The pros and cons of adopting a combination of winter and all-season car and van tyres

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By Denna Bowman

Fleet operators are faced with a range of tyre options which means they do not have to stick with standard fit car and van tyres for the entire year.

Fleet News has outlined the pros and cons of fitting a cold weather-and-standard tyres combination.

Fitting cold weather tyres between October and March and standard car and van tyres the rest of the time is the best solution, according to tyre manufacturers.

Steve Dolby, product marketing manager at Michelin, says: “We will always recommend fleets adapt their tyre policy to the seasons to benefit from maximum safety and optimum performance.”

While Goodyear Dunlop suggest that even safety technology becomes obsolete if car and van tyres are not adjusted to the weather conditions.

On the pro side for fitting a combination of car and van tyres, duty of care is one of the main benefits.

Dolby says: “Tests show a typical car travelling at 30mph on snow will take 48 metres to come to a halt on standard tyres, but just 24 metres if equipped with cold weather tyres – that could make a significant difference in real-life situations.”

Cold weather tyres are not just better than standard tyres in snowy conditions, as Dolby points out: “When the temperature drops to 7°C or lower, standard tyres are less effective as the rubber hardens, affecting performance and grip.”

There is also a strong case for fitting cold weather car and van tyres for organisations that need to respond to emergencies.

East Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Trust has fitted cold weather tyres to 306 ambulances and fast response cars for the past two winters.

Steve Farnsworth, fleet general manager, says: “Our vehicles need to be fully prepared for even the most hazardous conditions.

“When we receive an emergency 999 call we need to react as promptly and safely as possible, and fitting cold weather tyres is key to tackling any bad weather which might delay us from reaching our patients.”

Similarly, companies that need to deliver to customers, such as Tesco.com and AAH Pharmaceuticals, have seen a benefit from fitting cold weather van tyres in the winter.

In theory, fitting cold weather car and van tyres in winter and standard tyres for the rest of the year should mean tyres last longer.

However, on the negative side, cold weather tyres often cost more than standard car and van tyres.

Companies will also have the cost of taking the car and van tyres on and off and storage in a tyre ‘hotel’, unless they have their own storage facilities.

etyres supply and fit a wide range of car and van tyres at highly competitive prices. Its convenient mobile service means fleet managers and customers can have the car or van tyres fitted at their work or home.

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