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Old 11-14-2009, 11:16 AM
207 posts, read 702,724 times
Reputation: 93


Thanks for all the comments from my previous thread:


I got a block heater installed (freeze plug) and they also said I had an airlock in one of the heater hoses. I also plan on getting a battery heater too.

Now what I'm wondering is should I get snow tires or just use chains. Or both? I found and extra rim at a salvage yard in Rapid so I could use the extra rim plus the spare and have an extra pair of rims/tires for snow and for street. In case I want to make a trip back home for Xmas and I don't want to wear out my snow tires. I see they have a chain law here that may apply to some roads at times. I live in Wright and go to Gillette maybe once a week and plan on going skiing a Terry Peaks quite a bit. Should I invest in some chains? If I do, will snow tires be unnecessary? Just don't want to have an accident or cause one.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:26 PM
11,540 posts, read 52,166,872 times
Reputation: 16284
Quality snow tires will be your first line of dealing with the winter driving conditions. Count on putting them on all 4 wheels for best results and driving safety.

Chains are rarely needed, and a pain to put on and take off for the short duration that you may need them. Despite the new "extreme driving conditions" chain law, we haven't gone through a winter season yet to see how the State Patrol will use this means of traffic enforcement. It may be that only a few roads will see this applied under exceptional conditions, or it may be that we'll be seeing it a lot more frequently. I anticipate seeing it on the Pass between Cheyenne and Laramie after all the accidents early on this season, but who knows? There are other places around the state with similar stretches of frequent difficulty ....

Of course, if you plan on being out on the roads where it's likely to see the chain law requiring chains on a drive axle, then you'd best invest in a set. My favorite are not the old style chain chains, but the newer style radial cable chains. They're easier to install and allow faster driving when conditions allow before having to remove them. As long as you don't drive them on dry pavement, they can last many seasons of use.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:10 AM
Location: Lander
63 posts, read 183,714 times
Reputation: 56
Get 4 Bridgestone Blizzaks and put them on your vehicle. I hate chains and chainlaw or not I am not going to buy them and carry them in the trunk. With front wheel drive and 4 snow tires on three different vehicles I have driven Togowotee Pass at least 15 times a year for the last 20 years. Never got stuck never went off the road, and never had to put chains on.

No one knows how the new chain law is going to work. I am not going to worry. When you really need to be chained up you really don't want to be out and driving. If you are really worried get something with 4 wheel drive, and then you can even chain them up and then you really really don't want to be out driving!

In general I have found european style snowtires to be best. Different rubber compound that seem to work better than the regular old american snowtires. Dunlop, Michelin and Nokia are also good, and the Tire Rack website has some new snow tire tests that they did in Europe last winter.

If you have never driven with chains you will not like them. Harsh ride, noisey, pain to put on or take off. I have driven with chains, and I hope never to drive with them again.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:20 PM
Location: in the ground
375 posts, read 1,362,719 times
Reputation: 164
Chains: I am required to have them
Snow tires: Have them - Goodyear MTR's and Kelly CSR's
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:26 PM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,695 posts, read 41,410,336 times
Reputation: 2147483647
There used to be in Wyoming, a resonable staging of road conditions. Don't remember exactly what they were but something to the effect of:

No unecessary travel
Chain law in effect
Road closed

It seems since California had that big pile up a few years back, where 109 cars piled up during a dust storm. Just one area of a mile or two. The people sued the state because they said, "If road conditions were that bad, the state should have closed the road." Some judge let them win. So states are afraid it's going to happen to them. As a result you pretty much see:

No unecessary travel
Road closed

They kind of skip everything else. But that's mostly interstate. Some of the secondary roads are a different story. As well as some of the passes or difficult areas where wind is a factor. But for the most part, I haven't seen chain law kick in for years around here.

I think the last time I saw it was in 1995 or so. I had went down to San Diego and coming back when I hit Evanston, chain law was in effect. Bright sunny day, not a cloud. But it was snow packed on the interstate and we had 30-40 side winds. At that time, I had left my chains at home in Sheridan. So I had to pick up another set in Evanston and rather then a second set of chains I decided to try out the new Cables. Wow! What a buy. About 2 minutes a wheel to put them on. Can run at a fairly decent speed. Can run across short patches of clear road at a good rate of speed. Easy off. Well worth the purchase. Outstanding on packed snow and ice. Not sure if they'd do much in heavy stuff, haven't had an opportunity to try them out that way. Also, I haven't read the new chain laws to see if they qualify completely as "Chains" for that condition. Years ago they were iffy, depending on the HP that saw them. Some saw them as valuable and others said, "Chain law says chains, not cables."
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:20 PM
4,690 posts, read 10,119,291 times
Reputation: 14881
Note that there ARE All-Season, M+S (Mountain and Snow, ie: Winter) tires on the market. I've put about 50k miles on a set of Nokian WR's that are just such a tire, run year-round, and will be replacing these tires with the Nokian WR2's (newer version of the same tire). You have the important first-line of contact in bad weather (they are the BEST rain tire I've used, but the only winter tire I've used), but can feel free to drive on 100* roads without worry.

I also carry enough chains for my drive wheels (4 for my 4x4 truck, 2 for my car), though I've only had them on for fitting and to learn how they mount while in my driveway. They're cheap, pack small and one of those things where it's better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:40 PM
207 posts, read 702,724 times
Reputation: 93
Thanks for the advice. I priced the Bridgestone Blizzaks at 116 each. The guy at Plain Tires in Gillette said they were pretty popular. He recommended the Firestone Winterforce for 75 each. A set of 4 mounted and balanced is $315. That would make mounted and balanced per tire at $22. I figured most stores have pretty much the same price. ElkHunter, funny you should mention the pileup, I remember not too long ago in FL there was a pileup because of fog. Here's the video:


All you could hear was cars slamming into each other. Here's another doing a youtube search using polk smoke pileup

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