Skip to main content

Even when it’s warm out, it’s never too early to think about how you can prepare your truck for the winter months. Especially if you are someone who lives in a region with heavy snowfall and other winter conditions. Whether your pickup has four-wheel drive or just power going to two wheels, there are ways you can improve the driving experience when it gets cold out. And that is to equip your truck with winter tires. So, why exactly do you need snow tires?

Do trucks need snow tires?

Driving on roads that are covered in snow and ice can quickly become dangerous. Thankfully, tire companies have designed shoes for your truck that are made especially for those types of conditions. Even if you do have 4WD, snow tires can help you navigate tough conditions. Which is why many folks who deal with serious winter weather opt to have two sets of tires. Ones for summer and ones for winter. 

Snow tires can help you keep traction

The last thing you want is for your pickup truck to spin out of control. Winter tires can help you to avoid that happening. The tread is designed to be more aggressive, which means better traction. Without traction, you are not going to go the direction that you want. And that can be a terrifying feeling. 

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E compact pickup truck driving over a snowy field as the sun rises over a mountain
2022 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

If you are familiar with winter driving, you’ve likely seen a truck in a ditch from spinning out in the snow. It’s easy to feel overconfident when you have features like 4WD and a limited-slip differential. 

Winter tires are designed for cold temperatures

When temperatures drop below freezing, that can affect how well your tires perform. Modern winter tires have a 100% rubber-to-void ratio. And according to MotorTrend, that is leagues ahead of winter tires in the past. 

A truck plows snow, likely equipped with snow tires.
A truck plows some snow | Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Additionally, each tire manufacturer has a special compound that it uses to make winter tires. This helps the tire to maintain its optimal consistency while you drive on snow or ice. Some even have micro bubbles built into the compound, which absorb water that is on top of the ice. 

Snow tires may keep you from needing chains

Tire chains are a cheap and effective way to drive in winter conditions. But, they do require that you plan ahead before you go out into the cold. When you have snow tires installed, you will know you can drive with some additional confidence. Even if you may have to drive slow at times to manage the road conditions. 

A set of automatic tire chains, an alternative to winter tires.
This is a set of automatic tire chains in action | IFCAR

If the weather turns quickly, you won’t have to worry about getting out of your cab in order to put on chains. Much like you no longer have to exit your truck in order to operate locking hubs. That is, unless you are the proud owner of an older pickup. So really, snow tires do offer serious convenience. 

Which winter tires are best?

When it comes to tires, personal preference plays a large role. From Goodyear to Michelin, most manufacturers offer some kind of winter or snow tire designed for pickup trucks. So, just conduct the proper research, and if you have a preferred brand, that is likely a safe bet.