Studded Tire Season Begins

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, November 1 2012 at 5:15 PM, Updated: Thu, November 1 2012 at 5:26 PM

Today marks the start of studded tire season in Oregon.

Klamath Falls has already had a taste of snow this year, and drivers are well aware that roads will soon be getting slick and icy.

Tire stores on the east side of the Cascades were busy today putting on studded tires.

Mike Paxton of Turn Thom Tire Factory in Klamath Falls says plenty of customers are sticking with studs...

"I believe 65, 70 percent of our customers still use studs."

Many others are now using studless traction tires, like Hokain Hokkapeliittas...

"it's a little harder of a rubber compound that most studless tires, so it lasts longer."  Explains Paxton.  "Although it is built to where it gets phenomenal traction."

There are also temporary options, like chains.  Paxton notes that chain technology has improved over the years...

"This is the Auto Track 'Quick Fit' chain.  A 10-year old boy can put them on.  They're color-coded now, you do not have to drive over them as opposed to the years in the past."

Another temporary option is the 'tire sock', which uses a heavy-duty fabric to grip the road.  They sell for around 150 dollars each, and they're even washable.

Another option is the 'Spikes Spider', which bolts onto the hub of the wheel.  Paxton notes that they're designed for cars with limited wheel clearance, where chains won't fit...

"They're made of a hard plastic - although they have been brittle in the past, and break.  And they are rather expensive."

While many drivers are sticking to studs, the studless concept is gaining traction.

"A couple years ago, I bought some of the state-approved all-weather tires."  Explains customer Craig Rovzar.  "And they were great.  So I'm going that way again."

If you do choose the studded tire option, you can only have those tires on your car through April 1st.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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