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Simple Tip If You Lose Traction In The Snow


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#1 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:03 AM

I just watched a few news casts on the snow in the Mid west today. There were so many people stuck in cars and trucks just spinning there tires like crazy and not getting anywhere.

 

If the majority of people knew that all you have to do is decrease your tire air pressure, a lot of headaches and accidents could be avoided.

 

In the winter in general it is best to run less air pressure in your tires anyway for better traction. for instance if your tires hold 35psi (full cold) then drop them to 28psi,it makes a huge difference!

 

If you get stuck or are losing traction then deflate your tires even more. When I drive on the beach I deflate my tires to 15-20 psi. driving in beach sand is a lot like driving in snow. Then when I exit the beach for the day I inflate them back up. I have tested this many times! I purposely drove on the beach with my tires full and headed for a nice section of DRY deep sand, as soon as I hit It I was stuck!

I got out deflated all tires to 20 psi, got back in and idled right on through. I have never gotten stuck with any of my vehicles in sand or snow.

 

All you need is enough air in the tire to hold the bead from breaking it's seal. So on average if you let them down to 20 psi, it will get you were you need to go or to a safe location. You can always fill the tires when the roads get better.

 

I learned this when I worked at my first garage as a mechanic, I used to have to goto tire seminars, and I learned a lot about tires.

 

I just wish the news would broadcast a useful list of things to do in the event of a storm, instead of just telling people to pick up plenty of bread and milk.

 

This is just a little tip to help if you lose traction. It won't help if the snow is deep and your in a low to the ground car or on ice covered roads.

 

****Just remember this is just recommended if you are stuck and the roads are snow covered. never drive a Vehicle on dry pavement or at highway speeds with your tires  below the recommended fill pressure.****

 

Maybe everyone on here knows this already. But being that a lot of places are getting snow that usually don't I felt I should pass this along. There are plenty of other thing you can do also, but this is just the first of many snow driving basics.

 

Now be safe everyone!


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#2 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:14 AM

Thanks for the tip Chris.  I had occasion to deflate my tires once, I was in a service truck and had gone into a parking garage.  The truck passed under the height bars, but once I got down into the structure, I heard (and FELT) one of my ladder racks scrape the ceiling.  I stopped,  let about 40 lbs of air out of my tires (65 psi full inflation) and slowly made my way back out of the structure.  Won't help if you are way overtall, but might be just enough one day.


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#3 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:19 AM

Chris, thanks for the tip.  When I was a teen I remember my father telling me the same thing.  He also said to drive more to the side of the road where other cars haven't been and you would get better traction.  I've never put any of these things into practice since if and when it ever snows here I stay home in front of the fire place and just watch it on TV.  My father grew up in NY and NJ and drove in the snow quite often. 


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#4 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:31 AM

Chris, thanks for the tip.  When I was a teen I remember my father telling me the same thing.  He also said to drive more to the side of the road where other cars haven't been and you would get better traction.  I've never put any of these things into practice since if and when it ever snows here I stay home in front of the fire place and just watch it on TV.  My father grew up in NY and NJ and drove in the snow quite often. 

Your right, It is much better to drive in snow that hasn't been driven on yet. Another thing is don't spin your tires! I saw a woman blow her engine in a ford ranger 2 wheel drive a couple years ago, she had it to the floor in 1st gear trying to get up a small hill I thought the engine was going to fly out of the truck when it blew lol.. Always use as little gas as possible so you don't break traction. Also use as high of a gear as you can! If your in a standard try moving in a higher gear 2nd,3rd or 4th if you can manage it. 1st gear is to low and will make you spin more! And I like your Idea best! Sit in front of the fire place and watch it on tv! :thumbs: :D


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#5 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:44 AM

I was 17 when I went up to Memphis to live with him, it was a cold night in December and we were on our way home.  It had been snowing for a few hours and on the way home he was telling me all this, he also mentioned about not spinning your wheels and using the higher gears if possible.  I haven't thought about any of this really since then.  But the fire and TV still sounds the best!  :D


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#6 larryd OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 06:54 AM

I agree completly. If possible some extra weight also helps. I use to have a 68 chev short wb with a 300hp sb and 3 on the tree. During the winter I ran snow tires and had a tractor tire innertube inn the bed filled with water. Go almost anywhere .Used 2nd gear mostly on slick roads if possible . But hard on clutch sometimes.

 

larryd


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#7 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 07:39 AM

Good tips guys! Perhaps one reason they don't tell you this, is because then people think that they can drive in any snow and be fine. The false sense of security might cause even more people to get hurt.
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#8 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 07:53 AM

These are good tips. Driving in Iowa all my life, driving on snow and ice is something I hardly think about.. Its just part of living.
I have probably driven on snow and ice at speeds others would consider insane(and could be)?
Best practice is to do everything smoothy and steadily! Easy on the footfeet,break gently and smoothly, turn your wheels slowly Leave a good distance between cars around you, Your most likely chance of wrecking is trying to avoid the guy with little or no sense.

