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Suggestions for traction aids in deep snow?

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?


You’re running winter tires at 45 PSI? Wow, just wow.

If you’re going to encounter a fair amount of snow-covered roads, you want all the tire on the road you muster, 25 PSI or maybe even lower would be okay if the conditions were bad enough. At most you should be running 35 PSI.

you want all the tire on the road you muster, 25 PSI or maybe even lower would be okay if the conditions were bad enough.

All I can say @FoDaddy is…you’ve NEVER driven in snow before.

I agree the 45psi is WAY too much for this vehicle. Traction and control on the highway at his proclaimed 100mph speeds is going to get someone killed someday.

But you do NOT want lower tire pressure when driving in snow. The lower the tire pressure means you have more square inch of tire. This equates to less lbs per square inch. You want MORE lbs per square inch so the tires dig down to the hard packed snow or road. The LESS lbs per square inch means the tires are going to ride on top of the snow where there’s ZERO traction.


Please read Robert’s OP title…deep snow. Deep snow is an off road condition. Expeditions do not do well in deep snow for the same reason they do poorly off road…poor chassis design. This is according to Consumer Reports and all the other test that have rated the Expedition as poor offload.

I have done a lot of plowing with lots of different vehicles and vehicles that are good for plowing are not necessarily good or off road. 3/4 ton pick up trucks are good because of their heavier suspension, larger motors and beefier frames designed to take the collision with hardened snow banks. If you look at the under carriage of a plow, you will see the decreased clearance drags it over even crowned roads. The only relationship between the two vehicles is the traction requirements. Snow plow trucks that are set up that way are notoriously poor off roaders. They don’t need to be good. They move the snow before they get there. It is not unusual to see an inexperienced operator in a plow truck, stuck when the driver did not remember this.

You want a vehicle that’s great in deep snow ? A short bed 4cyl Tacoma short bed pick up with the largest diameter studded snow tires with 75 aspect ratio you can fit, and 300 lbs added to the bed.

Let me add too…45 lbs is …not good. Read the manual, talk to tire people and don’t invent stuff.

FoDaddy wrote:
You’re running winter tires at 45 PSI? Wow, just wow.

More than one knowledgeable person here has tried to suggest otherwise. Those suggestions have been ignored.

As far as tire pressure is concerned, it’s real simple. Use the recommended pressure on the door jam along with recommendations from the tire manufacturer if you were going to alter loads. Your intent is to put as much tire tread on the road as you can, not to think you might save gas…because YOU WON"T.

I may be mistaken @robert… Correct me if I 'm wrong, but did you not mention last winter you jacked the tire pressure up to 45lbs ? If you did, and nothing we said made a difference, it won’t now.


I live in VA, and we get a good snow every now and then, not as much as the New England states get, but some.

Back during the blizzard of 96, I drove to school (only to find it closed) for a couple days straight through unplowed roads in a 2WD 1974 F-100 with a 390 4bbl, 3 speed manual and 4.11 gears, and an open diff. Not a real great choice for driving in the snow, but I never got stuck.

I’ve also driven my current 2003 Mustang GT (supercharged, 4.10 gears), on summer tires, in the snow before and haven’t gotten stuck either. Again, probably one of the worst vehicles in the to drive in the snow, but I got along just fine. Normally I would’ve driven my 4WD F-150, but at the time it was in the shop getting inspected, and I had to go to work.

I do understand what you’re saying about wanting the tire to dig in, but when there’s a sheet of ice on the road from the snow that’s been packed down, melted, and the refrozen, I think have a as a big a contact patch as you can muster is prudent.

Ice and snow are completely different. For ice you want less air. But for snow…you want more air. And since the OP is talking about driving in deep snow…then you want more air (to a point).

While New England gets a lot more snow then Virgina…where I grew up…gets a LOT more snow then here in New England. The town I grew up in averages about 200" of snow a year. Driving in conditions like that you learn very quickly what works and what doesn’t. Go to Pulaski NY and you won’t find a single person who says you want wider tire or tire with lower tire pressure. They all will say…skinnier tire…with proper air pressure is the BEST for driving in snow.

When I lived in Colorado years ago, I had my car equipped with studded snow tires. They did great in fairly deep snow. And that was only a 2 wheel rear wheel drive car. Studded tires on all 4 wheels of a 4wd should do really well. I’m not sure if studded snow tires are legal now though.

I think we all fail to realize what Robert has to go through. I mean I do not see many Subaru dakota or suburban with a plow, why? cause it don’t work. If you can make it through plowing with a 3/4 ton you can make it better without a plow. imho!

Messing around with tire pressure in today’s radial ply tires makes little difference compared to yesterday’s bias ply. The contact area remains pretty constant and about all you Change significantly is the stiffens of the sidewall.
In the Inuit culture, there are at least twelve different words for snow with probable many more variations when adjectives are applied. So, saying that all snow reacts the same way is a little off. Not all snow responds the same way to different tire designs and to say that lowering or increasing the tire pressure does one thing or another is pretty inaccurate.

Well we are drying up in this part of VA,little snow and little rain a lot of our hardwoods are dying the creeks and rivers and impoundments are getting less water all the time,its actually getting hard to raise a garden,without watering.While I’m alright with less snow,sure would like more rain,anyways when it used to snow a little say 8-12 inches a narrow snow tire was the ticket,when it was powder snow,the tires didnt have to be as good it seemed-Kevin

Wednesday, the guy at the tire company from whom the tires were purchased said 45 psi is fine for the 17" Nordman Winter tires. (labeled 47 psi max)
ThExpedition’s OEM tires are Bridgestone 18" M+S, 44 psi max.

The tire guy liked my idea of releasing pressure to 40 psi in snow conditions.

To see if any significant footprint difference, I’d like to jack up the wheel, ink the tread and set it back down on paper at Ford’s labeled 35 psi on the B-pillar and again at 45 psi.
(There appears little difference between 35 and 45 psi.)

On closed highways I have dug snow drifts down rather than risk getting stuck and taking even longer to dig out.
I wish that something other than tire chains could be attached in deep snow conditions.

Can thExpedition be lifted an inch or two, or is that too co$tly and complicated?
Late yesterday I changed the oil and did any skid plates while underneath. But it was done in the gutter and was getting dark.

Dont know about an Expedition, but skid plates are are opitional on some vehicles,I believe.Most serious off road 4WDs will have more extensive skid plate protection on other things besides the oil pan.Even if you lift the body and frame the differentials will be the same height from the ground unless you run tires with a greater diameter-Kevin

@robertgift why are you always tweeking stuff that is better left alone. You are running 45 psi and there is no good reason for it. Now you want to raise the Expedition 2" in height? You want to make an unstable top heavy vehicle more unstable and more top heavy to gain a very small deep snow advantage and then go 100 mph when the road is clear and noone is around you? Unfreaking believable!

Raise thExpedition for deep snow.
Just dreaming - likely not worth the expen$e and effort.
Not often at 100 mph due to terrain and traffic.
2 inches higher won’t affect stability at 100 mph on straight, level roadway.

Get a 3/4 ton with 4wd and call it a day! Maybe a suburban just does not cut it, you need to really look at the situation.

Get a 3/4 ton with 4wd and call it a day! Maybe a suburban just does not cut it, you need to really look at the situation.
I always consider the worst case scenario. Luckily I have been able to dig (shovel) through deep drifts enough not to get stuck. So far, thExpedition has never failed to get through the worst conditions.

Then this whole discussion has been for naught.

Then this whole discussion has been for naught.
This post was seeking other kinds of things to attach to the tires and if they are any good.