Are Trucks Good In Snow? (Which Ones Aren’t)


Are Trucks Good In Snow? (Which Ones Aren’t)

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Are you tired of constantly getting stuck or sliding all over the road every time that it snows? 

Are you tired of not being able to leave your driveway because the snow plows covered the end of it with snow so deep no car could get through it?

If you are having these or other issues during the nasty winter weather you might be wondering if getting a truck will fix all of these issues. 

Will a truck really be very good in the snow? 

A 4WD truck will allow you to get around in snow a lot better than any regular car will. You can easily get through snow drifts or piles without getting stuck and can also make it up hills that your car would have laughed at before. 

Of course having a big four wheel drive truck doesn’t mean you can drive however you want in the snow. You will still have to stop and also control the vehicle on turns which isn’t any easier in a truck than in any other vehicle. 

Despite trucks not stopping or turning better in snow, being able to accelerate or get through much deeper snow than any other vehicle (assuming the truck is 4WD) does mean that trucks are absolutely good in snow. 

Another important feature of any vehicle that you are using in the snow is the tires. 

If your tires are bald then it won’t matter which vehicle that you are driving… it won’t be very good in the snow! 

To see the most popular truck accessories on the market just click here. 

What Makes A Car Good In Snow?

The features on a vehicle (including the type of tires) are vitally important while driving in the snow. Before going deeper into the subject of which trucks are good in snow, let’s first take a look at what makes a car good in snow.

1. Winter Tires

All-season tires have some drawbacks which is why they make winter tires specifically for use in the snowy/icy season. These all-season tires are best made for temperatures above 45 degrees and hence when it is freezing outside, the rubber in the tire becomes harder and makes them dangerous to rely on. 

Winter tires are more flexible, pliable at low temperatures, which means they will handle gripping the snow or ice a lot better. 

If you live somewhere that only has a little bit of snow or ice then all season tires should be fine, however if you live in a location that has multiple months of large snowfalls and freezing temps then investing in snow tires for that season is a good idea. 

2. Drive Systems

There are four types of drive systems with different features that will have a great effect on how the vehicle handles the snow. 

• Front-Wheel Drive (FWD): As the name suggests, front wheel drive vehicles are pulled around by the front wheel. In slippery conditions this will help keep your car moving forward and will also help you not to spin out as much. 

• Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD):  Typically heavy trucks, vans, or SUVs will have a RWD system as it allows them to haul more weight. For winter driving RWD is the worst possible drive system. 

• All-Wheel Drive (AWD): In this type of drive, the power generally goes to the tire with the least traction. Consumes less fuel. This is automatic.

• Four-Wheel Drive (4WD): This kind of drive stops the speeds of the front and rear axles together making the wheel with the least traction spin as fast as the counterpart on its opposite axle. This increases the traction twice as much as the two-wheel drive. 

This is more fuel-consuming but is a great option for snowy conditions.

Of course, the all-wheel-drive and the four-wheel-drive systems both give more traction than the two wheel drive respectively.

Trucks that use AWD or 4WD are generally good in snow. 

The two-wheel-drive trucks (almost always RWD) fail miserably in snowy or slippery regions. They have limited control as most of the trucks have rear-wheel drive, which can lead to sliding or even skidding in the snow. 

Even weight distribution also plays an important role in deciding whether a car is good in snow or not. 

SUVs are generally preferred in snowy areas or off-road conditions owing to their shorter wheelbases and balanced weight distribution. 

However if you are driving through a lot of snow nothing beats a 4WD truck. 

Factors That Make Trucks Good In The Snow 

You could just take my word for it that trucks are good in the snow but I wanted to give you a few reasons that I feel trucks are a great choice for snow driving. 

Each of these factors may or may not affect you depending on your location and where you will be driving at but they are important considerations. 

• High Ground Clearance

Trucks or pickup trucks sit at least 8 inches off the ground (for the smallest trucks) and multiple feet for larger or jacked up trucks. 

This high ground clearance acts as a major advantage while trying to move around after recent snowfall or when trying to get out of your plowed in driveway. 

High ground clearance can make the difference between you getting through that drifted pile of snow or getting stuck in it! 

• Type Of Drive Train

Trucks with AWD or 4WD work well in snow whereas RWD trucks will get stuck more often than even front wheel drive cars. 

If your truck doesn’t have AWD or 4WD then it won’t handle the snow very well at all. 

• Longer Wheelbases

Trucks have longer wheelbases that allow slowing down the starting of a spin or a skid. This further gives the driver the time to take the situation in control and prevent any accidents in the snow.

Problematic Factors For Trucks In Snow 

Just as there are some good things about trucks in snow there are some bad things as well. 

• Weight Distribution

Trucks have their weight distributed mostly towards their front. This might create a problem while driving in snow especially if the truck is RWD. 

It might lose its traction and end up spinning out of control. 

To solve this problem, truck owners often add sand bags in the bed of the truck in order to distribute the weight evenly throughout.

• Rear-Wheel-Drive 

Most of the trucks on the road have a rear-wheel-drive system. Combining this factor with its frontal weight distribution means that traction is the least on the tires that are driving the vehicle. This is also solved by adding weights in the rear end.

The problem with adding temporary weights at the rear end is that any sort of disruption while driving might destroy the dynamic of the vehicle, and the vehicle might spin out. 

As mentioned above if your truck is RWD it won’t handle well in the snow so only get an AWD or 4WD truck if you intend on driving with it in the snow very often. 

Conclusion

Trucks that are AWD or 4WD will handle great in the snow and because of the high ground clearance can easily handle drifts that are multiple feet in depth! 

If your truck is RWD however it will not handle well at all in the snow and you will likely find yourself wishing you had a different vehicle instead. 

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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