Winter/summer tire pressure

I’ve driven on roads after a snow storm that haven’t been plowed yet. It takes a lot of snow over a long time for it to become hard packed. Most of the time it’s soft pack. Tires have ZERO grip in soft packed snow. I’ve seen a few people put real wide tires on their F-150 pickups. They are all over the place in snow. Can’t grip. They are floating on the soft pack snow.

It’s always pleasant (NOT!) when–just after I have cleared the driveway with my snowblower–the city’s plows come along and close-off the driveway again.


In Minneapolis by the end of February the plows had created four to six foot piles. Back then we walked to school, of course we walk on top of snow piles.
I couldn’t think of what to call the piles of hard snow. Bulwarks or ridges?

we just called them snow mounds.

We call them snow banks. Actually it has been a while since we’ve really had a big snow storm where I wasn’t sure I would make it home but one year we had so much that when clearing the driveway, I pointed the blower pretty much straight up in the air to clear the snow “banks”. All theories aside, report back on how well it went after the first storm.

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your right … snow banks. I had a brain fart. LOL

While I don’t have much experience driving in snow, I do recall careening around on freshly fallen snow in my Rabbit and I had plenty of traction. No one else was out, so I went for a drive and didn’t have any trouble until I ran head long into a three foot high drift. I didn’t have the traction to plow though that. I backed off and went home, still with adequate traction. It certainly was fun though. Oh, and don’t think that I was going 10 mph or something. I was an early 20-something, and you know how goofy they can be. Not speeding, but more like the speed limit in a foot of snow. Does driving like a fool in a snow storm qualify as hooning?

Oh, yeah. We had almost 40 inches of snow over three days, an astonishing amount for Central Maryland. The state sent us a guy in a highway-sized front loader to clear the snow off our streets. Instead of dumping the bucket loads of snow on the side without sidewalks, he dumped it all on the sidewalks. Thanks a lot, spanky. The pile on my 100-foot sidewalk by the road was at least 7 feet tall. By the time I removed all of it, the last of the pile was about 4 feet tall and all ice. He’s so special!

I spent a winter in Hancock MI 68/69. When I got there, I noticed all the crosswalks looked like they were painted by drunks, they staggered across the street. All the houses had two floors with a door on the second floor that didn’t go anywhere. I asked about that and the locals told me that was for going in and out in the winter. I thought they were just kidding, they weren’t.

Anyway, I learned why the crosswalks were staggered. The snow was too deep to plow, so they used giant snowblowers. They did not cut all the way to the pavement but left a layer of snow that they spread mining dust on. During the day, the heat from tires would temporarily melt a small amount of snow on the surface that would refreeze and trap the mining dust making a surface that had a grip like the pavement.

But after December, the snow never stopped. On a good day, it came down vertically, on a bad day, it was mostly horizontal. But from Christmas to Easter, there was always snow in the air. The highways became tunnels with skylights as the accumulated snow would exceed 300".

Back to the crosswalks, the mining dust gave such good grip to the tires that the movement of traffic would actually move the paint across the surface of the road. Thats what the locals told me anyway. BTW, there was a bar at just about every crosswalk, but that didn’t have anything to do with it.

So much truth in this song. You have to live through a winter up there.


Snow meggadon, Snowblower was still young at 22 years old. Just upgraded this year for new single stage.

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I dunno, @barkydog, it looks to me you need a two stage snow thrower.

BTW, that’s “snowmageddon”. Your interpretation looks more like a snow dinosaur.


you can get one of these to help you.



Keeping it car related…where’s yours in that picture :thinking:. Around back or buried? Or both…

I don’t have any pictures-before cameras, but about 1975 we had a snow day. Lots of snow and neither one of us went to work. We had bought a lot on the outskirts so we took the 61 Corvair to go play in the snow. It had the real snow tires on the back and rear engine so it went just about anywhere in the snow. We ran up on a drift and the car got hung up. I just kept spinning the wheels until the thing worked itself out. I’ve had a lot of experience in snow, ice, light, heavy, dry, slush, paved roads, gravel roads, and so on. Only dug myself out a couple times.

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I did get a used 2 stage a couple of years later, it is easier to do the whole block than to try and turn that thing around, there if I need it!

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The Rabbit was a FWD vehicle. FWD vehicles are far superior to RWD in snow because the weight is over the drive tires. Wife has never had the need for snow tires on any FWD vehicle she’s owned living in NH.

Cars were in the drive, 1 car garage filled to the rim!

I have no trouble turning mine around. On a standard blower with two wheels, you can set it to either have drive on one wheel or both. That may make a difference. One wheel it will tend to not drive straight but might be easier to turn. When I turn I keep the drive wheels spinning and just push on the handle.

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except maybe on a hill. From personal experience.

Just to tell the story again, but bottom line is air pressure is the same summer or winter to be short. In my senior year of college I lived below a hill that I had to climb to get to class. I had those wide oval tires on the back of my 59 Pontiac. They were on the car when I bought it and were pretty bald by this time. I had no trouble getting up the snowy/icy hill with those bald wide oval tires. During Christmas vacation I had the real snow tires put on. Firestone recap specials, 2 for $50. Back to school after vacation and I could not make it up the hill with the snow tires on and had to take a different route. The wide, bald tires gave me better traction than the brand new knobby snow tires of old. Those are the facts. The more rubber on the road in snow and ice the better traction you will have. Of course bald tires would not help much in deep snow or slush compared to snow tires, but most of the time in town you are driving on packed snow and ice. At least in South Dakota and Minnesota.