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Suggestions for traction aids in deep snow?

Hospitals have called for blood transports during blizzards.
The emergencyehicle (4WD Expedition) has Nordman 265/70 R17 Winter tires and two shovels and has never failed to get through on closed interstate and state highways.
(Also has kitty litter, extra cell phone, winter clothing, food, water, Ensure, blankets, garbage bags, toilet paper, LED flashlights.)

Is there something other than chains which could fit in the grooves of the snow tires?

Thank you.

The Expedition is notoriously poor in deep snow due to it’s poor ground clearance and overall undercarriage design. There are some aids out there that just temporarily snap onto the wheels from the outside. Generally, though, chains work best and if you aren’t up to using them, get something else for a vehicle or avoid deep snow. I would use something else for blizzards as it’s only the 4wd drive and snow tires that help and not the chassis.

The Expedition is a fair weather hauler and is continually on the 10 worse list for off road conditions for 4wd SUVs. Just google “snow traction aids for cars” if you want to check some temporary, short term possibilities. Some sprays out there too…don’t expect much help for this beast though. It’s about the ground clearance. Get a Subaru !

Thank you. I’d be glad to use chains, but would they damage the snow tires?
The tire company said not to use chains with the Nordman tires. (They also said chains would not be needed).

Would a Suburban be.tter than the Expedition?
What other vehicles?

Look at the most popular vehicles for plowing, They in my guess would be the best. 3/4 ton trucks 4wd seem popular.


The OP isn’t driving off-road he’s trying to stay on it, he’s not worried about break over angles or RTI numbers. The Expedition is more than capable of handling unplowed roads. A set of winter tires or mud/all terrain tires and 4WD will handle most snowy conditions. If you need something extra a set of chains will work. But after that point, you have to start looking at the skill of the driver. If you’re having trouble getting around in a full-sized 4WD with winter tires and chains, then you should probably let someone who’s proficient at driving in the snow take the wheel.

If it gets that deep get a Hummer,they will go as long as you dont break contact by jacking the chassis up on the snow.thats the biggest fault of my Dakota ST after about 7-9 inches of wet snow it will get jacked up on the skid plates and there you sit untill you dig out from under and let the chassis back down-Kevin (chains and weight are very good even on a 2wd,thats why I got a 4wd so I wouldnt generally have to mess with chains)-Kevin

Fortunately, I have always gotten through. There have been high snow drifts I dug down before proceeding. Did not want to risk getting stuck which would take even longer to get free.
Drifts often decline, so I would drive off the interstate to the more “shallow” area of the drift.
Hummer would be nice, but do they not get less fuel mileage. This is usually only a few days a year. Can a Hummer attain 100 mph!

Ever just think of a snowmobile? I was going 70 mph and the snowmobile was pulling away from me. They generally don’t get stuck. I remember our neighbor once got a ride to the hospital where she worked on a snowmobile. Nothing else was moving. Or Matttracks and be done with it (made in Minnesota BTW).

Ever just think of a snowmobile? I was going 70 mph and the snowmobile was pulling away from me.
What a blast that would be! Much of these trips can be on dry pavement. Left our home and the blood center in deep snow. Then no snow for about 40 miles. Then deep snow about 4 miles before getting to the receiving hospital. 4-foot drifts in the hospital's parking lot, so I carried the boxes in. We also pick up and take personnel into facilities.

Sounds to me like you can drive very well,those Mattracks would have such a cool factor,Maybe the Hospital would help you out on getting more unstoppable? Expense sure does knock a lot of upgrades in the head-Kevin

Mattracks would have such a cool factor,Maybe the Hospital would help you out on getting more unstoppable?
(Over 20 years we have made hundreds of transports to one hospital and a dozen to another and neither has contributed a cent.) Would be nice if Mattracks can be quickly installed and removed. Hate to consider co$t. Just two on the front wheels would likely work well enough.

If you’re having problems with snow…it’s probably due to the fact you inflate your tires well over the recommended limit…which numerous people here have told you it’s dangerous and will give you LESS traction and control of your vehicle.

Thank you. No problems.
Seeking the best solutions for any future deep snow situations.
The Nordman 265/70R17 Winter tires read 47 psi maximum pressure.
At 45 psi the footprint still looks the same as Ford’s 35 psi cold inflation pressure.
(But I have not made ink footprints.)
When deep snow storms are arriving, I could let air out. Should it be to 35 psi?

Sir, I am going to tell you just what you need. You need to learn how to drive. I have been driving in snow since I was 12. I am now 51. You are driving a vehicle that in the right hands will go about anywhere. You let 4 feet drifts stop you? You would be laughed at here. I drive a 2006 GMC pickup 4X4. I would not even think to stop with just a 4 ft drift in my way in a parking lot. I have drove 70 mph in 2-3 feet of snow on the freeway. I have done this in Blazers, Bronco’s, Ranger’s and Chevy/Gmc pickups. Its all in knowing how to drive. Learn to drive before you hurt or kill someone. One thing you can add that we do for the fire department is a V snow plow set 6-8 inch off the ground. You can run about 50-60 if you know how to handle it.Its not for the unskilled or faint of heart. But its got us to fires that our fire trucks would not have got to.

The recommended tire pressure is based on an ambient temperature of 68°F. If the tire pressure were set at this temperature, then it would be lower at freezing temperatures and that would be OK, but if I were setting the pressures at a lower temp, I would still go to the 35 psi and not worry about it. I don’t think I’d go to 45 psi though.

A lower pressure will cause the tire to heat up more and the extra heat will aid with the traction. I am not recommending that you lower the pressure below the recommended amount, just in winter, not go above it. I only go above it in the summer when I am doing a lot of highway driving, then only about 3-4 psi above recommended pressure. Thats to keep the tires from overheating.

You don’t get paid for this service at all or do you mean they won’t pay any additional for foul weather delivery? Your doing 100 mph on snow? You can’t go 100 mph with chains, they are only good for about 30 mph at best. I’ve never taken them over 20 mph.

One cannot know how solid the drifts have become.
Forcing into 4-foot deep drifts could damage the front, grill, and siren speakers.
And I don’t want to risk getting stuck and taking even more time digging out with an Expedition in the way.
In snow I would never drive fast because of potential of losing control.

Yes, slamming into a 4’ drift can do damage to a vehicle, but I’d be most concerned with the underside. You might want to look into replacing that plastic skid plate with a metal one if one is available. If not, at least inspect it periodically to make sure all the bolts are in place and none of them have pulled through the plastic. You might even consider a preemptive strike by putting body washers on all the mounting bolts for the skid plate.

Higher pressure allows less tire flexion and therefore less heat produced by flexion.
Also improves gas mileage through less rolling resistance.

After an emergent transport, I felt the tires and they were cool.

The only times 100 mph is attained is on clean, dry, level, smooth pavement in daylight and no other vehicles around.
After dark, deer and elk and cattle and horses are a concern. A few nights ago, at 45 mph I passed a BLACK steer grazing along the shoulder. I reported it to CSP.

The hospital personnel are so grateful, they have even sent thank you cards, but the hospitals have not contributed anything.

Wow, with the outlandish rates the hospitals charge patients, who are not in a position to negotiate, they won’t pay for the services provided to them. I’ll bet it appears on the patient’s bill.

Wow, with the outlandish rates the hospitals charge patients, who are not in a position to negotiate, they won't pay for the services provided to them. I'll bet it appears on the patient's bill.
They pay REAL courier companies which provide regular daily deliveries. They know that we are voldumbteers who only provide emergency transports and deliveries when the roads are too bad for the real couriers to operate.