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Old 08-05-2010, 08:31 PM   #1
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Any opinion on winter tires?

Living in Oregon and dealing with freezing slush and ice, I am debating an E rated non-studded or studded snow tire for the wet rain, ice and snow.

I have found limited E rated snow tires. Nokian does not manufacture a E rated tire in SMB appropriate size.

If anyone runs studded tires, good winter tires or found any AT/MT that they find works in these conditions, I appreciate any input.

This is the only 80 PSI, E rated snow tire I have come across:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.1010tires.com/tire.asp?tireb ... &pc=173900

Toyo Open Country WLT1 - LT285/70R17 10/E 121Q - BW 173900 $288.99 $1,444.95
SubTotal: $1,444.95
Shipping: UPS Standard GroundUPS Expedited $164.49
Shipping Insurance: $12.29
Total: $1,621.73 USD



I appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

I had Cooper Weathermaster 265/70-16 E-rated tires on mine last year and loved them. They are Stidded and Siped and worked well even when Plowing.

I am planning on new ones this winter but need a larger Dia. and I am not even sure if 18" steel wheels will fit with my F550 Brakes.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

Toyo M55 tires are amazing in snow. And mud. They were my winter tires but since I already ran through my ATs this summer so I've put the M55s back on. They were originally developed for Less Schwab's for use on commercial logging/forestry vehicles (and probability why Toyo doesn't do any marketing for them even though they are their best tire IMO). They are pinned for studs, but on my van the studs wore pretty fast. Mine are also center siped. Even with worn studs (which have since been removed) traction is still excellent. The all steel carcass also means they are very stable when towing, which cannot be said for any of the Mud Terrain tires out there.

Les Schwab's also carries a studless snow tire, one of the Wild Country models I think, which I see a lot, but have not tried out.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

I considered the M55.

The sizes I can use are:

LT265/70R17 121N E/10 309480 7.0-8.0-8.5 31.9 10.6 18 52.9
LT275/70R18 125N E/10 309510 7.0-8.0-8.5 33.6 11 19 57.3

I would rather go with the larger tire but wonder if 18" rims will limit my future tire choices.

What M55 are you using?
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

The Toyo M55, did you sipe them aftermarket, where did you have it done and what part of the tire did they sipe? Would you suggest I do not place studs and run them year around?

This is very helpful. The Van will be completed by early November and SMB wants my decision in a week or so.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

I have studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta LTs in the stock 245/75/R16 size, E rated. After one season, they have been great, particularly on a 2WD van. I wanted a taller tire, but the 235/85/R16 was difficult to locate on short notice, and I did not want to change my rims to 17 inch.

You should double check, because Nokian's website says they have the LT (siped and studdable) in 265/70/R17, E rated.

Good luck.

Brent
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

My M55s are 265/70R17 front and 235/80R17 rear (narrower in back because its a dually).

Les Schwabs did the siping (which means warranty unaffected), and only siped the center so studs would still hold. If not doing studs then just do a full sipe. I would suggest going studless/siping unless you absolutely want to be on the road in freezing rain and don't want to use chains. For snow/slush/pretty much everything else the studs don't add a lot.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

Well, I truck the Northwest and my approach to winter tires goes like this. I own and operate a tractor trailer and the most I can lock at a time is 3 wheels. Not much considering the weight I'm pulling. On everything but heavy snow, I prefer a tire with lots of sipes. More "edges" = more traction.
I don't think that a perfect, do everything well, tire exists. This one comes close. On ice, they are absolutely amazing! On everything else, they do well. But on really heavy snow and slush, they then to plug up. Also, a less aggressive tread is easier to chain up.

Check out Michelin's XDN2, that's what I run year round.

http://www.michelintruck.com/michelintr ... tread=XDN2

Aggressive treads look good but are not very good in rain, ice or on pavement. Very few edges. Big blocks work great on mud and snow but deliver very poor fuel economy and traction on anything but dirt and snow.

At the cost of these vans, er, SMB's I would run something like an LTX M/S2 (it reminds me of the XDN2,) all year and have a different " All Terrain" set of tires and wheels for week ends spent playing off road. Especially if it will be a daily driver. The cost of 2 sets of wheels and tires seems minimal to me compared to the cost of the van. Plus, you will often be rotating tires which is a very good thing.

Also, now you can justify that compressor, 2 floor jacks, air gun, 4 jack stands and torque wrench.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:05 PM   #9
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

I've done some looking around and found out that certain sizes of BFG A/T's carry the "mountain/ snowflake" symbol. That should mean it is an excellent tire on snow and ice. I don't think they can just put that symbol on without proving the tire. That might be the way to go. Who knew?
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #10
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Re: Any opinion on winter tires?

I am going to be using my SMB for a lot of winter activities mostly skiing. I am getting the Toyo Open Country MT in E rating and calling it a day. I also have the 4x4. Probably going with the 305/70/16. Currently have the nitto grapplers in 315/75/16 (came from SMB with these) so downsizing a little.
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