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Old 11-29-2019, 01:50 AM   #1
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Best choice for tires

I'll be driving the ALCAN in January from Fairbanks to Georgia. The current bus tires are past their "expiration date," but they look fine and have decent tread.

However, last winter, I slid all over the road in icy conditions. In light snow about 3 inches thick, I almost got stuck on flat ground. The tires are awful in winter conditions. Yes, I'll have chains, but I'd rather not drive the first 3,000 miles with them.

I asked for a quote from the local tire dealer in Fairbanks:
Quote:
4 Yokohama SY767 16 PLY DRIVE tires

2 Yokohama RY617 16 PLY STEER tires

If you ordered them it would take 1-2 weeks with the installation and freight would come out to $3286.64

Thank you for your time.
That's a lot of money. I'm thinking about replacing the front two tires only and keeping the old ones as spares mounted on rims. Thoughts? Also, these tires versus others? Tires from Amazon are more expensive, and the main discount online stores charge $500+ per tire to ship to Alaska.

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Old 11-29-2019, 02:06 AM   #2
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Yokohamas are nice tires but they can be a bit spendy. For 3 grand I'd expect to get all six tires (maybe not Yokohamas, but a good name brand tire), installed, with some change left over. It may behoove you to put the chains on and ride with 'em anyway, and besides all that, I'm not sure brand new tires would do much better in snow and ice.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:52 AM   #3
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$3200 for six tires installed. I'm thinking of just changing the front two.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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That's a heck of a drive to wait till January for...

No tires do well on ice -- that's why there's so many SUV's in the ditch all the time... (stupid people doing stupid things...)

Doesn't the ALCAN eat tires in good weather?

Might as well ruin your old tires driving all day with the chains on till they're used up -- waiting to mount the new tires till you have to...

Maybe see about buying your tires in the lower 48 and having an independent shipper pick them up and move them to AK for you...

Budget an extra week or two for doing this drive during storm season...
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
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That seems expensive, but such is life when you're at the edge of the world.

Replacing only the steers will do nothing to increase traction, or prevent you from getting stuck in 3" of snow.

If you're going to replace them, get something with a more aggressive tread in the rear, something like a yokohama 715R. I feel you'll get stuck with the SY767 just as easily as you do now.

You're going to slide all over in ice, unless you get a true snow/ice tire.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I'll be driving the ALCAN in January from Fairbanks to Georgia. The current bus tires are past their "expiration date," but they look fine and have decent tread.
Morning sir...I'm down here in Palmer. I'm going to need to get new tires before we put ours on the road & plan on getting quotes from a few of the local shops at some point. If you'd like I can reach out down here. I've done commercial business with a couple of them & might be able to get an OK deal. If interested, shoot me your tire spec & I'd be happy to make a few calls. Been meaning to get an idea of cost for our budget anyway.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:22 PM   #7
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Tugboater, I'd be absolutely interested in what you find out. The tires are standard 11r22.5.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:05 AM   #8
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my DEV bus has uniroyal RD30 drive tires which are not an all position they are a rated drive tire and have an aggressive tread.. I dont often take that bus out in the snow but when I do im impressed that an empty (its mostly factory so has some seats ),, I dont slide around or get stuck,



my Steer tires are uniroyal HD20 I believe ite the model.. they are an all position and I dont seem to have huge issues with under or over steer.. granted the most snow ive had it out in was a 6-8" snowfall we had a couple years ago . sure if I mashed it I could spin the tires but I never felt as if I was going to hang up.


im not sure I would be taking a bus along the ALCAN without a locked rear and chains.. most all of our busses are just open diff rear end.a converted bus probably stands a better chance because its weighted pretty good.. Internationals though are notorious for that low front axle so its real easy to be in a "plow" situation if you are trying to navigate drifts..


maybe the RE's dont suffer from that low axle like the CE's do.. hopefully not was bad


-Christopher
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
Tugboater, I'd be absolutely interested in what you find out. The tires are standard 11r22.5.
Maybe run your old tires down to Anchor and get the freshy's installed there?
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:10 PM   #10
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Maybe run your old tires down to Anchor and get the freshy's installed there?
Possibly. It's a bit of a detour, but I need to visit Fort Richardson anyway, so it might work out.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:47 PM   #11
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Does anyone run recaps on their drives? The bus company I drive for runs recaps on drives (even new buses). I've never had a blowout in 5 years of driving but i realize that skoolie is a different usage pattern than a bus in active duty every day.

