Snow Tires?

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Sarastructions

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Feb 1, 2023
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We live in a ski town in Colorado with arguably some of the most snow in the state. All of our roads except the highway are gravel, along with a few people that are a little crazed and decide to get asphalt driveways.. Finally took the plunge and bought a Bobcat s64 this summer... had ordered snow tires around the same time, ant didn't end up getting them until middle of December... I was really looking forward to them, and two weeks in... I am underwhelmed... I knew that chains on my stock tires would be better traction.... but I am shocked at how little traction I get with the snow tires... Chains weren't really great for long term use, merely bc the tires take a beating with them on and they are not the smoothest to ride with.

I currently have about 25 driveways and a private road that I snowblow with an older Hydraulic New Holland Snowblower attachment (i have learned more than I ever thought I might about sprockets this season and feel a little like George Jetson). HIGHLY RECOMMEND GOING THE SNOWBLOWER ROUTE

Struggling with which direction to go...
1. try a different brand snow tire.. and if so which one?
2. Add studs to these tires, pricey and not really great for all of the asphalt driveways that I snowblow...
3. say to hell with snow tires and go back to my original tires and chains... and ride it out

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated...

Sorry for the "ad photo" my silly cloud wont let me use the plain one and I am too tired to figure out what I am doing wrong
 

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mrbb

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Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
466
well, just going to say this, I ain;'t no expert but have decades of plowing snow experience!
however, without knowing what snow tire you have NOW< would be hard for me or anyone else to maybe recommend something else???
skid steer tires are NOT all the same, but they all only add so much help to traction, watch any video even my OEM's of the tires and you will see, what I mean, the increase is there but its not a HUGE difference , the terrain your plowing tends to be the deciding factor if there worth using or not, on just FLAT ground, maybe not, on hills they again DO help, so that is a plus for them IMO< as dirt tires on compacted snow on even slight hills suck!

so maybe tell us what you have now?? and maybe someone can offer a better option to consider
the good news is, selling used snow tires should be rather easy, many do like them so there is a market for them!

NEXT take a grain of salt no bash meant here!
snow tires are not magic, they honestly only increase snow ice traction IMO about 20% IF that
yes they Do work better but they again are not magic things that give you great traction in snow and ice!m, as as they wear they only loose the perks they have over dirt tires!, as is loosing snipes and sharp clean edges! which si what makes them grab and gain traction!(some folks I know use tire cutters to re do as things wear and it DOES HELP, but again, not perfect),
NEXT, and again NO bash meant here just saying things I have found over the decades plowing snow
using a BLOWER, sort of compounds the problems with poor snow traction on skid steers, as it tends to NOT even TRY to clean down to the surface, leaving snow on top, which then gets compacted by the tires, THEN< add in the added weight of the blower, all the more so if going up any hills, and your sort of fighting a loosing battle on traction!
as you already found, the CHAINS get you the traction you sort of want, as they can make it thru the snow the blower is leaving on the surface and getting down to the hard ground under it, BUT all the negatives of chains are also very there for you to notice!

SO< basically, its picking what works over its negatives!

IF you don't plow a lot of hills, STUDS do work better than just snow tires if you STUD snow tires , you will get better traction than studding a dirt tire, but key to studs working is adding enough of them to make a difference! and they sell screw in studs for all types of tires, which again DO work, and it might be worth trying, IMO!~

and keep in mind if your again are using a blower, I also hope your using counter weights, if there possible to add to your machine, to help keep weight on all 4 tires to help with traction, NOT having counter weights and running ab blower IMO< is hurting your situation

Last keep in mind that running chains and or STUDS< can damage and harm the surface of what you are plowing/blowing on, which can lead to damage claims by owners come spring time, I would recommend talking to clients before taking there jobs on and explaining to them the risks, it can save you a lot of head aches later on, all the more so if you have a contract wrote up well to specify things!
maybe not what you want to hear, but I hope it helps with some info to consider!
 

