Colorado chain, traction law.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by larry_minn, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    It changed last yr I guess. In past going up mountain in winter we normally rode with a local gal who had a AWD with studded tires. Plus she used to live up there yr round. Now just has a cabin.
    Now I’m driving up there in 4wd.
    As I read the law. I do NOT have to chain up during traction issues. IF my tires are Mud & Snow tires? But I do with mild off road/ all season tires?
    But in either case I need to have at least one set of chains with me?
    I actually have avoided ever putting chains on lying in snow. ;). In a semi heated garage the few times I have put them on. With tarp on cement at worst...
    If they MUST be dedicated snow tires. Buying a basic set, junkyard rims, some tire shops offer free swapping winter, summer, with balance if you buy 4... Might be worth it. I’m hoping the overly aggressive tires might get me a pass.

    Just if I know law I might get by. Also if I don’t have to use chains unless really bad. I will buy cheap ones. If I expect to put 40 miles 4+ a yr. might as well get quality.
     
  2. wyntrout

    wyntrout

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    I did that in Germany because my apartment was the basement and my driveway was brick and my BMW 321i couldn't make it out in snow. I bought steel rims and snow/Winter tires for Winter. It made all of the difference in the world.
    I bought an Audi Quattro next and imported it to Maine, my next assignment. I bought 4 steel tires with snow tires mounted already from Tire Rack or something like that by mailorder... before online was a thing. That worked great in everything. All of MY vehicles have been AWD since 1985. From 1990 I had two Ford AWD Aerostars... one totaled and replaced when someone ran over us.
    I still have a 2 sets(4 total) of those snow cable/chains for my 2005 AWD GMC Savana, though I've never had to use them in the last 16 years. I do like playing in the snow with my van, though. I practice getting into skids or drifting and correcting whenever I get a chance. It's fun, too!
    We usually go to SW Colorado for Christmas, but probably not this year. Once in a while I got to play in the snow there.
    March 1986 on the way there to meet my prospective in-laws and get married, we drove from D.C. to the Durango area and went through snow-packed Wolf Creek Pass with no problem... without chains, in my 1985 Audi Quattro. Its only problem was low clearance... and only once did I get stuck just for a couple of minutes in Maine... snow berm going into the parking lot.
    Two years ago, we finally got Wifey into a new Subaru Forester, so both of our vehicles are AWD... and I hope to be able to get a Ford AWD Transit RV some day.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  3. FireGuy

    FireGuy Into The Breach CLM

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    CODOT.GOV is the site to go to. Search for Chain Law. It doesn’t list exceptions for studded or snow tires.
    I live in Colorado too. Only had a problem one time - while driving an MGB. We have 5 vehicles- with 4 of them AWD. Have chains for two and have never used them as we just stay home. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are as there’s always some idiot from California or Florida trying to win the Darwin Award...


    Sent from my iPhone using Glock Talk mobile app
     
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  4. wyntrout

    wyntrout

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    Not THIS Floridian!
     
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  5. glowrod

    glowrod Fightin' Fire

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    Sorry to sidetrack.
    Years ago we would vacation in the mountains of the PNW. One year we decided to go in early spring. Always rented a vehicle that had AWD.
    As we are driving we come across the normal chains required signs only this time it's flashing yellow. We don't need no stinking chains, we're from snow country Michigan. Going up the mountain was scary enough, going down the other side of the mountain was flippin' nuts.
    Sorry for not contributing, OP. Chains for the win. Just want to say, you mountain people have some big stones in the winter.
    Be safe!
     
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  6. wyntrout

    wyntrout

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    Plowed and packed snow isn't bad... you just have to realize stopping takes a bit longer... unlike ICE... which can take several football fields length to stop. I try to drive for the conditions, though faster is better. I hate when idiots pass me all the time fishtailing.
    Before I got winter tires for my little BMW in Germany, I was going down a steep hill and vehicles near the bottom started piling up. I tried my brakes and seemed to accelerate... so It was join the pileup or get off the brakes and steer slowly around the stopped cars. I slowly steered and stayed off the brakes and gas... and got around the pileup... not a bad one, but didn't need the dings.
    I was so proud of myself. Every chance I get now, I practice skids and correcting them... automatic now. My ABS has helped a few times on newer cars. My Aerostars only had rear ABS, but it acted like an anchor in turns and kept me from leaving the road a few times.
    My 2005 AWD Savana doesn't have the Stabilitrac or the other thing that's become standard. But ABS and disc brakes have worked for me so far.
     
  7. winchester62

    winchester62

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    I go to CO yearly for a ski trip. 2 out of 4 times the passes were bad. I used the walmart daily rental / money back guaranteed program. Never put em on once. Keeps the cops off me arse.
     
  8. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

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    Sounds like how it is here in socal. If you have 4wd/awd and M+S rated tires AND have chains available in the car, you can avoid most chain ups. Non mud+snow rating on the sidewall like those all seasons would be a no go.
     
  9. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I’m kinda hoping the aggressive tread might fool them.
    Yrs back my dad got stopped at mandatory chain up. “I’m from MN, we have nearly new snow tires on the back...”. Deputy just waved us past.
     
  10. lesgeaux

    lesgeaux

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    When I lived in the PNW I purchased good easy mount chains. Wasn’t scared to get my fingers cold and wet to use them. When the conditions called for them, better to mount them and avoid problems.
     
  11. Pandaz3

    Pandaz3

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    Mine have a little mountain outline with a snowflake inside, embossed on the sidewall, that is what the Oregon SP looks for.
     
  12. wyntrout

    wyntrout

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    For safe and controlled driving and braking, all four tires should match. I've always looked at the Winter tire testing on Consumer Reports and gone with the best all-around tires. I've used the M+S rated Michelins for about 30 years.
    There are better rated tires for snow and ice, but then they aren't the best for year around conditions... road noise and braking, etc.
     
  13. Syclone0538

    Syclone0538

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    That rating is supposed to be significantly better on snow/ice than M+S tires.
     
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  14. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I guess the few times I will go up in winter. A set of chains might have to be installed.
     
  15. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    Tire chains/straps are a lot cheaper than new tires and rims (especially for SUV's/trucks), under $100.00. I'd do some research, find the ones that fit your needs, practice on putting them on, and throw them in the back on the small chance you need them. Also, watch the weather prior to departure.
     
  16. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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  17. Khufu

    Khufu Pharaoh

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  18. Khufu

    Khufu Pharaoh

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    Also keep in mind of a Code 16 is issued for an area.. all vehicles are required to be using "chains".
     
  19. scattershot

    scattershot

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    Traction Law
    During winter storms, or when conditions require, CDOT will implement the Traction Law. During a Traction Law, all motorists are required to have EITHER:

    1. 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth
    2. Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth
    3. Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth
    4. Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
    5. Chains or an AutoSock®
     
  20. Khufu

    Khufu Pharaoh

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    It depends.

    Many A/T have the "mountain snowflake". They are fine in snow but not so good on ice.

    Real winter tires are much better. They use different rubber and have lots of siping for ice and packed snow.

    In the winter I have AWD and use actual winter tires.
     
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