As the weather gets colder and roads become hazardous, Continental is sharing its winter tyre tips with fleet operators to ensure optimum performance and, more importantly, higher driving safety throughout the winter period.
Continental says its policy has always been to recommend the right tyres at the right time for the right application. On winter roads, tyres must guarantee reliable traction and slippage must be prevented. If the UK and Ireland does encounter a severe winter, operators should certainly consider fitting winter tyres to the all axles of vehicles which have to operate in more difficult road conditions. Once the severe weather is over, they should return to conventional tyres.
Continental’s annually published overview of European regulations for winter equipment on trucks and buses, has now been updated. The document contains winter tyre guidance and regulation requirements for individual European countries, and information on whether snow chains are required.
Any commercial vehicle which ventures abroad must be wary of the regulatory requirements placed on vehicles driving in winter conditions. In Germany, for example, a change in the winter regulations came into force on June 1, 2017 and stipulates new minimum requirements for tyres in winter conditions. Tyres on permanently driven axles must now display the 3PSFM alpine symbol, though there is a transition period which permits mud and snow (M+S) tyres produced before December 31, 2017 until September 2024.
The European regulations for winter equipment on trucks and buses can be viewed here.
Three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF)
A three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol branded on a tyre’s sidewall indicates that the tyre meets required performance criteria in snow testing to be considered Severe Snow Service-Rated. Originally used as a designation for winter tyres, this 3PMSF symbol is now featured on many more conventional regional product ranges.
Such testing measures a tyre’s acceleration traction on medium-packed snow only. Braking and turning on snow, along with ice traction, are not components of the test.
Tyres branded with the 3PMSF symbol usually provide improved snow traction beyond a standard M+S branded tyre. Of course, 3PMSF-branded regional tyres cannot match the traction of dedicated winter or snow tyres in all winter weather conditions and should not be considered a replacement for them.
Continental snowflake ensures optimal traction
If we are faced with another severe winter, the Continental’s winter tyres will deliver the optimum performance in even the most severe conditions.
All products in Continental’s winter tyre range bear the Continental snowflake symbol and far exceed the requirements of 3PMSF-marked tyres. These tyres deliver in excess of 9.5 metres shorter braking distance compared with a more conventional tyres marked M+S in snow conditions.
Key to the performance of Continental’s winter tyres are the rubber compounds, which keep the tyres highly flexible and adhesive. As well as providing optimal traction and brake force on snowy and icy roads, the composition ensures that the tyres are highly resistant to wear.
Continental’s winter tyres achieve its grip through an intelligent combination of various sipes that have a synergetic effect: pocket sipes, 3D sipes and special traction sipes. As pocket sipes, and 3D sipes in particular, guarantee optimal tread rigidity, vehicles can still travel long distances and keep fuel consumption low.