I remeber driving abot 45 on I80 on Iowas famous black ice(pavement looks dry, but its ice) in my S10. Wondered if it was slick so jabbed the footfeet and turned it sideways. I saved it, but thats how people stack them up in the ditch.
Car Hockey is expensive and it takes very little to turn a car or truck into a hockey puck.
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#9 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 08:39 AM

Sometimes it's good, if you can find a snowplow truck, and stay about 100 yards

behind it. :D


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#10 Team_Green OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 09:50 AM

Alberta winters drop your tire pressure 5 to 10 psi for you.. First cold snap sucks em down.. Buy winter tires.. buy studded winter tires if yall have crap winters.. I'm sure if this info was told to the general public you would see people driving around on tires with 10 psi cause they have no common sense..  I wonder .. How many actually carry a tire pressure gauge. How many rely on a tire shop or the fuel station tire pressure gauge to tell em what their tires are at. 


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#11 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 11:14 AM

I ain't moving to Alberta TYVM!! :shoot2:

 

Lower tire pressure increases the tire's 'footprint' on the road..  Too low pressure will cause excess sidewall flexing and control problems..  Find the happy medium for the type of roads and trip lengths you drive.  I try to stay close to the recommended pressures but 5 or so #'s less as a rule..

 

Sometimes using a higher gear in your tranny will lower the torque delivered to the wheels and ease the potential to spin the tires..  (tip from the old man :thumbs: )  Easy on the gas AND brake is key to driving in the snow & ice..  I see folks in 4WD trucks & SUV's cruising by all the time as they feel that because they have those that will make them invincible to the effects of snow & ice!!  I then see them up the road laying on their roof's in the median! :(   Oh well..  Physics is a witch for them!!  Hopefully they won't kill themselves!   :wallbanging:   The best thing you can do is have good tires!!  Stay safe!!


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#12 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:53 PM

That's a good tip.

My wife has a little Kia and likes to go to a certain oil change place because they wash her windows, vaccum her car and check all fluid levels and her tires.  I notices a real soft tire a couple of months ago so I took out my compressor and checked all her tires.  That one needed air but the others were over filled by about 10 pounds.  She soon had the oil changed again and a week or so ago, went in again.  The oil change guy said he noticed a soft tire and found a pin hole leak and said he would plug it for $12.  She said to go ahead and when he came back in he said he put 2 plugs in and it is still leaking so she needs to go to a tire place.  He them mentioned that he knew the pressure was down because that tire had only 28 pounds of pressure whereas all the others had 38 pounds. What?  If you open the door, the tag says 29 pounds.  This car has been wearing tires prematurely, now I know why.  I think these young workers look at the side of the tire where it says XX pounds max and fill the tires to that point.  I had to replace the tire the guy ruined too at a cost of over a hundred bucks.  Something good came out of this experience.  I know to check her tires after she gets her oil changed and now the high milage tires I buy for her car will get high miles.  Sorry about going off topic.


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#13 braxx OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 01:53 PM

I'm sorry but I disagree with lowering the tire pressure for snow use. 1) Yes lowering your air pressure on sand helps because you want to float on top of the sand and not sink in. Basically there is no solid ground under the sand so you need to stay on top. 2) On snow you want the tire to NOT float on top of the snow.You want it to dig in and make contact with the solid ground below. Look at 99% of the plow trucks. They have narrower and usually taller tires. For instance I noticed an immediate improvement in snow traction when I switched from 255/70-16 tires to 235/85-16 tires and they are load range E inflated to 70psi. Lastly, lowering your tire pressure below the manufacturer recommendation is dangerous , ala Firestone / Explorer debacle. Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

#14 braxx OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 02:02 PM

Another thing.Door stickers only good if the vehicle has the factory tires on it and if the tire manufacturer concures. Again using my above example of my current truck tires that REQUIRE higher air pressure than the factory equipped tire. I'm more inclined to think the tire manufacturer knows more about proper inflation than the end user. I'll reference the Firestone / Explorer issue again. Firestone required xx pressure, Ford opted to use yy pressure. (Which happend to be lower that Firestone required) This led to many tire problems. Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

#15 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 22, 2013 - 03:51 PM

I'm sorry but I disagree with lowering the tire pressure for snow use. 1) Yes lowering your air pressure on sand helps because you want to float on top of the sand and not sink in. Basically there is no solid ground under the sand so you need to stay on top. 2) On snow you want the tire to NOT float on top of the snow.You want it to dig in and make contact with the solid ground below. Look at 99% of the plow trucks. They have narrower and usually taller tires. For instance I noticed an immediate improvement in snow traction when I switched from 255/70-16 tires to 235/85-16 tires and they are load range E inflated to 70psi. Lastly, lowering your tire pressure below the manufacturer recommendation is dangerous , ala Firestone / Explorer debacle. Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

I think you didn't read the entire thread I wrote. Because if you did then you would have seen this is only recommended if you are stuck in the snow and need to get to somewhere safe. And at the bottom you would have seen the section with the **** that states never drive on dry pavement etc.. with air pressure less than recommended.

 

This is just a tip if people are stuck and have no other options to get to a safe warm location. These tips have saved me from being stuck and stranded when caught in a snow storm. And I felt bad for the amount of people I saw stuck in 3" of snow yesterday. But everyone is entitled to there opinions, that is what makes the world go round. If everyone thought and did the same things then it would be a boring planet.

 

I just feel bad when I see people stuck when it is so... cold, and being that I have tried this and it works for me I figured I would offer it as a bit of advice to keep in the back of your head if you or anyone ever finds them self stuck and stranded.






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