I've driven everything you could ever think of in the snow and the
absolute best was a Jeep Grand Cherokee with full time 4wd and a new
set of Wrangler AT/S tires. A pickup truck isn't balanced as well as
But, to answer your question, I'd take the 4wd truck over the little
front wheel drive car.
I like what Eric in North TX says: You either can or you can't. I
used to drive tow trucks for a living and I can't remember how many
times I'd get called to a car stuck in the snow, show up, and just
drive it out of the hole it was in. If that didn't work, 5 minutes
with a shovel and it'd come right out. I'd charge $75 without even
pulling out a winch cable.
Of course, I get to drive a Corvette home tonight in 4" of snow so if
this is my last post to this newsgroup then you can discount what I
On Feb 6, 3:14 pm, Windswept@home (Jack) wrote:
I hear what you're saying, but sometimes you just "can't." I have to
confess to having driven a Porsche 944 with summer tires in the snow a
few times, and it helps to know your limitations. The car is
excellently balanced, but if you can't move, it doesn't matter.
Since the girlie has been driving the car lately, I have invested in
snow tires. I don't feel the need to inflict my stupidity on others :)
The Reverend Natural Light wrote:
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 20:14:29 GMT, Windswept@home (Jack) wrote:
Four inches ? That's nothing. A pickup truck with good tires can
handle that easily. In my opinion spending the extra money on
4WD is a waste of money if all you are concerned with is 4".
As far as your question. Neither front wheel drive or 4WD is needed
for four inches of snow. Bump the scenario up to eight inches and the
4WD easily outperforms the front wheel drive.
One factor that is often ignored is the weight of the vehicle. If you
are going to get stuck, and this will happen, it is best to get stuck
with a light vehicle. Many times I have pushed myself out of a
situation whereas this wouldn't be possible with a heavier vehicle.
Worst to best:
1.Anything with bald tires
3.Rear drive front engine car
5.Rear engine rear drive
I've owned 4wd's since 1975, I think I'm on my 8th one. IMHO, 4 wd is
over-rated for the average person. I worked construction for a long time, 4
wd was almost a must, if you wanted to get close to the job site, plus you
pretty much needed a p/u to haul tools/ladders.
I plow snow for ODOT, in the Northeast. I'm always on expressways. I
believe most accidents and roll-overs I see or have to radio in are SUV's
or a 4 wd of kind. I don't have any statistics, nor do I know where to find
them. But, I truly believe most people with a 4wd believe they're driving a
tank. A 4 wd is great for starting out in the snow, they can be an asset
going around curves, the thing is with a 4 wd, you have to use the
accelerator to pull the vehicle through the curve. Most people hit the
brakes on curves, which a 4 wd doesn't stop any better than a 2 wd.
No matter what you drive, always drive for the conditions. Too many people
think just because there is a 65 (or ?) mph limit in areas, that you can
and should drive it.
Don't become a statistic.
IME there's a noticeable difference between 1" and 4" of snow as far
as driving in it goes. At 1" most any vehicle will have little problem
(Snow, not ice) At 4 or 5 inches, depending on consistency of the snow,
some vehicles will have trouble. My old 3/4 ton 2WD pickup did not have
the greatest traction compared to our tiny Ford Aspire, but when the snow
is more than about 6" or so and sloppy, the limited ground
clearance of the car lets it to just sink into the snow and get stuck.
On the other hand, the pickup, having 16 1/2" rims, large tires, and
about 15" of ground clearance, could usually be coaxed to move with
a little finesse. FWIW that truck had a posi rear axle too. Anyway,
to answer your question more directly, if it was less than 4" of snow
the FWD car would probably be superior to a 2wd pickup.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf.lonestar.org
A truck with weight in the bed (sandbags or whatever) will get better
4 wheel drive will get better traction than 2 wheel drive.
Limited slip "Positraction" will get better traction. This makes both wheels
turn even when one wheel is slipping.
Traction tires or snow tires will get better traction. (Studded tires will
get better traction on ice, but they can still slide on hills!)
And then there is something about a Jeep... For some reason these tend to
get better traction than a pick-up. I've seen them in pulling contests in
mud. They seem to do better, but I have no idea why?
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