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Old 02-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle tires: Different tires for summer and winter?

Both my pickup and my Suburban are going to need new tires sometime soon.

The pickup leads a double life here in Minnesota and pushes a snow plow during the winter. So it's pretty much a given that, this time of the year, it's got to have traction-oriented tires on it. I'm leaning towards a set of Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs for it, or something similar.

Any tire that does well in the snow is going to have softer tread and sidewalls leading to somewhat more squirrelly handing and short tread life, and I'm thinking of also getting a set of Michelin XPS Rib tires for summer use.

I don't plow snow with the 'burb but still have the same sorts of tradeoffs just because I have to be out and about with it in snowy weather.

Anyone doing this? Any advice on tires specifically for summer use? Any comments on the Duratrac and the XPS Rib specifically?
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:25 PM   #2
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Just wanted to throw this idea out there: I got a set of Nokian WRG2 tires this year for the Odyssey to replace a set of Blizzaks. Reviews suggest that this is the closest thing to a true winter tire that you can run year-round, with good dry and wet performance plus competent winter capability. Impressive load rating too, at least in the size used on my van.

Of course, after I had the tires put on my steel winter rims this December, any prospect of snow seemed to disappear this winter, so I don't have feedback on snow performance. I have been happy with them in the dry, and I'm sensitive to that.

While I'll continue using the Nokians as winter tires until the OEM-alloy-mounted Michelin MXV4s wear down, once those are done, I'll run the WR G2s year-around. A coworker does that with his Passat and is rather happy so far.

Something to consider, at least for the Suburban. They're not cheap and a bit fussy to find, but a few phone calls and I was able to get them locally for a decent price.

Tom
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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I have had surprising good results with the new "siped" all weather tires. But like others, the deep snow seems to go somewhere else to really give enough testing. I didn't believe they could do the job in deep snow but it seems the multitude of the very thin siping cuts do as much as the deep noisy snow tread. They are road quiet, and seem to have some longevity too. They're worth a good look anyway, somebody report back where you've had enough practice with them to tell.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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I did have an extra set of tires and wheels for a former Silverado that I owned. At first, I did exactly as you are suggesting, a set of dedicated winter tires and the facory set of Goodyears for the summer. The problem that I had was, after the second year, I had two sets of half worn out tires. The winter tires had a lot of rubber yet, but not enough to be really good in the snow/ice and a set of Goodyears that really should have been replaced. What I ended up doing was keeping both sets of wheels but running an AT tire that was very good in snow and I could run all year long. When those started to show signs of wear, I bought another set of AT's that I ran only in the winter at first and then all year long when the others started to wear. That way, I had a good set for the winter and one that I didn't feel bad about running in the summer.

On my newer trucks, I don't mess with spare wheels anymore. I usually get 2 winters (~35K-40K) out of a set of Firestone or Michelin AT's.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments. I will note that the XPS Rib is a long-life tire. A 100,000 mile life is not unusual. May outlast the rest of the 'burb.

I am now at that sort of point with my winter tires where they are marginal in snow and am thinking that surely someone on craigslist will want them.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Here is an excellent all around tire.
Michelin LTX A/T2 LT245/75R16/E 116R - Sam's Club=
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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We've been running various versions of the Michelin LTX tires for many years. They last a long time, ride smoothly and do very well in snow even when wearing down.

Right now the Tundra has LTX A/T2, Load Range E (much deeper tread) that have 51,000 miles on them and a lot more to go. Our 4Runner came with a Michelin tire that is not made for that size wheel anymore, but we got well over 60,000 miles on them. They were called Cross Terrain and looked like an all season tire, but blasted through snow without problems—at one point I drove it up our driveway with a foot of virgin snow without a problem. I replaced them with Michelin LTX'S.

We leave them on all year. The cost of mounting and balancing twice a year and extra wheels seems more than equal out especially with tires that last well over 50,000 miles. Michelins are expensive, but over time they save money.

Gene
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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The XPS rib is a great tire, but absolutely terrible on snow, ice or even wet grass. Just don't get caught where you need traction. But they wear forever.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Here is an excellent all around tire.
Michelin LTX A/T2 LT245/75R16/E 116R - Sam's Club=
The LTX and LTX2 are great tires as all-season tires go.

But in my situation they aren't good enough in deep snow. Right now I have the tires that came with each vehicle, but I plan on using Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs in the winter:

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

That's about the minimum I can get away with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The XPS rib is a great tire, but absolutely terrible on snow, ice or even wet grass. Just don't get caught where you need traction. But they wear forever.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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I have these on one of my 3/4 ton Rams.

Firestone Transforce AT

In the past, I ran the Michelin LTX AT 2 on those trucks, but lately have found better traction and wear out of the Firestone.

I have these on my 1/2 ton.

Firestone Destination A/T

They have been excellent in the snow and run real close to 50K on the 1/2 tons.
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