the most expensive and looks least agressive. We are Michelin fans but their pickup truck tires seem less impressive off road. The 2011 came with their LTX A/T2's and they were less than impressive which is sad seeing as how they are the most agressive Michelin offers. The pricing on them could come down as We just applied for their Advantage Program due to the volume of their tires we use on Semi's and Ag/Construction equipment. The Bridgestone's look a little less agressive and are more money.

    In order of price from high to low: Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone

    My Prediction based on experience for wear from longest to shortest: Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone.

    Traction is the main concern and from just looking it seems like best to worst would be: Firestone, Bridgestone, Michelin.


    With a snow tire I'd be more concerned about the traction and value versus the wear. To me its more of a purpose built tire which makes longevity less important.

    I'd like to hear some reviews from anyone that has used them.

    I'd also like to know if it would be that much more beneficial to go to a 235/85R16 versus the 265/75R16. Keep in mind when worn down we would most likely run them in the summer when we do need mud traction. I don't think we go through trailer tires fast enough to burn these up in that dept. But it is an option.

    How many seasons should are people getting out of these before just running them down during the summer?


    Thanks again. any other helpful information is always welcomed.
     
  2. plowin-fire

    plowin-fire Senior Member
    Messages: 196

    The Bridgestone are a spendy tire, but they do perform better than the firestones. Either one is going to be considerably better than a standard A/T tire as well. I prefer the Bridgestone because they are non-directional unlike the Firestones. That way you can rotate them easier, and seem to have less wear issues on the edges.
     
  3. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Thanks for that info, bridgestones have always outperformed firestones and sometimes its about the science and engineering and not what my eyeball thinks.. Anybody run the new michelins?
     
  4. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    any further insight on this? thank you.
     
  5. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    All good info on here. Thanks for asking the question!
     
  6. krashemall

    krashemall Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I know these are not snow tires per say, but after my brother put these on his plow rig, he didn't have traction issues anymore. I like them so much after I drove his rig plowing last season that I put them on my suburban. I hardly had to switch to 4wheel drive they gripped so nice. They have load range E in the size you talked about and are provisioned for studs if your area allows them. Oh and I threw a lot of mud the day I turned around in a less than dry area one day as the snow was melting.

    http://www.kellytires.com/cfmx/web/kellytiresel/details.cfm?product=316

    I got my LT285/75R16 E SAFARI TSR for $222/each plus mount and balance.

    I plan on getting a set for my new plow rig just as soon as I get this used plow working.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  7. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I'll look at them but Kelly's have not impressed me in the past. especially considering their price.
     
  8. plowin-fire

    plowin-fire Senior Member
    Messages: 196

    According to Michelins website, the LTX Winter is rated 7 out of 10 on snow and ice. But 10 of 10 in wear and longevity. I would vote for the Bridgestones out of your choices. 235 vs 265? The 265s will ride better, look better. Load rating is about the same between the 2. The 235s will have slightly better traction due to a smaller footprint. Ecomony may be slightly better as well with the 235s.

    What would I do? Being a tire dealer with endless choices, I am currently running 285/75-16 Mastercraft Courser C/Ts on my plow trucks. Why? They are a great "hybrid" A/T as they are called. Good amount of siping, large tread blocks for better wear, but still grip like crazy in the snow and ice. I am considering having my next set studded and swap them out in the summer for the tires that came with the truck. I like the 285s for the softer ride, and they fill the wheel wells betters on my super dutys.

    Other tires I considered in order are the General Grabber A/T 2, Nokian Rotiva A/T, Hankook Dynapro ATM RF10. These are all A/T's but the Generals are Snow Rated. Also they are In the middle of the price range. There are better options out there, but I didnt want to spend $250+ per tire.

    If I were going strictly a winter tire, I would choose the Mastercraft Courser MSR or Cooper Discoverer M & S. Same tire. Other good ones: Nokian Hakka's, Bridestone W965s. The Mastercrafts/Coopers are the best bang for the buck I think though. Nokians are top of the line and perform very well. But they are spendy.

    These are just my findings from experience and talking our distributers. I am sure others opinions vary. These work for me.
     
  9. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Checked out those kelly's and they do look agressive. Much more than the ones we ran. Let me know how well they wear.

