In general, trucks perform better in the snow than the average car due to the increased weight, bigger tires, and higher clearance. Most trucks are four-wheel drive, which gives you an advantage when finding traction in slippery conditions.
Are Pickup Trucks Good In Snow?
A pickup truck qualifies as a good option for driving in the snow. They have great weight distribution, and most are four-wheel drive which enables them to find traction on different types of road surfaces in winter weather. Some pickup trucks even have a traction control feature to find extra grip, perfect for winter driving when there is deep snow and slippery ice.
One of the most important features of pickup trucks is the all-wheel-drive setting that powers the four wheels at once. Having the front wheels as well as the rear wheels being powered at the same time helps increase grip while off-roading and on snow.
One thing to keep in mind is the weight distribution in pickup trucks. They are designed to carry heavy equipment on the back, and therefore it is best to have a full load for maximum traction.
The extra weight on the back helps push down on the back tires, increasing the grip on snow and ice. This helps reduce the chance of the wheels spinning, which can cause you to lose control.
There are a number of things you can do to your truck to make it perform even better in inclement weather. Snow tires are specifically designed to handle winter weather with deep grooves and special materials that increase tire grip.
If snow tires are too expensive, you can opt for the cheaper option of snow chains. They are quite simple to attach to your wheels and mean that you don’t need to purchase a completely new set of winter tires for the cold weather.
Are They Better Than Cars And SUVs?
You might think a bigger vehicle would be better for tackling the snow but are trucks actually better than cars? An argument can be made for each type of vehicle, which each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But which vehicle comes out on top overall?
Let’s start by comparing the features of a pickup truck compared to an SUV. Pickup trucks, in general, have more power mainly because they usually weigh more and are used to carry heavy loads. But in snow, more power is not actually a good thing. Increased horsepower will make it more likely for the car’s wheels to spin and cause you to have little or no traction in icy conditions.
When it comes to traction control, both the SUV and pickup truck have this feature as standard. This helps with stability and control in less favorable driving conditions.
Weight plays an important role in maintaining grip in heavy snow and bad weather. The truck comes out on top in this category, with the average truck weighing somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds and the average SUV weighing between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds.
The weight balance, on the other hand, is a different story. The pickup truck is front-heavy, meaning an imbalance of weight, resulting in skidding in slippery weather. The SUV has its weight distributed more evenly, so it will have better control when turning the steering wheel and braking.
Clearance from the ground is another important factor to consider for winter driving. The pickup truck has high ground clearance compared to the SUV, which is ideal for pushing through large amounts of snow. Trucks are also usually capable of increasing their ground clearance even more, which is ideal for when there is especially heavy snow falling.
With respect to tire grip, there isn’t a clear winner between the pickup truck and the SUV. The biggest determinant of tire grip is the type of tires that the vehicle has. All-season tires are good in the snow for both types of vehicles and will increase traction compared to the standard wheels.
The argument for cars mainly revolves around their ability to be more nimble than many trucks. They can maneuver around smaller spaces which is ideal for getting around vehicles stuck in the snow. They are also closer to the ground, which can help with control in poor conditions. Before choosing the right vehicle for you, you have to way up the pros and cons of each type of vehicle to decide what’s best for you.
Are 4WD Trucks Good In Snow?
Four-wheel drive trucks are useful in the snow as it gives the vehicle more power to start moving. Having power on all wheels reduces getting stuck in muddy, icy, and snowy weather.
If you compare 4WD with rear-wheel drive, the difference is clear. You have twice the power in the wheels, making you twice as likely to get moving in bad weather. In rear-wheel-drive vehicles, only the rear axle is powered by the engine. The same goes for front-wheel-drive cars that rely solely on the front two wheels to get going.
What To Expect When Driving A Truck In Snow
When driving a pickup truck in snow, you can expect to have increased visibility and the ability to power through heavy snow. This is mainly due to the ground clearance that comes with pickup trucks. You sit much higher up, which helps you see the road in front while lifting the truck’s base over the falling snow. This, as well as the all-wheel-drive feature, makes it an ideal snow vehicle.
You won’t have a massive difference in overall traction compared to other vehicle types. For this, the most important factor is getting a good set of winter tires. They are specially designed for driving during the winter months and are essential in places where there is frequent heavy snowfall.
How To Make A 2WD Truck Better In The Snow
The most effective way to make a 2WD truck drive better in the snow is to put a lot of weight into the back of the truck. Weight pushing down on the rear axle will enable the truck to find better traction on an icy road and make the wheels less likely to spin.
Another thing you can do is to make sure your tires are in optimal condition. This involves checking the rotation and balance of each tire and making sure they are inflated properly. Winter tires will also help with traction in 2wd trucks.
Why Are Trucks Better In The Snow?
There are a number of features found in pickup trucks that makes them an ideal vehicle for driving in the snow. They usually have either 4WD or AWD, which helps the vehicle move on slippery surfaces. The increased clearance from the ground allows you to glide over heavy snowfall without the worry of getting stuck, and you have much better visibility of the road ahead from sitting a lot higher up.
There are, however, other factors that come into play choosing a vehicle for snowy conditions. Comfort and personal preference are important elements to consider before deciding what works for you. For example, a truck will give you more power than a car with higher clearance, ideal for deep snow. On the other hand, a car will give you more control as the vehicle is smaller and closer to the ground.
Best Trucks In Snow 2022
Now that you know a little more about the benefits of pickup trucks as a vehicle ideal for the winter months. Here is a list of the trucks that handle snow the best.
Toyota Tundra 4×4
The Toyota Tundra has garnered a reputation as an extremely durable truck capable of handling all types of weather in the winter months. With this truck, you will be sure to get home safely from work when there is a blizzard blowing outside.
Toyota Tacoma 4×4
The Toyota Tacoma is an ideal option for those that want all the benefits of a truck but want something slightly smaller. It is good for first-time truck drivers and is popular as a family vehicle. It has four doors, and the resale value is very high.
The Chevrolet Colorado is another great option as a vehicle designed for winter driving. It comes with 4WD and four doors making it reliable in unfavorable conditions and will be sure to get you from A to B while the snow is falling.
The Honda Ridgeline has the best of both worlds. It has all the benefits of driving a truck in the snow without sacrificing the comfort and drivability you find in an everyday car. It comes with AWD and provides a more controlled driving experience putting your mind at ease while driving in the snow.
Ford F-150 4×4
The Ford F-150 speaks for itself, being the best-selling vehicle in America. It is a vehicle monster capable of handling almost any condition. With 4WD and four doors, it’s designed for even the harshest winters.