Winter is Finally Here

Well, I think I can safely say that winter is here to stay in Grand Forks. We got about 2 1/2 inches of snow yesterday alone, and it was the wet sticky stuff, not the light fluffy kind we got last week. Casey and I have already shoveled snow three times, which means that we’ll probably be getting lots and lots of exercise.

Yesterday I picked up a Dakota Snoblade the snow blade on wheels that really makes clearing our driveway a lot quicker and easier. Plus, they’re built and sold by a company out of Linton North Dakota, so it’s also nice to support a local business.

I recently made what is probably my oddest online purchase: snow tires. Several years ago I probably wouldn’t have even considered buying tires over the Internet, but I can happily report that I had a great experience and would recommend this to anyone. The company I went through is called The Tire Rack, which specializes in selling tires, wheels, and related accessories. Their website is extremely easy to use: simply select your vehicle and they will display only the products that will fit. In addition, the selection is great. Locally, there are probably only 1-2 types of snow tires available that will fit our Mazda3. On The Tire Rack, they have at least 8 models. After reading a bunch of user reviews on the site, I decided to go with the Dunlop Winter Sport M3 tires and some cheap steel wheels. I picked them up at the UPS customer service office yesterday after missing the delivery on Friday, and then got them installed at a local tire place last night. So far: amazing.

The difference between the stock tires and these winter tires is unbelievable. The streets are really messy since our snow yesterday, but it feels like driving on dry pavement with the new tires. I’m a huge fan. Why don’t more people up here get these?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I bought a snoblade and am shocked at the flimsy construction. The handle bar is LOOSELY attached to the plow with hairpins? Shoddy cheap and flimsy. I called their customer service since they didn’t respond to my online inquiry regarding the product and they said ‘yep, thats how it is’. I regret buying a snoblade.

  2. Sam:

    After having ours for a year, I have to agree with you. While I haven’t really had a problem with its construction, I’m not very impressed with how it actually works in practice. It really only seems to work alright for very light, fluffy snow. Anything other than that, and it just pushes the top layer and leaves everything else.

    I usually end up going behind it with a snow shovel anyway to get the stuff stuck to the cement, so I question the snoblade’s real value.

    Thanks for the comment!

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