Phil314

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
99
I'm in the other camp. I ran chains for snowplowing for many year.
Finally got a pair of snow tires and was floor at how much better they were.
Larger tire = more speed and more ground clearance..
And much better traction in most snow conditions - not as good as chains pure ice though.
So I'd say maybe try a different kind of snow tire. I got my locally.

20180914_114821.jpg
 

North Idaho Wolfman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
66
One other thing to consider, were your snow tires sipped?
If not that alone adds a ton of help to snowtires especially on ice.
I've done several different and ended up going back to chains.
If your chains aren't heavy 2 link chains that's why you think they are rough, I really can't feel mine.
Granted I have an old slower Bobcat.
 

Voit

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
11
My track machine goes no where on ice and pushes very little on most snow. I am going to install some screw in carbide studs. Hopefully this will help. I assume that these will work in tires as well. My tracks will need about 150 per track. I intend to take them out in the spring. I have C style tracks in like new condition so not ready to change them snow tracks just yet.
 

pwhite42

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
8
We live in a ski town in Colorado with arguably some of the most snow in the state. All of our roads except the highway are gravel, along with a few people that are a little crazed and decide to get asphalt driveways.. Finally took the plunge and bought a Bobcat s64 this summer... had ordered snow tires around the same time, ant didn't end up getting them until middle of December... I was really looking forward to them, and two weeks in... I am underwhelmed... I knew that chains on my stock tires would be better traction.... but I am shocked at how little traction I get with the snow tires... Chains weren't really great for long term use, merely bc the tires take a beating with them on and they are not the smoothest to ride with.

I currently have about 25 driveways and a private road that I snowblow with an older Hydraulic New Holland Snowblower attachment (i have learned more than I ever thought I might about sprockets this season and feel a little like George Jetson). HIGHLY RECOMMEND GOING THE SNOWBLOWER ROUTE

Struggling with which direction to go...
1. try a different brand snow tire.. and if so which one?
2. Add studs to these tires, pricey and not really great for all of the asphalt driveways that I snowblow...
3. say to hell with snow tires and go back to my original tires and chains... and ride it out

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated...

Sorry for the "ad photo" my silly cloud wont let me use the plain one and I am too tired to figure out what I am doing wrong
I tried chains on the original tires. Couldn't go faster than a a slow crawl without shaking apart. I bought snow tires, rims, and chains. It's much better. I don't have the tire brand handy right now, but could post it later tonight. Now, if only my driveway wasn't in such bad shape. It's an 800 ft long oil and stone driveway that is over 30 years old on the north side of a hill. I'm having it paved in April.
 

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scotty dog

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Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
8
My track machine goes no where on ice and pushes very little on most snow. I am going to install some screw in carbide studs. Hopefully this will help. I assume that these will work in tires as well. My tracks will need about 150 per track. I intend to take them out in the spring. I have C style tracks in like new condition so not ready to change them snow tracks just yet.
I had same issue just bought a snow blower and I studded my c track . I have one relatively steep hill on my half km driveway that I was sliding down on so I studded track. Even with studs it was better but still would slide. I threw in towel and purchased snow tracks which have made a huge difference I have yet to slide down hill yet which is way more comforting. I can even blow snow going up the hill without sliding. I figured I would just use these tracks in winter only and then change them out in summer back to my original ones. i know it's a expensive way to go but for me sliding down hill and potentially going off the road and flipping was worth it.
 

Voit

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
11
That is likely where things will eventually lead for me... I figure even the snow tracks will likely need studs so if they don't work to satisfaction with the C tracks then snow tracks will be the next step. I would like to avoid changing tracks seasonally if at all possible. These machines are supposed to save work not create more of it. Snow removal may take a different route if that is the case!
 

scotty dog

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
8
That is likely where things will eventually lead for me... I figure even the snow tracks will likely need studs so if they don't work to satisfaction with the C tracks then snow tracks will be the next step. I would like to avoid changing tracks seasonally if at all possible. These machines are supposed to save work not create more of it. Snow removal may take a different route if that is the case!
I hear you I'm looking at this as a long term investment I can get a lot of Snowplowing done for what I have into this now
 
