As a tire dealer and nearly life long resident in eastern Oregon I would like to comment on this debate. Often we continue to do things just because we have always done it that way. Personally I have never owned studded tires. I have nearly always owned a 4WD vehicle and never felt the need for studs. That said, the advances in tire tech over the past even 10 years have made studs as out dated as a TV with no remote control! Several tire manufacturer’s world wide have brought to market new technology that far surpasses the results of nearly every studded tire. 3-D sipping, Rubber compounds that get more grip the colder it gets, Silica glass embedded in the rubber, just to name a few. Lots of you remember the walnut shell and sawdust tires back in the day, Silica performs the same way. Here in Pendleton we get a 114″to 112″ ice storm every few years, we had one New Years Day 2013. I was out on the paved roads of Umatilla county and it was SLICK. My 4WD 112ton pick up wears a set of Nokian Rotiiva tires made in Finland. I was amazed at how well I got around – I could honestly tell the difference. Met a friend who was running new studded tires on his 4WD 112ton pickup and he was not doing any better than I was.
Second point to running non studded tires designed to run all year long is, saving the cost of winter and spring change overs, or buying a second set of wheels, let alone the hours spend with your car in the long lines for change over because everyone else picked the same day to have their tires swapped. I have over several years challenged customers to try a studdable tire un-studded and if they felt that they did not get around just as well without studs bring them back and I would stud them for free. I have never studded even one of those tires.
All things change over time with technology. Let’s let the tire industry advance as well. Here is a great example: When I was in high school in the mid 70′s no one had a cell phone, let alone one that could access the internet or adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere.
Change can be good.
If anyone has questions look me up on your cell phone and give me a call, I’ll be happy to answer anything I can.
Pendleton Tire Factory