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Posted: 12/30/2015 6:55:45 AM EDT
The reason I ask this is because I had always heard, from different people, that the reason the JEEP Willys would "go anywhere" was because of its narrow tires. It probably didn't hurt that their tread pattern wasn't far off from that of a tractor either.

Narrow or wide tires for traction through snow or mud? Given that both sets are All Terrain tires with good tread.

I understand that there are extremes for each that would perform poorly and that snow and mud are two different beasts. I'm just looking at this from a good all around perspective.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 6:58:17 AM EDT
I can't attest for the snow attributes of a tire, but as far as mud, the answer is yes

Different types of mud will call for a different tire.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:02:16 AM EDT
Narrow if you can grab solid ground.  Wide if you can't.  Mud consistency is too variable to stick with one or the other in my opinion.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:05:39 AM EDT
As stated in the OP, I'm not looking for the perfect tire, just the best all around tire.

Lets say you are choosing between an 8.5" wide tire and a 12.5" wide tire. Both with the same tread pattern.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:07:19 AM EDT
I know that if you watch a World Rally Championship race on snow, the tires look like they are about 6" wide.  But the trucks that are used to cross the arctic are about 18" wide.  I think it completely depends on what you are trying to do and what the conditions are.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:09:43 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Silas:
As stated in the OP, I'm not looking for the perfect tire, just the best all around tire.

Lets say you are choosing between an 8.5" wide tire and a 12.5" wide tire. Both with the same tread pattern.
View Quote


Then go with a 10.5" tire if you want all around.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:11:34 AM EDT
There's probably a reason most aggressive treads are built into wider tires.  If it wasn't for the flotation factor of a wider tire, AT's would totally suck in mud around here. A narrow bogger type tire might work well on a light vehicle like a Jeep, but on a heavier vehicle, you'd stand a good chance of burying the axle.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:12:54 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ffcol:


Then go with a 10.5" tire if you want all around.
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Originally Posted By ffcol:
Originally Posted By Silas:
As stated in the OP, I'm not looking for the perfect tire, just the best all around tire.

Lets say you are choosing between an 8.5" wide tire and a 12.5" wide tire. Both with the same tread pattern.


Then go with a 10.5" tire if you want all around.


That's what I have now.  

Again, you are choosing between 8.5" or 12.5" only.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:28:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:31:19 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By johnnypantz:

I can't attest for the snow attributes of a tire, but as far as mud, the answer is yes

Different types of mud will call for a different tire.
View Quote


There is no real cut & dried answer for Virginia Mud (tm).
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:48:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2015 7:50:14 AM EDT by CJan_NH]
No idea about mud, but in the snow you want the narrowest tires you can get away with: Tire Rack Winter Tire Tech

The stock all season tire size on my current car for example is 225/50R16, and the recommended winter tire size is 195/60R15:


I opt for a smaller wheel and higher profile tire when buying snows. Been doing it this way for over twenty years and it has served me well.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:54:17 AM EDT
There's some pretty amazing old footage of Model -T's going through some crazy mud that would stop most modern non 4wd vehicles.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:57:48 AM EDT
It depends on the weight of the vechicle. The heavier the vechicle the wider the tires.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 7:59:11 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
No idea about mud, but in the snow you want the narrowest tires you can get away with: Tire Rack Winter Tire Tech

The stock all season tire size on my current car for example is 225/50R16, and the recommended winter tire size is 195/60R15:

http://i.imgur.com/XCFnsgP.jpg
I opt for a smaller wheel and higher profile tire when buying snows. Been doing it this way for over twenty years and it has served me well.
View Quote



this for snow

narrow and tall - most snow tires have a small tread pattern


mud is a whole different story
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:02:48 AM EDT
Firstly, you should be more concerned with the tread pattern. Then it would be your intended use. For snow, and wet pavement in general, you want a tire with plenty of siping. This gives you much better traction than a tire that has none. For example, a BFG AT will perform better than the BFG MT in snow as well as wet pavement in spite of not having the more aggressive tread pattern. If I remember correctly, the consensus is that narrow works better on wet and snow pavement as far as resistance to hydroplaning is concerned.

Mud, well, I doubt you get many people to agree. I will say that if you have a light vehicle, such as a Jeep or a Tacoma, then it is my opinion that a narrower tire is better. If you have a heavy vehicle, then you want a wider tire. A heavy vehicle being a full size truck or SUV.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:04:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2015 8:06:34 AM EDT by ar-jedi]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1Bigdog:
It depends on the weight of the vechicle. The heavier the vechicle the wider the tires.
View Quote


that's not the question the OP asked.

(on a given vehicle,) "what does better in the snow/mud, narrow or wide tires"?

the general answer is narrower tires -- contact patch ground pressure is higher.

the narrower tires however suffer higher treadwear rate, and very poor performance in sand and deep sloppy mud.

