1. #1
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    Default Snow tires on your apparatus?

    A question for those in the extreme snow belts.

    Do you run off-road, snow tires, cables, or chains on your apparatus?

    We used to keep our old 79 King-seagrave chained up all winter long, and because it was a small short wheelbased truck, it drove great in even the worst conditions.

    Our new 2004 ALF FL-80 is a different story however. It plows OK through the snow (and we have rear drive chains available), but the front highway tires steer like crap. Also, since it is so long it really like to swing around on us when backing down grades. This truck was a pre-built demo so we had little choice on these tires. There is no money in the budget for new snow tires until next year, so we are considering getting them siped for the short term, but other depts have suggested cables as a possible alternative.

    Before we jump into anything, some feedback or personal experience would be helpful.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    A good portion of our trucks have Onspot automatic chains. I dont know how good they are, because I dont think they have ever been used. The highway Dept. usually does a good job of clearing the snow quickly. The downside to that is, I never have a snow day.

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    I think cables on the front would cause problems with stopping and steering on sufaces that are slushed down or already plowed, steel on asphalt isn't an ideal traction combination! Siping the tires sounds like the way to go to me, just make sure that whoever does the job knows what they are doing. I'm sure in your neck of the woods you will find someone qualified.

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    OK, maybe I'm just an idiot, but what is "siping"?

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    77: Siping is small lateral cuts across
    the tread of the tire, usually about 3/8''
    apart.

    Bill

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    mcaldwell: When the budget permits, I
    would be looking at carbide tipped studded
    tires for the winter months.
    assuming the law permits.

    Hope you get it figured out.

    Bill

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    We are talking about the front tires on a two wheel drive Engine right? If so I don't think going with any plan that involves putting metal of any kind between the road and front tire is a sound idea. As stated before, siping for the temp fix and when budget allows a more aggressive snow tread seems like the safe solution to me.
    I could be way off base with this but my opinions are based on our area that gets snow a few to several times a year, not crazy snow like you see all season long.
    I am opposed to putting any metal on the fronts due to concerns about stopping and braking while turning. Several years ago I got to see the aftermath of a Snorkel (running cables on the rear tandems on snow/slushy street) that was cut off at an intersection. The truck suffered greatly increased stopping distance due to the rears sliding on the metal bands of the cables. Only the fronts had "normal" stopping traction and grip. This all lead to the driver having to make a choice between several vehicles in traffic or a building. End result was a Snorkel parked inside a corner store with only minor injuries but serious damage to the truck and store. (both are now doing well). I would think that putting the fronts at the same disadvantage would be even worse. Again this is my opinion and maybe the dynamics of insane snowfall change the reality that I'm used to.

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    not to continue down a bad path ......but what does this siping do to make the tires work better ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    It allows the 'blocks' of the tread pattern to open up and spread out a little bit thus gaining a small increase in grip.

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    What's a snow tire?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    A better question...I'm not sure who invented the technique of "siping", but who gets credit for coming up with that word? I mean, really, somebody really creative had to have just pulled that one out their *****. "Hey, I've invented some new tires with little cuts in them to improve traction. What should I call them?" "Hmmmmm....how about "siping"?". Probably the same guy who gave us "aglets".
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Actually if look at almost any (easier to see on a new one) passenger car tire you can see the little sipes molded into the tread pattern. It is actually the irregularities of the sipe patterns that help investigators to ID a tire from an impression left at a crime scene.

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    We use Automatic snow chains and nothing up front. In very bad conditions we also have a Fire-Plow=(Dodge 4x4 pick up truck with a plow and ice melt) to go in front of the apparatus in some of our steeper slopes and hard to reach spots in our City.

    In real bad conditions well call out DOT and or our road crews to help us get to where we need to get.



    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    Originally posted by tribe9a
    It is actually the irregularities of the sipe patterns that help investigators to ID a tire from an impression left at a crime scene.
    I'll keep that in mind the next time we are thinking of robbing a bank with the fire truck.

    I do think we will probably suffer through this season with the siping, and get some good snow tires for next year. We were considering studs, but since we only put about 500 km's on our trucks each year, we could probably just install a good mud and snow tire and leave it on year round.

    Unless we rob the bank to pay for the extra tires...
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Originally posted by dmleblanc
    A better question...I'm not sure who invented the technique of "siping", but who gets credit for coming up with that word? I mean, really, somebody really creative had to have just pulled that one out their *****. "Hey, I've invented some new tires with little cuts in them to improve traction. What should I call them?" "Hmmmmm....how about "siping"?". Probably the same guy who gave us "aglets".
    Comes from the 70s & 80s, when Brian Sipe was the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. He found those tiny cracks in defenses for tosses to Ozzie

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    Studs probably would work on the front tires. They are not like chains or cables, which are bad on dry roads. You will have to back off a little bit, maybe, on a dry road, but not bad.

    Although an apples to orange comparison, my 4x4 pickup wears studs on all 4 corners. On dry roads, in 2WD, it handles "normally".

    and they make that nice clicking sound

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