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285& Heavy 16's or 265's & Lights in the snow ?

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Old 10-06-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
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285& Heavy 16's or 265's & Lights in the snow ?

That is the question. Right now i'm running 285/75/16' duratracs on fj trd rims. The duratracs are e-load so its a very heavy setup. My question is i need solid winter performance. I had my 285's siped and it made a huge difference last year compared to my previous set of duratracs that werent siped. Yes, the siped duratracs are lasting me longer, running quieter, and better in the snow. But back to the topic. In snow and ice would I be better off running the heaviest rim & narrow tire combination to create the most weight in smallest patch ratio ? ( ie 265 e-load on fj's ) OR would I be better to pursuit the largest patch tire , 285's with the lightest rim ( weds 16's ) ? I'm looking for the best combination for hauling through snow, slush, ice AND braking....whatever it is though it will def get siped again.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:29 PM   #2
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Narrow is better for snow until it is really deep and you are looking for flotation .

So , for most situations , and certainly all on road snow conditions , narrow is better
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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If you're looking to buy new check into 235s and 255s. Sipe them.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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Wouldn't the load range/weight of the tire be negligible compared to the weight of rest of the truck?
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxamillion2345 View Post
If you're looking to buy new check into 235s and 255s. Sipe them.
Agreed

My next tires will be 255/80/17
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dustyroades View Post
Wouldn't the load range/weight of the tire be negligible compared to the weight of rest of the truck?
I don't think it will have any measurable effect
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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Well i'm in chicago and we had a massive blizzard this last year, like 2-3 ft of snow. I hauled through pretty damn well but I want even more security. So if i'm looking at 12+ inches of snow what size would be better suited ? What is the threshold in that situation ? My guess is as damn heavy as you can get on the smallest patch that way you just sink to the ground and slowly roll. It's not about hauling butt through 2 feet of snow but able to make it through some nasty drifts , etc . I'm figuring that you can only accelerate so fast in deep snow without spinning so its not a matter of speed pass through but slow crawl. Oh and I also had 100lbs of salt over each axle in the bed ( longbed) in the last storm. I pulled through fine in the 2feet stuff but hitting a 3foot drift it just stopped me dead in my tracks
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:45 PM   #8
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255s are tallest and most narrow. I'm doubtful weight will effect anything except breaking acceleration.


Snow varies so much in consistency too, you may have no trouble in soft light powder but if its heavy and wet it could be totally different. I'd say carry a snow shovel and a traction ladder if you really need to go places.

Or you'd probably fair well with 235s and cables for light use or chains for heavier use. I say 235s so you can fit chains in front.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxamillion2345 View Post
255s are tallest and most narrow. I'm doubtful weight will effect anything except breaking acceleration.
that would make sense. In essence it doesnt matter if the tire/wheel combo weighs 50 or 500. That weight difference would be minimal in the total bearing weight of the entire vehicle on the contact patch. If you were in the arctic cruising on 10feet of powder than you def would not want a small patch that would sink you down but those large 'floater' tires. So i'm guessing you want the smallest weight/ smallest patch wheel tire combo to give you the best driving in snow that will reach NO HIGHER than the level where the body of the vehicle is level and wont produce additional resistance ?
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razorecko View Post
that would make sense. In essence it doesnt matter if the tire/wheel combo weighs 50 or 500. That weight difference would be minimal in the total bearing weight of the entire vehicle on the contact patch. If you were in the arctic cruising on 10feet of powder than you def would not want a small patch that would sink you down but those large 'floater' tires. So i'm guessing you want the smallest weight/ smallest patch wheel tire combo to give you the best driving in snow that will reach NO HIGHER than the level where the body of the vehicle is level and wont produce additional resistance ?
Correct in my opinion. (50 - 500 might be a bit off as I think thatd make a difference but in terms of what you'll actually encounter, yes) I think cables/chains are most effective where you wont use flotation tires with low pressures. If you plan on being stuck, buy a set of max trax, the things you can get out of with a shovel and those are ridiculous.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
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I live at 8,000 in a ski area year round, literally a two block walk to the lift, we actually got snow today and get 30-40 feet per year. I have run BFG / AT_KO's in 265/75/R16 for about 130,000 miles and have never had any issues in any kind of snow or depth. I do drop the pressure in deep winter to about 30 PSI and keep chains handy even if I just have to lay them under the tires to get traction for a few feet.

I have never had to put them on though, proper driving and tire pressure habits are what allow me to keep going...
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:41 AM   #12
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There should be no public road that requires floatation tires, if there is you shouldn't be on it. A narrower tire will be better and actually the lighter the wheel tire package the better. The wheel/tire package is unsprung weight, the lighter it is the better the suspension is able to react to bumps. This will keep the tire in contact with the road more often and provide better traction as well as a better ride. Also there will be less rotational inertia for the brakes to deal with which will enhance the ABS functionality. The contact pressure on the tire comes from the size of the contact patch and the weight of that corner of the truck. The weight of the wheel and tire is only a small part of that. You'd get better performance from putting more weight in the truck and having lighter wheels than the other way around.

Basically the only time you'd the heavier wheel and tire package is when you need an increase in strength and durability. (assuming the heavier ones are actually stronger and not just poorly designed and unnecessarily heavy) If you are buying a separate winter tire package I'd go real narrow, like 255 or less which will also help give you chain clearance in the front so you can chain up all four for maximum traction.
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