Because winter can throw up all sorts of unpredictable weather and road conditions, Goodyear is advising all trucks are thoroughly checked to ensure all vehicles are ready.
Having parts in-stock can also help fleets maximise winter uptime. Waiting around for consumables such as tyres can reduce winter mobility significantly.
At the depot, a clear routine should be in place to ensure each truck is ready to go, no matter the weather. These checks should include tyre tread and pressures, brakes, and fluids. Drivers are informed if there are any issues with the vehicle that need addressing and depots should make it easy for these issues to be identified, looked at and fixed to maximise winter mobility.
For large fleets, drive-over-readers can make checking tyres a quick job using technology that scans each vehicle as it enters the depot.
3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF) tyres are the standard for winter in Europe. They decrease winter braking distances, increasing safety. From November 2012, the UNECE Regulation 117 requires that for tyres to be used in winter conditions, a minimum level of winter braking and traction needs to be achieved — tyres that pass these tests are marked as 3PMSF.
3PMSF tyres can be used all year long and they are also compliant with winter regulations across Europe. There are some countries in Europe that require 3PMSF tyres not only to be fitted to the drive and/or steer axle of commercial vehicles but also on trailers, as this increases braking power and ensures the trailer won’t overtake the tractor.
Eric Muller, director products & innovation commercial Europe at Goodyear said: “Our latest generation of Kmax GEN-2 and Fuelmax GEN-2 drive, steer and trailer tyres, all including the 3PMSF marking, are especially developed to optimise traction along the service life, even at 75 per cent worn.
“We created sophisticated tyre designs— namely, on the blades we put inside the them. Their advanced shape is very resistant to tearing, chipping and chunking — while ensuring the tyre is good for winter and at the same time provides low rolling resistance to reduce the carbon footprint of the total vehicle.”
For areas with heavy snow conditions, a dedicated winter range such as the Ultra Grip Max is recommended. These 3PMSF tyres are designed for areas such as Scandinavia or the Alps where roads are frequently covered in snow and ice.
With a heavy truck, keeping an eye on tyre tread and condition is vital. Muller added: “We advise looking at the tyre wear and early regrooving can refresh traction at the start of winter and will make them last longer. This allows fleets to keep good level of mobility during winter. Below five millimetres of remaining rubber the tyre will offer less traction.”
Safety is important to the commercial vehicle industry and fleets are very proactive when it comes to preparing and maintaining their vehicles for winter use. Winter mobility isn’t just important for the haulage and transport sectors either, increased winter mobility also positively affects car drivers as it minimises delays on the road.