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:05:35 AM EDT
Look at vehicles designed to go long distances off road. Camel Trophy is a great place to start.

Tall narrow tires win almost every time.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:09:22 AM EDT
Pizza cutters, more weight per square inch.

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Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:12:10 AM EDT
Pizza cutters!! Ran 235/85/16s on my Rovers for a long time :)
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:24:58 AM EDT
Not sure if they make what you will eventually be looking for but the Cooper tire I bought last year have made a world of difference on my wife's Edge.

Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:34:25 AM EDT
FWIW: My dad used to brag about how easily his old VW Bug (original not the new ones) would get around in the snow with it's tall skinny tires. He said the tires would jusst slice through the snow instead of trying to ride up on it.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:47:41 AM EDT
Narrower is better, but the compound and tread design is more important.

Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:49:21 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By milecreekmustang:
I know that if you watch a World Rally Championship race on snow, the tires look like they are about 6" wide.  But the trucks that are used to cross the arctic are about 18" wide.  I think it completely depends on what you are trying to do and what the conditions are.
View Quote
Racers can replace tires at will. Arctic guy, not so much.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:50:47 AM EDT
Narrow tires are pretty much the off road standard everywhere in the world except here.  There are a couple notable exceptions and they are highly specialized vehicles with super low gearing or massive horsepower.  Unfortunately here in 'merica all the rage is wide and low profile which is just dumb.  I saw a guy with these wide tires stuck in his flat driveway in 4" of snow a while back in a 3/4 ton 4x4.  

There has been considerable research that shows that for the majority of vehicles narrower tires are better.  No you can't navigate bottomless mud and snow with them, but unless you have a huge amount of horsepower, or gigantic tires and super low gearing you can't do it with wide tires either.  It's also been shown that a large narrow tire aired down will have just as large of a contract patch as a large wide tire aired down.

Look at old videos of model As driving through muck holes that would leave most bro dozers stuck.

It pisses me off to no end that you can get great serious off road tires in narrow sizes everywhere in the world except here.  I'd love to have 34-36" by 9.5-10.5" on my truck, but the only option left now is the Super Swamper and they tend to shed giant tread block when used on the highway.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:50:57 AM EDT
On road snow? Pizza cutter.

Off road deep snow? Wide, low pressure.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 8:54:07 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wirebrush:
Narrow tires are pretty much the off road standard everywhere in the world except here.  There are a couple notable exceptions and they are highly specialized vehicles with super low gearing or massive horsepower.  Unfortunately here in 'merica all the rage is wide and low profile which is just dumb.  I saw a guy with these wide tires stuck in his flat driveway in 4" of snow a while back in a 3/4 ton 4x4.  

There has been considerable research that shows that for the majority of vehicles narrower tires are better.  No you can't navigate bottomless mud and snow with them, but unless you have a huge amount of horsepower, or gigantic tires and super low gearing you can't do it with wide tires either.  It's also been shown that a large narrow tire aired down will have just as large of a contract patch as a large wide tire aired down.

Look at old videos of model As driving through muck holes that would leave most bro dozers stuck.

It pisses me off to no end that you can get great serious off road tires in narrow sizes everywhere in the world except here.  I'd love to have 34-36" by 9.5-10.5" on my truck, but the only option left now is the Super Swamper and they tend to shed giant tread block when used on the highway.
View Quote


Exactly this
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:01:03 AM EDT
Depends on the area and ground. LOTS of factors.

lighter vehicle, more likely to go over stuff without sinking=wider tires may be better.

Heavier vehicle, going to sink regardless, narrower tires, less resistance to cutting through.

Example:  
A friend has a shortbox single cab gas Dodge pickup with 10.5" wide tires?  Last summer in some really soft ground he was breezing over top.

My Dodge Diesel, supercab with a longbox had 12.5" wide tires and I was sinking in like a mofo.  Pickup was that much heavier, wider tires didn't help much.  NOW....if I'd only had 9" wide tires....I probably woulda been scrawed.


In snow?  Almost always in snow it's better to have narrow tires, wider tires just have that much more area to cut through snow and get traction.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:01:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2015 10:04:11 AM EDT by w33b8t1]
Height is my first consideration.  Then tread pattern.  Then width.  

However, most full size truck weigh in at 3 plus tons. and a wider tire doesn't really matter too much in comparison to that old jeep your talking about.  Not to mention a modern truck has 350HP and can spin down to traction quite easily.

Obviously snow tires are still narrow as you want to have the most pressure you can, but it comes second or third to tread design and height for me.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:02:09 AM EDT
In the world of physics, in a mythical "ideal" world, it wouldn't matter.

But in the world of physics, as soon as you start modifying the conditions, things change.

