Sunday, November 14, 2021

Canada: Winter tires affected by supply chain crunch

CBC News: The National in Canada show that as temperatures fall across Canada, winter tires have joined the long list of products that are being affected by a supply chain crunch.

So-called "snow tires", also known as "winter tires", are tires designed for use on snow and ice. Snow tires have a tread design with larger gaps than those on conventional tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Such tires that have passed a specific winter traction performance test are entitled to display a 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake) symbol on their sidewalls. Tires designed for winter conditions are optimized to drive at temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F). Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire to increase traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Studs abrade dry pavement, causing dust and creating wear in the wheel path. Regulations that require the use of snow tires or permit the use of studs vary by country in Asia and Europe, and by state or province in North America.

All-season tires have tread gaps that are smaller than snow tires and larger than conventional tires. They are quieter than winter tires on clear roads, but certainly less capable on snow or ice.

"Snow chains", or "tire chains", are devices fitted to the tires of vehicles to provide maximum traction when driving through difficult snow and ice.

Such important snow chains attach to the drive wheels of a vehicle or special systems deploy chains which swing under the tires automatically. Although named after steel chain, snow chains may be made of other materials and in a variety of patterns and strengths. Chains are usually sold in pairs and often must be purchased to match a particular tire size (tire diameter and tread width), although some designs can be adjusted to fit various sizes of tire. Driving with these so-called chains reduces fuel efficiency, and can reduce the allowable speed of the automobile to approximately 50 km/h (30 mph), but increase traction and braking on snowy or icy surfaces. Some regions require chains to be used under some weather conditions, but other areas prohibit the use of chains, as they can deteriorate road surfaces.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, using snow tires year round isn't recommended. In the long run, it will cost more money than changing them out and could compromise your vehicle's performance on the road.

    The combination of cold temperatures, ice, and snow can be best met by winter tires, which are specially designed to perform in winter conditions. Deeper tread depths reduce snow buildup and provide better traction on the snow. Winter tire tread patterns are designed to channel snow and slush and expel wet water.

    Winter tires are made with a special rubber that works best in cold temperatures. The rubber is designed to stay soft and pliable when the weather cools so your tires can maintain adequate grip and traction. Regular tires do not. These grooves act as biting edges to grip the road in snow or ice.

    Winter tires handle very poorly in warm or rainy weather. Since winter tires are made of softer rubber compounds, they are noticeably "squishy" during warm weather.

    You can drive at the maximum speed permitted by the road conditions (if it's 30 mph or less), but be prepared to slow down if you're going too fast for the weather conditions. Chains can't give you much extra traction, so you can't accelerate easily in slippery conditions.