Do you consider yourself the king of the highway? Are you an owner of a light truck or SUV capable of hauling several tons? Well, it takes more than driving skills to criss-cross the snowy winter roads. When the freezing temperatures kick in, you can expect significant changes to driving routines.
You struggle with everything that defines driving comfort and safety. Now imagine how much trouble you are signing up for by hauling heavy loads. Very few tire categories fit the bill for winter driving, and even fewer match the performances of light truck studdable winter tires optimized for snow.
For winter driving, you put aside your speeding ambitions and focus on maintaining a perfect grip on the road. Equally, the vehicle needs to support heavy loads without crumbling under the cold. In short, every driver deserves a sturdy, aggressive and reliable winter tire that is a grade above the rest.
We understand that drivers encounter several challenges when choosing the right sets of tires for extreme winter driving. Under this article, we walk you through the technical specifications and desirable features of the best studded winter tires for light trucks and SUVs. We answer all your burning questions to improve your tire hunting process and make winter driving as safe as possible.
|Tire name||Competitors Beaten||Overall Rating||Winter/snow performance||Wet performance||Hydroplaning resistance||Wet traction||Dry performance||Cornering stability||Dry traction||Steering response||Comfort performance||Ride quality||Noise score||Treadwear performance|
|General Grabber Arctic LT||100%||9||8.9||9.1||9.2||9.1||9||9.1||9.2||8.8||8.5||9.1||7.9||9.5|
|Firestone Winterforce 2 UV||98%||9||9.1||8.9||8.9||8.9||8.7||8.6||9||8.7||8.5||8.9||8.1||8.7|
|Firestone Winterforce LT||93%||8||8.7||8.7||8.7||8.7||8.4||8.2||8.7||8.3||8.1||8.4||7.7||8.1|
When your Light Truck Needs Studdable Winter Tires for Snow
Anyone can ask, why not put all-season light truck tires into work and forget about the high costs of tire purchase? Technically, that is correct. However, there are performance limits that your car may never reach when winter peaks. These tires are unique in their ways. How do the tires tackle the seemingly impassable winter roads with ease? The answer lies in the physical design and the strategic selection of rubber materials. Here is how.
Protruding metal studs
These winter tires utilize the best rubber materials that cannot stiffen at freezing temperatures. Manufacturers mold the rubber to form thick treads with allowances for fixing small, protruding metal studs. These enhancements are vital for increasing winter traction. The metal fixtures dig into snow or ice on the road, maintaining a firm grip on the usually slippery road. The studs dig into deeper snow to keep the tires stable and responsive to steering controls.
Superior speed ratings
Acceleration on slippery or snowy roads is a little challenging. Drivers need to drive at a slower speed for the vehicles to respond effectively to braking inputs. At the same time, drivers have a challenge accelerating as the tires spin and swerve endlessly. Tires in this category have superior speed ratings, a guarantee for safety. Most tires have Q-, S- and T-ratings, indicating that vehicles can hit speeds between 100 and 118 mph at designated load capacities.
Special tread design
Light trucks and SUVs carry heavier loads. The tires need to sustain the weight of the vehicle and additional loads. As such, manufacturers mold special rubbers and cold-resistant additives into durable tread patterns. The treads remain flexible and stable even as you move from moderately cool winter to extreme cold.
The aggressive tread patterns leave deep grooves all around the tires. They are critical for protecting vehicles against hydroplaning when traveling over pools of water or surface run-offs. As the studs grip the road, the grooves evacuate sufficient amounts of water from the road. They ensure that the tires retain adequate contact patches with the road for optimum wet traction.
Reinforced internal constructions
The performance of light truck studdable winter tires does not rely on robust tread patterns alone. Internal designs and the choice of manufacturing materials have immense impacts. When ferrying heavier loads, they absorb external loads and tend to bulge out. It is desirable to have a set of tires that maintain roundness under loading or when cornering at any speed. To achieve this, manufacturers optimize the designs of sidewalls using strong, non-stiffening rubber materials. They then make the tire casings using tensile steel belts and a blend of polyester or nylon plies. These enhancements not only improve the load-bearing capacities but also contribute to ride safety and comfort.
Stud fitting regulations
With light truck studdable winter tires, drivers can enjoy an excellent ride as though they are cruising on an ordinary dry tarmac. These tires differ in appearance and application. First, the tires must be installed as a complete set. Second, there are stringent regulations for their use. Some states (USA) and countries have a ban in place for their use.
Pros & Cons of Light Truck Studdable Winter Tires
- Excellent winter traction
- Remarkable wet and dry traction capabilities
- Average ride quality and comfort
- Reasonable durability
- Designed for winter use only, under strict state regulations.
How Studdable Winter Tires for Light Trucks Compare with other Tires?
Before purchasing these tires, you have to understand how they perform in comparison to other categories. No other tire category offers better traction for light trucks and SUVs than studdable winter tires in deep snow and ice. They are undoubtedly the best studded winter tires for light trucks. They perform way better than ordinary winter tires and all-season tires.
Since traction is dependent on the depth of the snow, the tires exhibit poor performance than studless winter tires over light snow.
Drivers who traverse regions with harsh winter conditions need to equip their cars with sets of light truck studdable winter tires for snow as long as the state approves their use. They offer dependable performance to allow navigation across seemingly impassable roads.
Frequently asked questions
What is the meaning of studdable tires?
Studdable winter tires are performance winter tires that have holes drilled into the thick treads of the tires. Drivers put metallic screws or studs in these holes to improve winter traction of the tires.
Buy screws/studs from an approved tire dealer or manufacturer. Find a qualified tire technician to fix or remove the studs to prevent tire damage.
Can I install studdable tires in the front axles only?
No. It is advisable to change studdable winter tires as a set. By having studdable tires in the front axle alone, the car underperforms.