OP
OP
Sarastructions

Sarastructions

New member
Joined
Feb 1, 2023
Messages
4
well, just going to say this, I ain;'t no expert but have decades of plowing snow experience!
however, without knowing what snow tire you have NOW< would be hard for me or anyone else to maybe recommend something else???
skid steer tires are NOT all the same, but they all only add so much help to traction, watch any video even my OEM's of the tires and you will see, what I mean, the increase is there but its not a HUGE difference , the terrain your plowing tends to be the deciding factor if there worth using or not, on just FLAT ground, maybe not, on hills they again DO help, so that is a plus for them IMO< as dirt tires on compacted snow on even slight hills suck!

so maybe tell us what you have now?? and maybe someone can offer a better option to consider
the good news is, selling used snow tires should be rather easy, many do like them so there is a market for them!

NEXT take a grain of salt no bash meant here!
snow tires are not magic, they honestly only increase snow ice traction IMO about 20% IF that
yes they Do work better but they again are not magic things that give you great traction in snow and ice!m, as as they wear they only loose the perks they have over dirt tires!, as is loosing snipes and sharp clean edges! which si what makes them grab and gain traction!(some folks I know use tire cutters to re do as things wear and it DOES HELP, but again, not perfect),
NEXT, and again NO bash meant here just saying things I have found over the decades plowing snow
using a BLOWER, sort of compounds the problems with poor snow traction on skid steers, as it tends to NOT even TRY to clean down to the surface, leaving snow on top, which then gets compacted by the tires, THEN< add in the added weight of the blower, all the more so if going up any hills, and your sort of fighting a loosing battle on traction!
as you already found, the CHAINS get you the traction you sort of want, as they can make it thru the snow the blower is leaving on the surface and getting down to the hard ground under it, BUT all the negatives of chains are also very there for you to notice!

SO< basically, its picking what works over its negatives!

IF you don't plow a lot of hills, STUDS do work better than just snow tires if you STUD snow tires , you will get better traction than studding a dirt tire, but key to studs working is adding enough of them to make a difference! and they sell screw in studs for all types of tires, which again DO work, and it might be worth trying, IMO!~

and keep in mind if your again are using a blower, I also hope your using counter weights, if there possible to add to your machine, to help keep weight on all 4 tires to help with traction, NOT having counter weights and running ab blower IMO< is hurting your situation

Last keep in mind that running chains and or STUDS< can damage and harm the surface of what you are plowing/blowing on, which can lead to damage claims by owners come spring time, I would recommend talking to clients before taking there jobs on and explaining to them the risks, it can save you a lot of head aches later on, all the more so if you have a contract wrote up well to specify things!
maybe not what you want to hear, but I hope it helps with some info to consider!
So just wanted to start by saying... my feelings were no impacted by your commentary in the least, although I respect the concern....

TIRES I CURRENTLY HAVE: Bobcat Snow Tires ...

I agree with your commentary regarding snow tires not being magic, terrain determining the results, and even your observations regarding using a blower in general... I will follow your observations regarding using a blower exclusively, with a follow up to say that I actually use a large snow bucket every few times I plow in order to scrape down driveways, do additional clean up etc.

I do think counter weights are a very interesting thought that I don't think I had really entertained to the extent I should have. Couple follow up questions on that topic... from my initial research it looks like counter weights for my machine are well into the couple thousand dollar price point, which in my opinion is a little redonkulous, and I KNOW there has to be a real world alternative the people use on their machines that would be in the couple hundred dollar range... this at the end of the day is just weight and seems simple enough to duplicate.
1. What have you heard of people using outside the brand specific counter weights?
2. What is the best way to determine how much counter weight you want to use?

