Get A Grip With Snow Studs
Winter driving can be treacherous, and without the proper precautions it can be deadly. The key to safe winter driving is traction, and one of the best ways to retain traction is through the use of snow studs. These small studs, when inserted into a winter tire, help to maintain grip on icy and snow-covered roads. What Are Snow Studs? Snow studs
are composed of two parts. An outer metal screw is inserted into the tire, where it holds in place a small bit, generally made from extremely hard tungsten carbide. The bit remains about three millimeters from the surface of the tire, and careful calibration of the stud allows this protrusion length to remain nearly constant through the life of the tire. In total, between 60 and 120 of these studs are inserted into each tire.
Where Do I Start?
There are several considerations to keep in mind when deciding to purchase snow studs. First, laws regarding the legal status of studded tires vary by state. Some states only allow studded tires during certain winter months, others permit their use year-round, and others have banned studded tires entirely, regardless of the time of year. Make sure that you're familiar with your state laws before purchasing snow studs.
If your state permits studded tires, you next need to decide which studs are right for you and your vehicle. Studs come in a number of sizes, as well as types designed for specific applications. There are studs designed for use in racing, as well as those made solely for driving on ice. The length of the studs you purchase must also be matched to the tread depth of the tires you wish to use. Snow studs are classified by size, from HM-11 to HM-35.
How Do I Install Them?
Using just a drill and provided tools, installing snow studs is an easy process. Begin by finding a comfortable chair and holding the tire between your legs. Lay out the pattern you wish to place your studs in, marking with chalk as you go, and simply screw the studs in. When winter is over, removing the studs follows the same simple procedure. Unscrew each stud, and be sure to store them in a safe place until next winter.
Should I Use Studs?
So long as state laws permit, a set of studded tires can be a great investment for anyone living in states that experience harsh winters. Because they are relatively inexpensive and very durable, they are a worthy consideration to ensure that you have the maximum grip when snowflakes start to fly. Snow studs can also be used in a range of other applications, including motorcycles, snowblowers, tractors, boots and more. Anywhere loss of traction and grip is an issue, studs may be a valuable solution.