If you have a hard relatively rough surface like a typical road, and rubbery tires, the larger foot print is better.

But in the world of mud where your coefficient of friction is less, the object is to dig through the slippery shit to get to something less slippery.

In order to cut through the mud, you need a narrower tire.

Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:04:10 AM EDT
Snow and ice narrow, most mud wide.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:09:03 AM EDT
Narrow increases the psi of the contact patch. Plenty of sipping for ice and you have a decent winter tire. If that tire also has a lug pattern that will clear mud then it's suitable for both. Regardless of the tire with modern over weight rigs you will sink out of sight in most mud without a shallow bottom.



The only place wide tires are any good is beaches and other stuff you are trying to float on top of.




I once drove an F150 over 40 miles of un plowed lake ice with 18 to 30 inches of snow. Thin tires would always be my choice unless your rig is ultra lightweight.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:18:19 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Racers can replace tires at will. Arctic guy, not so much.
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Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Originally Posted By milecreekmustang:
I know that if you watch a World Rally Championship race on snow, the tires look like they are about 6" wide.  But the trucks that are used to cross the arctic are about 18" wide.  I think it completely depends on what you are trying to do and what the conditions are.
Racers can replace tires at will. Arctic guy, not so much.


Has nothing to do with replacing tires.  Arctic trucks need flotation to stay on top of very deep snow.  The only way to drive over really deep snow of various consistency's is with really big baloon tires that require a huge amount of modification to the vehicle.    Rally cars are looking for the best traction in relatively shallow snow and mud.  Generally speaking the narrower the tire the less horsepower it requires to push it through the snow and mud(and the faster it can be pushed through the snow, mud, and water with the same horsepower) and the less stress is puts on the steering components.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:18:27 AM EDT
Pizza Cutters are usually my choice for anything I do.



Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:41:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2015 9:42:38 AM EDT by firemedic5586]
Like said above....

If you can get your rig to the bottom pizza cutters rule the roost!!!

If you can't get to the bottom you have to float over the top..

Can't reach the bottom........









You can touch the bottom..







Link Posted: 12/30/2015 9:59:21 AM EDT
Super swampers narrow and tall for the mud
Snow is narrow is better than wide and something like Blizzacks
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:03:56 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By firemedic5586:
Like said above....

If you can get your rig to the bottom pizza cutters rule the roost!!!

If you can't get to the bottom you have to float over the top..

View Quote


This.

If there is a bottom, and it's shallower than your axles, go narrow.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:05:51 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Storz:


Exactly this
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Originally Posted By Storz:
Originally Posted By Wirebrush:
Narrow tires are pretty much the off road standard everywhere in the world except here.  There are a couple notable exceptions and they are highly specialized vehicles with super low gearing or massive horsepower.  Unfortunately here in 'merica all the rage is wide and low profile which is just dumb.  I saw a guy with these wide tires stuck in his flat driveway in 4" of snow a while back in a 3/4 ton 4x4.  

There has been considerable research that shows that for the majority of vehicles narrower tires are better.  No you can't navigate bottomless mud and snow with them, but unless you have a huge amount of horsepower, or gigantic tires and super low gearing you can't do it with wide tires either.  It's also been shown that a large narrow tire aired down will have just as large of a contract patch as a large wide tire aired down.

Look at old videos of model As driving through muck holes that would leave most bro dozers stuck.

It pisses me off to no end that you can get great serious off road tires in narrow sizes everywhere in the world except here.  I'd love to have 34-36" by 9.5-10.5" on my truck, but the only option left now is the Super Swamper and they tend to shed giant tread block when used on the highway.


Exactly this


Yep. I've been running 33-9.5 BFG AT's on my fj40 for years now. I've got no idea what I'm going to do when this set wears out in the next couple years since BFG discontinued them. Simex makes some great tall-skinnies but you can't get them here and I don't want to run Swampers.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:11:24 AM EDT
This debate has been going for literally decades.
Wide for flotation, narrow to penetrate to something firm.
I chose wide since lifting a vehicle high enough to get those tall skinnies on is a bitch.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:14:11 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
On road snow? Pizza cutter.

Off road deep snow? Wide, low pressure.
View Quote


This.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:21:38 AM EDT
Depends on tire height. If you can't reach hard bottom narrow is no good.  mud you want large open tread to keep it clean, snow you want to keep some packed into the tread.

Link Posted: 12/30/2015 10:59:24 AM EDT
Wider tires help with flotation while a narrow tire will generally dig down to where there is traction.  One of the best mud tires I ever had has a Super Swamper LtB 34x10.50.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 11:08:38 AM EDT
I really wish some tire manufacturer(s) would take note and bring back some of the extinct tall/skinny sizes like the old 305/85R16 and q78-16 Buckshot mudders.  Simex sells some nice pizza cutters in the sizes I could really use just about everywhere except North America.  I'm tempted to look into importing a container full.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 11:47:13 AM EDT
For winter tire thin is better...more weight on a smaller area equals more grip.....I'd also opt for taller
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 12:33:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Silas:
The reason I ask this is because I had always heard, from different people, that the reason the JEEP Willys would "go anywhere" was because of its narrow tires. It probably didn't hurt that their tread pattern wasn't far off from that of a tractor either.

