Pendleton Tire Dealer offers free studded tires, if you need them.

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.

Scott Sullivan
Pendleton Tire Factory
Pendleton, Oregon

3 Bills proposed in 2013 Oregon Legislative Session to Fee Studded Tires

Three bills are being proposed during the 2013 Legislative Session to regulate and/or fee studded tire use.

These comments rate the effectiveness of these attempts to put the cost of studded tire damage on the persons responsible for these burdensome costs.  State law requires that people who compromise our roads pay for any damage they’re responsible for.  This law has never been enforced due to special interest (Les Schwab & the NW Tire Dealers Assoc.) influencing legislators and blocking attempts to fee or ban studded tires.

House Bill 2277
Directs the Oregon Department of Transportation to determine biennially the amount of damage from the use of studded tires and the number of drivers using them, requires a permit to use studded tires which bears  the cost, and creates a traffic offense of operating motor vehicle with studded tires without a permit, punishable by a maximum fine of $500.
Sponsors: Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland

Pros:  This has the potential make users pay if ODOT realistically asseses the true cost of studded tire damage.  In conversations with Lucy Moore, head of ODOT’s Maintenance she told me it’s probably “$500,000,000 in damage every year”.  If they use the “we repair $11 million in damage every year”, that’s not the costs, that just what they spend.  ODOT has backlogged over a billion dollars in studded tire damaged road maintenance.  The system could be as simple as the snow-park permit.

Con: It doesn’t address the lack of necessity for studded tires most of the 5 months they are in use.  Drivers from out of state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.

Conclusion: Of the three bills this has the greatest potential to make studded tire users pay for the damage they cause and reduce the use of the studded tires.

House Bill 2278
Imposes a per tire $10 fee, collected by tire dealers when they sell a new tire with studs or install studs in a tire.  The bill doesn’t apply to retractable studded tires.
Sponsors: Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland; Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland; and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton.

Pro: At least studded tire users are being forced to pay something.

Con: The charge is inadequate to  cover damage nor deter purchases. Does not charge the people who currently have studded tires.  Drivers can buy studs in border states or used tire on Craigslist and not pay the state fee.   Drivers from out of state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.  Out-of-state truckers pay for using our roads and so should studded tire users. Retractable studded tires should be included in the bill.  Once you’ve paid the fee, you feel entitled to continue to use your studded tires, whereas with a yearly fee you may decide in the 2nd year studs aren’t really necessary.

Conclusion:  This bill has too many drawbacks to even be considered.

House Bill 2397
Imposes a fee, collected by tire dealers when they sell a new tire with studs or install studs in a tire. Amount of fee is to be determined during the session.  The bill would not apply to retractable studded tires.
Sponsors: Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie; Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland; Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland; Rep. Chris Harker, D-Beaverton; Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene; Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland.

Pro: At least studded tire users are being asked to pay something. If the fee were $300 or $400 (the cost of studless tires) then it has potential to incentivize drivers to choose something other than road damaging studded tires.

Con: Does not charge the people who currently have studded tires.  One could buy studs in border states or used studded tires on Craigslist and avoid paying the state fee.  Drivers from out-of- state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.  Retractable studded tires are studded tires and should be included in the bill.

Conclusion:      Overtime, and with a realistic fee, this bill would address some of the issues regarding damage from studded tires and the cost to repair the roads.

In Summary the best solution is to ban studded tires and force users to switch to modern studless snow and ice tires.  They have proven to outperform studded tires in a wider range of winter driving conditions without the road damage and the safety issues regarding rutted roads.
Your support is important please write you legislator and tell them how you feel about studded tire use in Oregon.
Thanks for your support
Jeff Bernards

Spokane Editorial Board Recommends Banning Studded Tires

In a city that gets more Snow & Ice, than most of Oregon. the Spokesman-Review editorial board recommends that Studded tires be banned.  With shrinking road maintenance money available, it’s time to protect our valuable infrastructure, it’s past time.  Special interest, mainly Les Schwab and the NW Tire Dealers Association have allowed their unsustainable business model to be continually subsidized by the public.  Not only do studded tires cut road life in half, roughed up &  rutted roads cut tire life for all of us.  It’s time to send these special interest businesses a message by BOYCOTTING LES SCHWAB & WRITE YOUR LEGISLATOR and tell them you want this crucial issue resolved.

Read the Spokesman-Review story HERE

Portland Tribune Prints Our Piece on Environmental Damage from Studded Tires

Read Here

Be sure to post your comments to the article!


Jeff Bernards

chief petitioner

Oregonian Editorial Board Reverses Support for Studded Tire Ban

The Oregonian Editorial Board reversed their support for a studded tire ban in today’s paper:

An effort to place a studded-tire ban on the November ballot fizzled last week, when backers failed to turn in enough signatures by the state’s filing deadline. Unfortunately, a fight could be looming anyway, as the man behind the proposed ban says he’ll bring the matter to the Legislature, which has turned aside numerous such attempts in the past.

Here’s hoping for legislative consistency.

Essentially the Op Ed says that studded tire users should get a little more traction a couple days a year, while we have to hydroplane in ruts year round. Something doesn’t seem right about that.

I asked Lucy Moore, ODOT’s maintenance person, about the accuracy of the $40 million damage estimate,  her response was that it’s probably closer to $500 million.

If the cost were so low, wouldn’t ODOT’s $4 billion annual budget afford the fixing of studded tire ruts. That’s only 1% of the budget, there shouldn’t be any ruts if they are following through with that level of maintenance.

The Oregonian Editorial Board wants to maintain the status quo–a system that is highly unfair for the 84% of us who do not use studded tires.  The 16% of drivers that use studded tires need to to pay for the undue burden they cause to our roadways, just as truckers pay for their impact via a Weight-Mileage tax.  It’s time studded tire users pay their way.

Senator Ted Ferrioli of Baker and Eastern Oregon uses stud-less snow tires to attend session in January, he thinks they work fine.

Les Schwab’s business interest is behind the failure of the Legislature to act on this issue. A Les Schwab tire dealer chaired the Transportation Committee that failed to act on the proposed inadequate point of sale fee of $12.

One studded tire chews up a half to three quarters of a ton of asphalt over it’s life.  Studded tire use in Portland cuts our road life in half.  Studded tire use poses serious environmental hazards, spewing asphalt dust into our lungs.  We cannot afford these environmental impacts any longer.

Before Bend Bulletin’s Erik Lukens was hired as as the Oregonian’s new Editorial Page Editor, the Editorial Board endorsed our Initiative.

I spoke at the Democrats of Deschutes County meeting, 80% of the room wanted studded tires banned. I gathered signatures in Bend too, I got 75 signatures at an event only 2 people wouldn’t sign. I gathered 3000 signatures myself and talked with lots of people, the vast majority want studded tires banned. The residents of Deschutes county care about our infrastructure.

Please comment on the article with your take on the issue.


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