Addressing the chain/ stud potential surface damage debacle. First of all very aware of the limitations of both options in regards to surface damage to hard surfaces... Which was one of the main determining factors in going the route I did by ordering snow tires. I currently have about 10-15 asphalt driveways and although generally we keep a thin layer of snowpack just as a protective layer I worry about spring melt and what that would mean with having to be aware of studs and or chains. Secondly, we do have a disclaimer in our contract that all of our customers have to initial, explicitly stating that we use both tire chains & studded tires and can not be held liable to any associate damage they may cause. That being said... having a disclaimer and actually causing damage are two different scenarios...
 

mrbb

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
466
So just wanted to start by saying... my feelings were no impacted by your commentary in the least, although I respect the concern....

TIRES I CURRENTLY HAVE: Bobcat Snow Tires ...

I agree with your commentary regarding snow tires not being magic, terrain determining the results, and even your observations regarding using a blower in general... I will follow your observations regarding using a blower exclusively, with a follow up to say that I actually use a large snow bucket every few times I plow in order to scrape down driveways, do additional clean up etc.

I do think counter weights are a very interesting thought that I don't think I had really entertained to the extent I should have. Couple follow up questions on that topic... from my initial research it looks like counter weights for my machine are well into the couple thousand dollar price point, which in my opinion is a little redonkulous, and I KNOW there has to be a real world alternative the people use on their machines that would be in the couple hundred dollar range... this at the end of the day is just weight and seems simple enough to duplicate.
1. What have you heard of people using outside the brand specific counter weights?
2. What is the best way to determine how much counter weight you want to use?

Addressing the chain/ stud potential surface damage debacle. First of all very aware of the limitations of both options in regards to surface damage to hard surfaces... Which was one of the main determining factors in going the route I did by ordering snow tires. I currently have about 10-15 asphalt driveways and although generally we keep a thin layer of snowpack just as a protective layer I worry about spring melt and what that would mean with having to be aware of studs and or chains. Secondly, we do have a disclaimer in our contract that all of our customers have to initial, explicitly stating that we use both tire chains & studded tires and can not be held liable to any associate damage they may cause. That being said... having a disclaimer and actually causing damage are two different scenarios...
I cannot say how much counter weight you will need or want, but would guess , this comes down to how heavy the blower is,, then other factors like what is your wheel base and where weight sits on your machine when empty, and tail over hang , farther the weight hangs past rear wheels if you follow
every machine is different!

I can tell you, there are aftermarket company's that sell counter weights for skid steers and like machines, the only issue with aftermarket might be how they mount, the OEM"s tend to have thing set up from factory to mount easy and not be in the way, or the better designed one's do. thus you will pay for using OEM parts , ,
you can also some times find used weights at scrap yards that take in HD equipment or farm tractors and such, along with sites like Ebay and craigslist, facebook market place and so on!
pending how creative you are or skills and equipment you have, , will determine maybe what you can Build to mount yourself

I also, know on some machines you can add things like bumpers that work as counter weights, adding both weight and well some extra protection from basking into things, I would gather there is also an aftermarket market making them as well

next food for thought, you say you have a snow bucket, HOW large of a bucket is it, , its pretty easy to go too large and that will cause a lot of traction issues, just saying,
and yes 100% I hear you on the difference in having a disclaimer and having damage , why I always suggest having a good lawyer write things up, to try and save the legal down time later on!

best of luck to you!
 

stv

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2022
Messages
6
So just wanted to start by saying... my feelings were no impacted by your commentary in the least, although I respect the concern....

TIRES I CURRENTLY HAVE: Bobcat Snow Tires ...

I agree with your commentary regarding snow tires not being magic, terrain determining the results, and even your observations regarding using a blower in general... I will follow your observations regarding using a blower exclusively, with a follow up to say that I actually use a large snow bucket every few times I plow in order to scrape down driveways, do additional clean up etc.

I do think counter weights are a very interesting thought that I don't think I had really entertained to the extent I should have. Couple follow up questions on that topic... from my initial research it looks like counter weights for my machine are well into the couple thousand dollar price point, which in my opinion is a little redonkulous, and I KNOW there has to be a real world alternative the people use on their machines that would be in the couple hundred dollar range... this at the end of the day is just weight and seems simple enough to duplicate.
1. What have you heard of people using outside the brand specific counter weights?
2. What is the best way to determine how much counter weight you want to use?