    Ended up ordering a set of Blizzaks for the main plow truck. The other truck doesn't get used much and we have too many partially worn tires to burn up. The 2011 will be getting a set of winterforces because they do not have Blizzaks in 18" sizes at this time.
     
  10. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I can say both sets of tires equally performed well during our 20" two day blizzard were in. Finally on the tail end of it. Wet heavy snow and soft ground. Been quite the treat.

    I cant really tell which tire performs better as both trucks are soo different. The Blizzak truck being older and lower to the ground as well as having a plow whereas the Winterforce truck sits much higher and doesnt have a plow in the way.

    In this wet heavy snow these tires seem to just ride up on top of it, pack it down and bite hard on the packed snow where most other tires would spin out. Took the truck with the winterforces through roads with 3' drifts or so. Just kept it going 30-40 and it never felt out of control or like i was even close to getting stuck. Weve been shuttling all of our workers around with this truck.

    The Blizzak plow truck has been impressive too. Its hard to compare this blizzard but I seem to remember never being able to go anywhere when we had our last big blizzard in which the truck had transforces.


    Outside of the snow, the winterforces do a little better in mud but at the same time throw rocks like crazy and will hold them for miles at a time before launching them. They also have fairly noticeable howl that sounds even weirder when blasting through drifts.


    Both sets of tires have proven to be well worth the investment this year and have shown that the advantage on a pickup is even greater than on a car.


    On the car side of things, my WS60 Blizzaks managed to drag the rear end of my jetta around through some deeper hard packed snow for quite aways as my parking brake was froze. The winterforces on the other Jetta get the job done too. Havent gotten a chance to really play with the Michelin X-Ice xi3's on my fiances mustang yet. Maybe tomorrow.

    Just a short update on the tires. Better get back to it. Good luck to everyone else cleaning up this mess.
     
  11. tebletlawns

    tebletlawns Member
    Messages: 31

    I ran my new set of Blizzak's yesterday and was very pleased! Pulled a loaded trailer all over unplowed roads with no problems. By the end of the day still gripped the packed snow just as well. I have a question though, should I swap them out for every storm or ride them out for the winter?
     
  12. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    i swear by bfgoodrich a/t k/o's.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I used to like the BFG ATs for snow but you still cant beat a dedicated snow tire for the ice traction which the BFGs were less than impressive at in my opinion.

    i wouldnt swap them for every storm just swap them on and off for the season. Put all of ours on between nov. and december then take them off in march.
     
  14. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,734

    Good bit of info in this thread. You guys do about the same with pickups as I do and had the same questions about tires.

    One thing I thought I'd pass on is that my winter tires are 235/85/16 and I notice more sway in them with my gooseneck then I do my 295/70/17 summer tires. Both are load range e toyo m/t's. Just the narrower tire is significantly less stable. I plan to switch to 265-285/75/16 for my winter set for next season as my 235's will be bald.
     
  15. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Bridgestone Blizzak W965's on 03 Dmax

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Firestone Winterforce LT's on 11 Dmax

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Firestone Winterforce's on 06 Jetta TDI

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bridgestone Blizzak WS60's on 00 Jetta TDI

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Michelin XDN2's on 07 Kenworth T600. Snow rated tire, performs fairly well for a semi tire.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Michelin X-Works XDY's on 01 Freightliner. Put these on just before the snow. They don't do very good on ice but deep snow they do alright. Bought them mainly for mud in the fields and such.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Michelin X-Ice Xi3's on 06 Mustang

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And just a picture of the tractor I spent all night in during the Blizzard pulling cars/trucks/semis etc out. Moved about 30 vehicles with it, pulled out the county grader and even took it down the interstate that night to avoid the deep drifts on the backroads. Tires are Michelin Agribibs on the rear and Michelin Omnibibs on the Front.

    [​IMG]

    Picture this summer when it was brand new.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. durallymax

    durallymax Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Heres some pictures showing the wear of the Firestone Winterforce LT's. Didn't expect them to be outstanding but the Blizzaks are definately wearing better. Lots of heel toe wear on the steer tires and with them being directional unfortuneatley that cant be corrected, I may rotate them backwards towards the end of the season though if it gets worse. The drive tires are down to 10-11/32 the steer tires are 15-16/32. Just rotated them today. 7,000 miles on them so far.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I personally favor Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs. They aren't the quietest on the road though, they tend to howl everytime we get really cold pavement. But amazing traction.