Snow wheeling - what tires work best

mikehabl

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Now that the snow has started dumping up here in the Pacific Northwest, I'd like to try some snow wheeling. The question I have is two parts (near term and long term). In the near term I have two set of tires for my JL; the Falken Wildpeak M/T (285-70-17) and studded Hakkapeliitta LT3 (315-70-17). Which tire is the better option to head out on for a day of snow wheeling?

If using an A/T or M/T is better than using my snow tires offroad, then long term I may look to the Goodyear Duratrac (with the mountain snowflake rating) - any experiences with them?





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Carlton

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A dedicated snow tire isn't going to do well in deep snow offroad. Out of the two the MT would do better.

Duratracs will do well on road and offroad in the snow. They really shine in this area.
 
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Adventure.AS

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A narrow tire (pizza cutters) is best for cutting through to hard surface. You don’t want to float on top like you would with sand. I would also recommend chains.
 

crazy90'skid

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As someone who plows snow I always had a 235 85 r16 on my 02 f250 and yes I drove it through blizzards and several feet of snow on and off roads the best thing was always weighing it down as much as possible I ran around 12,000 lbs. which was max axle load but over gvw, only one overweight warning "she looks heavy" and no ticket in the 14 years we ran it (my father before me)

The only time I ever got stuck was one storm of 2012 close to 3 feet of snow at once and it sunk to the frame I was able to make a push for about 30 feet before just completely being buried and stuck no matter what, but to be fair they had to use front loader to clear the streets after that not even highway plows made it.

Narrow winter tires and studs or chains help a lot, honestly in snow a 2wd truck with chains does what a truck without in 4wd does and all 4wd low is good for is getting you extra stuck being dumb. those wide tires and a lightweight (even if its 6000 lbs) Jeep means you're not going to get far.

TLDR: if you still have stock rims I'd find the narrowest tire that fits on that as a dedicated winter and run it studs are a good bet for ice and chains if you want to be extra
 

Carlton

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I agree that a narrower tire is better on road in winter conditions. However, offroad in deep snow, a wider tire is better. A narrow tire will dig in and get you stuck. A wide tire will float on top of the snow which is beneficial. Low psi is also necessary.
 

BRuby

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FCA says 245/75 R17 for chains. Just make sure any loose inner links are tied down tight. As they can fling wildly and damage components pretty quick.
 

Compression-Ignition

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Either tire will do fine. I'd run the 315/70r17 LT3's though. Actually I have a set right here waiting to go on the wife's JLURD. 4 in the garage and one in the living room to stare at :blush:

Just a few days ago I took the family out to the local ORV park after a good snow over here in Spokane and our QX56 on 275/65/20 Nokian LT3's did great offroad. Wasn't really "aired down", IIRC, running 25psi front and 21 psi rear. Walked all over the place with ease.

Watched this video in 2018 and I decided that Nokian Winter tires can definitely get it done offroad.
 

1996cc

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A narrow tire (pizza cutters) is best for cutting through to hard surface. You don’t want to float on top like you would with sand. I would also recommend chains.
Not in deep Offroad snow, you want to float on top. Many areas we go in middle of winter will have 4-6 feet of base, you aren’t digging down to a “hard” surface in those conditions. I was at 10 psi on the factory 32’s in this pic.

E6D65024AEC9499A8319.jpg
 

wibornz

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Best tires are the ones that are kinda round and have that tread stuff on them.
 

TrailJoy

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I'm following. I just put KO2's on my Sahara and I'm curious how they will perform (we're having a cold spell of below -30c, so I may or may not go out this week. lol)
 

Compression-Ignition

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Snow Wheelin' Tutorial:

Is that your video? I made it about half way through, pretty good video. Learned a couple things. Didn't know JL's were limited to 30mph in 4lo. Also I'd never heard anybody say the 8spd auto in these things is the best trans they've experienced, so that was interesting/head scratcher (disclosure; our JLURD on order is for my wife and she did the test driving, I haven't driven a wrangler since my 5spd manual '01 TJ so I have no clue about any newer Jeeps other than things I read on the net).

And lastly I was watching that video wondering if the guy sped up the playback or what because the driver was definitely pushing it a little. Hard to tell from a video but I was watching thinking, "um, he's not just out for a casual stroll here, he looks to be puttin' that jeep through it's paces." Then the narrator got to the part about being an offroad racer and everything made way more sense.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing. I think you may get grief from some folks for it not being 'deep snow'. But IMO there was some good insights in that video. Gonna go finish it up.

EDIT: Should have just finished the video! Agree on everything but the gentle ribbing on the manual trans owners. I want to say I'm your huckleberry, but the only manual I have currently is a heavy ass Dodge Ram Diesel which is not your quintessential snow wheeler, however if we can swing a meetup I'd love to come do some snow wheeling! Someone who is decent at shifting a handshaker might just surprise you..... :captain:

In most instances a manual won't keep up with an auto. Often not even close. But occasionally if run just right and the stars are aligned, a handshaker can be a thing to behold. ;)
 
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OldGreen

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Is that your video? I made it about half way through, pretty good video. Learned a couple things. Didn't know JL's were limited to 30mph in 4lo. Also I'd never heard anybody say the 8spd auto in these things is the best trans they've experienced, so that was interesting/head scratcher (disclosure; our JLURD on order is for my wife and she did the test driving, I haven't driven a wrangler since my 5spd manual '01 TJ so I have no clue about any newer Jeeps other than things I read on the net).

And lastly I was watching that video wondering if the guy sped up the playback or what because the driver was definitely pushing it a little. Hard to tell from a video but I was watching thinking, "um, he's not just out for a casual stroll here, he looks to be puttin' that jeep through it's paces." Then the narrator got to the part about being an offroad racer and everything made way more sense.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing. I think you may get grief from some folks for it not being 'deep snow'. But IMO there was some good insights in that video. Gonna go finish it up.

EDIT: Should have just finished the video! Agree on everything but the gentle ribbing on the manual trans owners. I want to say I'm your huckleberry, but the only manual I have currently is a heavy ass Dodge Ram Diesel which is not your quintessential snow wheeler, however if we can swing a meetup I'd love to come do some snow wheeling! Someone who is decent at shifting a handshaker might just surprise you..... :captain:

In most instances a manual won't keep up with an auto. Often not even close. But occasionally if run just right and the stars are aligned, a handshaker can be a thing to behold. ;)
It is my video. I have wheeled with both manuals and automatics. Unless you have a sequetial manual with no lift shift, an auto rules in deep powder.

BTW, I was pushing fairly hard, but not being able to see what is under the snow limits that. Also, you are correct, the snow wasn't that deep.... and it was yesterday. Crazy...
 

Compression-Ignition

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Where were you at in the video? I live up in Spokane.
 

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