Addressing the chain/ stud potential surface damage debacle. First of all very aware of the limitations of both options in regards to surface damage to hard surfaces... Which was one of the main determining factors in going the route I did by ordering snow tires. I currently have about 10-15 asphalt driveways and although generally we keep a thin layer of snowpack just as a protective layer I worry about spring melt and what that would mean with having to be aware of studs and or chains. Secondly, we do have a disclaimer in our contract that all of our customers have to initial, explicitly stating that we use both tire chains & studded tires and can not be held liable to any associate damage they may cause. That being said... having a disclaimer and actually causing damage are two different scenarios...
 

eeastment

Member
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
9
I'm in the other camp. I ran chains for snowplowing for many year.
Finally got a pair of snow tires and was floor at how much better they were.
Larger tire = more speed and more ground clearance..
And much better traction in most snow conditions - not as good as chains pure ice though.
So I'd say maybe try a different kind of snow tire. I got my locally.

View attachment 3238
What brand snow tires are these? Did you get them with studs installed?
 

Topper1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2023
Messages
52
I swear by dedicated snow tires. Ran wolfpaws 750-16 last season. This season 235/85r16 Toyo M55s studded 10 ply. 100HP machine pushing 12 ft blade. I run out of power before i spin out.
In all fairness, i weigh in at 12000lbs with the blade. im sold on winter tires. Packed, iced over snow is no longer an issued. But solid ice is solid ice imho no matter what.
 

mrbb

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
466
I swear by dedicated snow tires. Ran wolfpaws 750-16 last season. This season 235/85r16 Toyo M55s studded 10 ply. 100HP machine pushing 12 ft blade. I run out of power before i spin out.
In all fairness, i weigh in at 12000lbs with the blade. im sold on winter tires. Packed, iced over snow is no longer an issued. But solid ice is solid ice imho no matter what.
have to ask " are you pushing up hills or on level ground?"

as once you add hills in, < and NO bash meant,
snow tires alone don't cut it,just from my experience , snow tires alone just are not able to get enough traction on ice or icy or hard packed snow, on level ground , they do make a noticeable difference , but hills, are hard without traction aid ! IMO
 

Topper1

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Joined
Feb 19, 2023
Messages
52
I do run some minor hills, side hills & underground parking ramps. But, a heavy unit with 3000lbs per wheel ground pressure makes for a huge improvement.
Only my experience based on 2 seasons (1600 hrs) with snow grips
As i said. In my personal experience since 1996, skidsteer would 90% spin out before powering out. I now stall out a 100 HP machine before spinning out 90% of the time.
 

mrbb

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
466
I do run some minor hills, side hills & underground parking ramps. But, a heavy unit with 3000lbs per wheel ground pressure makes for a huge improvement.
Only my experience based on 2 seasons (1600 hrs) with snow grips
As i said. In my personal experience since 1996, skidsteer would 90% spin out before powering out. I now stall out a 100 HP machine before spinning out 90% of the time.
thanks for the follow up info
 

Phil314

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
99
What brand snow tires are these? Did you get them with studs installed?
They really aren't a brand as such. I got them from a local place https://www.westsidetire.net/ that sells skid steer snow tires.
My understanding is they are recapped 22.5 semi tires with a snow tread pattern. And the lugs are deep. No studs, but you could.

I just got done plowing this weekend. I had 2ft deep drift on 12% uphill on my driveway. Under that was pure ice from a previous storm.
Couldn't plow uphill, but was able to drive to the top and then plow downhill.
NO WAY that would have been possible without these tires or even chains.
Once I got the snow plowed, I started sliding on the ice under it. But that's just ice.

Different storm, but gives you an idea what these tires will do.
 
Last edited:

cdmccul

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
504
They look a lot like older Goodyear Workhorse Traction tires I used to run on my wrecker. Hrrrrrmmmmmm.
 
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