Seeking very aggressive snow tires for blood transport Expedition

2008 Expedition

255 70R 18s

265 70R 17 spare!

We are called at 2 a.m. in blizzards to deliver blood.

Shall I replace the 265 70R 17 M&S spare and obtain 3 other 17 inch wheels, and mount 4 very aggressive snow tires?

When less snow or no snow I would put on the regular M&S wheels.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.

Tires won’t make that big a difference. Be prepared to chain up when necessary, which will not be that often…

Thank you.
That is what I want to hear. A lot less expensive and no set of four tires/wheels taking up a lot of space.

Often they want the blood or blood components brought as quickly as possible.
As soon as we get into areas of less snow, sometimes none, our speed is still limited by chains.
If snow tires we can make better time.
How long does it take to remove the chains?
But then we may encounter deep snow again.

Thank you.

Modern design Mud&Snow tyres are not called snow or M&S tyres they are “Winter” tyres. If you compare how they look to the old ones, you might think they are “all season” tyres, but in fact even if they look mild, they are considerable better than the old snow tyres ever were. I don’t know how they do in mud however.

Thank you.
I wish we had highway treads for better fuel economy since most of the time we are on dry pavement - even in Winter.
Then aggresive snow tires for the few heavy snows and blizzards.

M&S tires are apparently a good compromise.

This medical vehicle is never to go off road (intentionally) so hopefully mud will never be a problem.

I have to disagree that tires don’t make a difference. They do GREATLY. But it really depends on the amount of snow. Here in Southern NH it won’t make much of a difference. But in the Mountain region…or Upstate NY or Upper Michigan where some places average 300"+ of snow it’ll make a HUGE difference.

If you are going to get aggressive tires check out for tires and ratings…choose the tires with higher winter weather ratings…

Be sure to get “winter” tires, not just “mud and snow.” There is a difference. On the sidewall a mud and snow tire will have “M+S” marked on it, while a winter tire will have a mountain and snowflake emblem. A tire can have both.

As someone else suggested, go to the website and see what is available in the 2 sizes you are considering. Read some of the user reviews, take with a grain of salt, but read them to get an overall feel for the various makes and models. Note what kind of vehicle the reviewer has, it will make a difference if they are driving a pickup vs. an SUV because or weight distribution.

Oh yeah, I think Tire Rack will sell you steel wheels and ship them to you with your new tires already mounted.

…and be sure to use the vehicle mfr’s recommended tire pressures.

Your advice in another thread, to use pressures far higher than is recommended by a vehicle mfr is NOT valid, and in fact will drastically reduce your traction.

Yes. With snow tires I would follow the recommendations.
The manual does not say and snow tire inflation is not displayed on the “B” post.

I too need to respectfully disagree with the advice to simply “chain up” when necessary.

I tried that approach one season many years ago when we had a ski house up in northern Vermont. In theory it will work. In practice it was a big failure.

The first month or so, I was eager to put the chains on, and then I could go anywhere. Then reality set in.

  • I began to have little desire to get out of my warm car into the wet/cold conditions to get my clothes wet/dirty installing chains. When it was late and dark, all I wanted to do was to get to the ski house. Putting on chains got old real fast.

  • Chains worked well in deep snow, but as soon as the streets were plowed a bit, the vibration kept us from driving faster than 20-30 mph. That meant we often had to install/remove/install/remove the chains just to get to the ski house.

  • Because of the above aggravations with using chains, I found myself delaying the install during storms and driving to the ski house without them. With that I found myself in dangerous slippery situations because I didn’t have snow tires.

As others have noted, make sure you get four good winter tires. Carry chains for the infrequent extreme conditions if needed.

Thank you.

On an emergency bloodelivery, we similarly encountered very deep snow, then bare highway, then deep drifted snow, then dry highway, then deep snow for several miles before and to the hospital. (Got stuck in the hospital parking lot but I carried the boxes into the hospital.)

So that is why we seek very aggressive snow tires.
To save fuel and needless wear, we would remove the snow wheels when our M+S wheels can handle usual snow conditions.

This vehicle is a 4x4 correct?

Mount WINTER tires on SAME sized rims, including your spare!. Forget chains.

Yes 4x4 Expedition.

My idea was to remove the M+S spare from its 17 inch wheel (Why 17" when the others are 18"?) and buying three other 17" wheels and obtaining 4 very aggressive snow tires.
Then simply changing wheels back and forth as needed.
One of the snow tires would be the spare. Hope it would fit.

You haven’t mentioned if you are the original owner. Yeah I know it’s an '08, which technically is 2 years old now.

That said, it is possible the previous owner replaced the original four rims and tires for one size up and ignored the spare.

I believe the 18" rims are optional. I may be mistaken. I’m going to post this and go have a look at the recommended rims/tires for your vehicle.

OK, back again.

2008 Ford Expedition 4x4 EL XLT standard - 265/70SR 17

2008 Ford Expedition 4x4 EL XLT Available - 255/70SR 18

2008 Ford Expedition 4x4 EL Limited - standard- 255/70SR 18

2008 Ford Expedition 4x4 EL Limited - available- 275/55HR 20

I see you posted while I was away.

The standard on just about all vehicles is to have a STEEL wheel as a spare.

Yours being a size smaller than what is recommended suggests to me someone has made a switch in the hopes no-one would notice (until too late).

Go back to see the person you bought it from and politely ask for one of the correct size. You MAY be surprised.

I wouldn’t phone first though, just walk in and have the element of surprise on your side.

WAIT a sec. You’re saying the vehicle’s manufacturer states the spare is a 17"??? Must be one of Ford’s ‘better ideas’.

It still doesn’t sound right to me.

No need to change the value for snow tyres as long as they are the same size as the standard tyres. Under inflating to gain traction when out with the radial steel belts.

Used purchased from Enterprise Leasing
My first suspicion, but
"B" post lable reads: 255 70R 18 front and rear, 265 70R 17 spare!

Which means one cannot include the spare in rotation.
But spare is likely on a cheaper wheel so no one would want it visible.


The MOST important feature of a tire for driving in snow is how aggressive the tread is. This feature is by far the one you really want to consider when driving in snow.

How much snow do you get a year…or per storm???

We don’t get much snow and what we do get usually clears from roads in a day or two.
Last winter was unusually mild - never needed 4WD even once.

But then we have blizzards, like '07, and no one can move.
There was even a driving ban!
A volunteer organization, making deliveries from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and another at 2 a.m.

Joseph–I was not suggesting that this person underinflate his tires for increased traction.

My comment was made because this is the same person who–in another thread–directed someone to put 44 psi in his tires, even though the car’s mfr called for about 10 lbs less pressure. I was attempting to reinforce the idea that his notion of correct tire inflation (overinflation) is not correct with either his regular tires or his winter tires. However, I’m just not sure that he is “getting it”.