Narrow or wide tires for traction through snow or mud? Given that both sets are All Terrain tires with good tread.

I understand that there are extremes for each that would perform poorly and that snow and mud are two different beasts. I'm just looking at this from a good all around perspective.
View Quote



my experience growing up on a small cattle ranch in florida, and working for years in the game reserve has led me to this conclusion. wet fancy front yard that you don't want to tear up the wider the tire the better (this is why seed spreader trucks have tires about 25" wide). in the middle of no where and you want to get home tall skinny seems to sink down and find bottom, if there is a bottom (this is why most farm tractors have tall skinny tires). tall skinny has worked great for me in our clay, peat, and sugar sand.

my absolute favorite tires for my old daily driver have been 33x9.50r15 bf goodrich mud terrains (loud as shit, out of round, ect.), they quit making them about 10 years ago. of all the years i used that size and style tire i got my dd stuck once, since then i have had to run a wider tire and get stuck about once a year now. same roads, same pasture, same amounts of rain, everything has remained the same except the tires.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 12:35:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wirebrush:
I really wish some tire manufacturer(s) would take note and bring back some of the extinct tall/skinny sizes like the old 305/85R16 and q78-16 Buckshot mudders.  Simex sells some nice pizza cutters in the sizes I could really use just about everywhere except North America.  I'm tempted to look into importing a container full.
View Quote



super swamper still has q78 in bias tires. about 300 a tire though.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 12:47:05 PM EDT
I agree with the narrow tire, I leave up near the Canadian border, and have lots of snow.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 1:06:11 PM EDT
I'll add this...

Growing up my folks had a '78 4x4 3/4 ton GMC with tires that had 16.5 x 12.5" tires on it, with nice aggressive treads.... I believe they were super singles, unless there were a few tons of weight in the box it would get stuck in the snow on flat ground..

on the other hand, I once owned a 71 K5 Blazer with a Western plow up front, that I did plowing with on the side.. I put tall pizza cutters all they way around and I stuck a couple hundred pounds of lead under the back seat.. The thing would go through snow like there was no tomorrow. When I did get stuck I would have to climb out the back hatch, as the snow would be so high up along side the doors I couldn't open them...

As for playing in the mud.. I used to do that on my wheeler, I have big and wide Outlaws all the way around, and it holds it own in swamps and mud... If i put my Mattracks tracks on it, I own the mud and swamps.. On the flip side, you don't want to get a stuck with tracks on, it is the suck..


YMMV
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 1:11:28 PM EDT
Most of the plow guys up here use skinny tires. Smaller footprint means more psi of traction. Basically the opposite effect of a snowshoe.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 1:21:06 PM EDT
Its more about tread pattern and compound.
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 1:21:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2015 1:23:42 PM EDT by 1Bigdog]


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
that's not the question the OP asked.





(on a given vehicle,) "what does better in the snow/mud, narrow or wide tires"?





the general answer is narrower tires -- contact patch ground pressure is higher.





the narrower tires however suffer higher treadwear rate, and very poor performance in sand and deep sloppy mud.





ar-jedi


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Originally Posted By ar-jedi:





Originally Posted By 1Bigdog:


It depends on the weight of the vechicle. The heavier the vechicle the wider the tires.






that's not the question the OP asked.





(on a given vehicle,) "what does better in the snow/mud, narrow or wide tires"?





the general answer is narrower tires -- contact patch ground pressure is higher.





the narrower tires however suffer higher treadwear rate, and very poor performance in sand and deep sloppy mud.





ar-jedi





Actually I did answer the the OP's question.





The only thing the road surface sees is so many square inches of tire/track on top of it with so much weight on it per square inch.





If the coefficient of friction for the tire doesn't change from one example to another, then the best width of the tire for the weight of the vehicle will depend on the road surface. Dry is different from wet.  Wet is different from free surface water that has some depth.  Mud,snow or ice are each different each are different from everything else. The best weight per square inch of tire will be different for each situation.





There is no single answer that is always correct.  Generally a car manufacturer puts a tire on a car that is best all around know that the car will see it all.



But for general driving you do not want wide tires on a light vehicle or narrow tires on a heavy vehicle.
 
Link Posted: 12/30/2015 1:23:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CWO:
Its more about tread pattern and compound.
View Quote


That is true but all things being equal the narrower tire will cut through the snow down to the pavement better than the same tire in a wider size.
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