The Oregon Department of Transportation suggests that those who choose to use bolts — strong metal parts screwed directly into tires — may actually affect traction. The bolts are designed for very specific road conditions (and some tires) and can only be legally used in Oregon from November 1 to March 31. Being caught with studded tires before or after the set dates is a Class C violation and can result in a fine of up to $200. ODOT suggests that bolts be used exclusively on icy roads. If roads are wet or covered with fresh snow, tunnels may do more harm than good. Interestingly, some of the coldest states — including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan — ban studded tires, according to tirebuyer.com. ODOT encourages motorists to wait until conditions require spikes and recommends using alternatives such as chains or traction tires, which can cause less damage to the road. Kenny Harris, assistant manager of Gills Point S Tire in Bend, explained what he thinks is behind the notorious local potholes — and it`s not the studs he recommends for rear-wheel drive vehicles. “In my opinion, potholes are not due to bolts. I think it has to do with huge wooden trucks with huge chains and school buses with 30-pound chains. Not those little tunnels.
But what about the type of winter tires that come with metal studs? Are studded tires really necessary or are we just buying the hype? And are studs enough, or is jumping for a brand new set of winter tires really the only way to avoid winter road hazards? Studded tires have small metal parts that are inserted around the tire. They allow better traction on icy roads. Bolts must protrude at least 0.04 inches but no more than 0.06 inches beyond the tread, according to TripCheck. For those who do not know whether studs are necessary or not, they can contact a local specialist. Studding is available for as little as $15/tire (although drivers will need to purchase special studded tires), while winter tires typically cost between $100 and $400 each, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. People can remove the studs themselves. The cost of nailing varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle. And not all winter tires can have studs, so some drivers may also need to buy studded tires. Ask about prices when you make an appointment. Annual permits can also be purchased online at www.oregondmv.com/dmv2u. When you purchase an annual permit online, you will immediately receive a printable provisional approval by email. The preliminary permit can be used for up to 14 days until you receive the annual permit in the mail.
When it comes to easy travel, Harris believes bolts should be added to rear-wheel drive vehicles, but most other vehicles should be able to handle the terrain. “If you have rear-wheel drive and no bolts, you`re going to go crazy.” However, he pointed out that long distances in winter require more preparation – yes, even if you`re rocking a Subie. “When you cross the pass, you want crampons without crampons,” he said. While the study is recommended for long-distance travel, some larger vehicles should still be able to make the trip. “Any giant 4-wheeler, like a Toyota Tundra, should be fine.” Harris intervened in the debate about studs versus winter tires. “Of course, it is necessary to prepare your car for winter to some extent,” he explained. “We have bad weather.” What to do in preparation: “It depends on the vehicle. If you drive a 4×4 or all-wheel drive, you do well without a bolt. Subarus is an ideal vehicle for Bend. » During studded tires in Oregon from November 1 to 31.
March are allowed, there are other good alternatives that cause less damage to roads, including other types of traction tires and newer chains that are much easier to use, says ODOT. A 2014 study concluded that studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage to federal highways each year. Placing snow in the driveway or on the emergency lane is a danger to other road users and to our snowplow drivers. Pieces of snow and ice form an uneven road surface that can surprise the driver and cause accidents. Be vigilant at railway crossings. Power outages can also affect crossings. The crossing signals have a built-in backup power battery and should continue to operate for a short time in the event of a power failure. In the event of a prolonged power outage or other problem, the crossing arms automatically move to the “bottom” position. Railway undertakings shall have standardised procedures for such situations.
Never drive in a low position around the crossing arms. A train could arrive. From November 1 to March 31, drivers will be allowed to use studded tires for winter driving. If you see a “Snow Zone” sign while driving on Oregon highways, pay close attention to it! These panels provide valuable information during the winter months. Snow zone signs inform you about the current requirements for the use of chains and traction tires.