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 always recommends that operators fit the right tyres at the right time for the right application. On winter roads, tyres must guarantee reliable traction and prevent slipping. In the case of a severe winter, operators should certainly consider fitting winter tyres to the drive axle of vehicles which have to operate in more difficult road conditions. Once the severe weather is over, they should return to conventional tyres.

Every year, Continental updates its overview of European regulations for winter equipment on trucks and buses. This 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 these requirements.

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

Continental’s winter tyres will deliver the optimum performance in even the most severe conditions. All products in the winter tyre range bear the Continental snowflake symbol and far exceed the requirements of 3PMSF-marked tyres. These tyres deliver in excess of 9.5m 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 their 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.

This story was written by automotive PR specialists Torque Agency Group.