Driving on winter roads can be stressful – particularly if you are driving a vehicle with poor traction. When the roads are icy or covered with snow, it is easy to lose control if your tires aren’t gripping the road well enough. This is why most experts recommend using snow tires during the winter. An upgrade such as a bak bakflip mx4 folding tonneau cover can help reduce wind drag on your truck.
What about 4 x 4 vehicles, however? Do pickup trucks need winter tires or is four-wheel-drive enough?
All vehicles can benefit from snow tires, regardless of whether or not they have four-wheel-drive. To understand why, you may find it helpful to learn more about how 4 x 4 vehicles work.
With four-wheel-drive, torque is applied to all four of the wheels on the vehicle. This is beneficial when getting the vehicle moving from a stop or when accelerating. During the winter, four-wheel-drive vehicles do a better job of breaking through deep snow when starting from a stop than their two-wheel-drive counterparts.
That is pretty much where the benefits end in terms of winter driving. Four-wheel-drive doesn’t do anything to assist with traction, which means that it doesn’t help with coming to a stop or turning.
When you think about it, most winter driving accidents don’t take place when vehicles are accelerating from a stop. Instead, they take place when cars or trucks try to turn or stop on snowy or icy roads. Since four-wheel-drive doesn’t help with either of those activities, it doesn’t really improve safety on the road.
That is where winter tires can help. Snow tires are specially designed to provide superior traction on icy or snow-covered roads. This traction helps keep vehicles from sliding when they are turning or when they are coming to a stop.
That means that putting snow tires on your pickup truck can help you stay safer when you are driving. You are less likely to get into accidents in the winter if your pickup truck has enough traction.
Winter tires feature a heavy-duty tread pattern that does a better job of gripping slippery surfaces and navigating through the snow. More than that, however, they also are usually made out of special materials that are more effective at providing traction on surfaces that are slick or frozen.
Do pickup trucks need winter tires? In most cases, the answer is yes. If you live in a climate that frequently gets snow or freezing weather, putting winter tires on your truck can dramatically improve your safety on the road.
Even if your pickup truck has four-wheel-drive, snow tires will still make winter driving safer by making it easier for you to turn or stop without sliding on the road. Since winter tires are only used for part of the year, they can last for several seasons, making them a worthwhile investment.
Periodically check the depth of the tread on the tires to make sure that they aren’t too worn out. To extend their life, take them off during the summer months, as well. The fewer miles you drive on them, the longer they will last.