The Ford F-250 slots above the F-150 in Ford’s F-Series truck lineup. This super-duty truck offers first-rate power, good ride comfort, and useful towing capacity.
Does it drive well in snow and other winter conditions? Read on to find out.
Here is the short answer about whether the Ford F-250 is good for snow and winter driving:
Thanks to its high ground clearance and heavy build, the Ford F-250 will ferry you safely across roads covered with ice or snow. The truck comes with features such as available 4WD, safe braking technologies, and traction-enhancing systems that make winter driving safer.
Is a Ford F-250 Good in the Snow?
The Ford F-250 is good at driving in snow, thanks to a litany of characteristics and features. The first is a higher-than-average ground clearance; this allows it to drive in deep snow without getting stuck. Compared to a small sedan or coupe, the F-250 can wade through unplowed roads with minimal issues.
Moreover, the four-wheel-drive system helps distribute power to every corner of the vehicle. This allows the F-250 to maintain optimal traction on slippery roads common in winter.
The large body mass of the F-250 means it’s stable in snowy conditions. You don’t have to worry about your vehicle slipping or losing control when driving in the next snowfall.
What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?
The following features enhance the winter driving ability of the Ford F-250s:
Antilock Brake System
The Anti-lock Brake System is part of the suite of safety features found on every Ford vehicle. ABS promotes safer braking by stopping your wheels from locking when you brake hard, especially on wet surfaces.
While necessary sometimes, hard braking generates increased brake force. Now, this could get the wheels to decelerate faster; but it could induce wheel lock on your truck. If your wheels lock at high speed, you’ll likely lose control and see your vehicle skid off the road.
With ABS, your wheels have lesser chances of locking under hard braking. ABS will monitor your wheels and see if any is receiving too much brake force that could induce lock.
In a situation where a wheel(s) signals possible lock, the ABS will limit brake force to the wheel.
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution System
The Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system is similar to the Antilock Brake System in function. It safeguards your vehicle against wheel lock, except that it has a different method for doing it.
The EBD balances brake force generated under hard braking between the front wheels and the rear wheels.
By redistributing brake force amongst all the wheels, the problem of excessive brake force is solved and wheel lock averted.
Traction Control System
In winter, it’s common to see vehicles lose traction on slick roads and land on their sides. However, the Ford F-250 hardly experiences this fate when driving in winter. This is partly because of the model’s advanced Traction Control System.
The Traction Control System is the reason the F-250 gets high levels of road grip, even when driving on low traction surfaces (ice and snow). It can detect if some tires are losing traction and send more torque to the wheels with more grip, so the vehicle doesn’t end up hurtling across the road.
Electronic Stability Control
Electronic Stability Control assists drivers with something very difficult to do in winter: maintain vehicle stability on wet surfaces. It can detect when your vehicle is about to skid or slip and quickly respond to prevent such from happening.
The F-250’s ESC system uses a collection of sensors to track vehicle behavior. If the ESC detects uncontrolled wheelspin, a sign of loss of traction, it will kick in to limit the spinning and improve traction. It performs this by cutting power to the suspect wheel and increasing brake force on it.
Four-wheel-drive (4WD) Drivetrain
The availability of 4WD on F-250s is the biggest reason they are great winter vehicles.
Yes, 2WD is okay, but ‘okay’ is hardly what you need to brave the snowfalls and icy terrain winter will throw at you. You need excellent traction and control in winter–and that’s exactly what 4WD provides.
During normal driving, the 4WD system primarily sends torque to one axle (mostly the rear). But, in harsh terrain (think ice and snow), both axles get torque simultaneously. All wheels get enough power, reducing the chances that one might slip and lose traction.
Please also check out our articles about how long Ford Super Duty trucks last.
Does an F-250 Have Snow Mode?
You won’t get a Snow Mode feature on any of the Ford F-250 trims, although you can use the 4WD feature to perform a similar function.
In this case, selecting 4WD High (4High) will calibrate your vehicle for increased performance in slippery conditions, snow inclusive.
Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on F-250?
Installing snow gear on the Ford F-250 is possible–and advisable–for anyone who’s an avid winter driver. Snow gear such as snow chains can provide extra traction, which is helpful for keeping your vehicle stable in snow.
You can also use snow tires instead of normal all-weather tires that come with your F-250. These are generally better at keeping your vehicle stable in snow.
Depending on local laws, you could opt for snow socks. Similar to snow chains, snow socks increase your wheel’s grip in snow. However, some regions frown on the use of snow socks so you should check with local authorities before using them.
How Much Snow Can an F-250 Handle?
Based on what we know, the average ground clearance of an F-250 is around 8.9 inches. Having a vehicle that sits so high above the pavement increases your ability to combat thick snow significantly.
With the ground clearance available on the F-250, you should be able to drive in snow up to seven inches without being stuck.
Make sure to also read our article on Ford Super Duty facts and statistics.
How Do F-250 Handle Low Winter Temperatures?
The truck’s fuel-injected nature means it warms up quickly in both warm and cold weather. Are there occasions where your F-250 may refuse to run in cold weather? Yes. Here are some:
- Your battery has low power/has degraded
- Your fuel lines are clogged with dirt
- Your spark plugs are worn-out and need replacement
- Your air filter is dirty
If your F-250 ever fails to start on a cold winter morning, inspect the aforementioned components. Otherwise, have a mechanic conduct an examination on your truck’s systems.
Can an F-250 Drive on Ice?
The F-250 drives decently on icy roads, mostly due to the Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control features. Antilock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution further make driving the F-250 on ice safer.
Despite that, we’d urge you to exercise caution when you travel in your F-250 truck in icy conditions. The sizable body mass of F-250s makes them harder to control on slick surfaces. That and they have a higher risk of rollover crash due to their higher ground clearance.
If you drive with care, you should have no trouble navigating an ice-covered road with an F-250. However, over-speeding and rough driving may lead to a crash or collision.
Does the F-250 Have 4WD?
The Ford F-250 is based on a 2WD platform, though 4WD is optional. Depending on your region and driving habits, you may or may not need 4WD.
Living in a place with minimal poor weather means you don’t really need 4WD–except, of course, if you are an avid off-roader.
If you live in a Midwestern state where harsh winters are the norm, getting a 4WD-equipped F-250 is advisable. 4WD offers greater traction, control, and stability in bad weather, especially winter.
Check out our article about whether cars or trucks last longer.
What About Older F-250 Models And Winter Driving?
Many of the older F-250 models come with several features that improve winter driving. The list includes antilock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control. Going by this, it’s safe to say that early F-250s can handle winter driving.
Do F-250 Need Snow Tires?
Your F-250 will need snow tires if it’s to drive well in snow and winter. Snow tires are better than all-season tires for wintry conditions because they are made specifically for winter. By comparison, all-season tires are generally average in summer and poor in winter.
Snow tires offer maximum levels of traction in winter driving situations, whether ice or snow. Conversely, all-season tires have poorer road grip on wet pavement and expose your truck to higher risks of hydroplaning or skidding.
Can You Mount A Snow Plow On An F-250?
The F-250s boast some of the highest plow ratings in the truck segment, so you can definitely mount a plow on it. There’s even a Snow Plow Prep Package available on the 4WD-enabled F-250s.
What you get in the package includes heavy-duty springs and a stronger alternator for handling greater electrical loads while plowing. The benefit of the Snow Plow Prep Package is that it enables your F-250 to plow snow without damage to key components.