It's a pretty significant cost difference and allows me to spend more on nice steer tires.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:57 PM   #12
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Does anyone run recaps on their drives? The bus company I drive for runs recaps on drives (even new buses). I've never had a blowout in 5 years of driving but i realize that skoolie is a different usage pattern than a bus in active duty every day.

It's a pretty significant cost difference and allows me to spend more on nice steer tires.
Retreads on a new bus, who's foolish idea is that? What's the reasoning behind it?
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Retreads on a new bus, who's foolish idea is that? What's the reasoning behind it?

Somehow, I doubt they come from a factory with retreads, but the first set of replacements, sure. Retreads are about half the cost and for school bus use, probably make good financial sense. When you (as a bus barn manager) buy 1000 tires a year and save $200 each, that adds up.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Somehow, I doubt they come from a factory with retreads, but the first set of replacements, sure. Retreads are about half the cost and for school bus use, probably make good financial sense. When you (as a bus barn manager) buy 1000 tires a year and save $200 each, that adds up.
If properly maintained a bus tire could conceiveably see up to 100K miles, hardly a new bus with that mileage.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
If properly maintained a bus tire could conceiveably see up to 100K miles, hardly a new bus with that mileage.

"Citation needed". Maybe on a coach and even that's avoiding much city driving. On a school bus? Way too much stop-and-go, turning and city driving. Maybe 50K miles is my unofficial, unscientific guesstimate.


Drove a tanker Winder-Athens for 7 years and tractor went through a set of tires every year (45-50K miles/year), trailer went maybe 18 months-2 years on tires (for some reason, the back ones had a tendency to wear out faster). Making hard right/left turns has a tendency to grind a bit of rubber off the tires.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:44 PM   #16
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I think every bus I've owned came with retreads on the back.

I was reading on School Bus Fleet's forum not long ago and those guys all say 30-40k miles is about what they get out of tires on buses.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:18 PM   #17
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I can't speak from a place of experience but I have been doing research into tires and traction in less ideal conditions recently.


There is a certification called three peaks for tires that have better winter/snow performance than average M&S tires.


I think michelin tires can be a little spendy, but fwiw I believe their best winter/snow drive tires are the XDS and XDS 2. Not sure about steers
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
I can't speak from a place of experience but I have been doing research into tires and traction in less ideal conditions recently.


There is a certification called three peaks for tires that have better winter/snow performance than average M&S tires.


I think michelin tires can be a little spendy, but fwiw I believe their best winter/snow drive tires are the XDS and XDS 2. Not sure about steers
I guess I'll look into regrooving mine for sure
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Retreads on a new bus, who's foolish idea is that? What's the reasoning behind it?

Only thing I can think of is if the new buses came with 6 new all position tires from the factory it could possibly make good economic sense to rotate out the 4 rears to be used as steer tires on other buses in the fleet and swap in retreads on the rears of the new bus.


Sounds like a lot of work for marginal gain, but if you had a big fleet of buses it might be worth it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
Only thing I can think of is if the new buses came with 6 new all position tires from the factory it could possibly make good economic sense to rotate out the 4 rears to be used as steer tires on other buses in the fleet and swap in retreads on the rears of the new bus.


Sounds like a lot of work for marginal gain, but if you had a big fleet of buses it might be worth it.
That was my thought as well. If they have an onsite mechanic the cost to swap would be negligible because it's all labor and he'd be getting paid regardless.

We've installed retreads on a few buses, the problem we faced is the shoulders on the steers wore out pretty quickly when you couldn't rotate them to the drive axle to even it out. That and the recaps not lasting as long as virgins pretty much made the whole thing not as cost efficient as what it was expected to be.
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