Option 3: Cold weather tyres all-year round
Some fleets that operate in Scotland and the Peak District have chosen to use cold weather tyres all year round.
Fitting cold weather tyres all year round avoids the expense and time involved in fitting and storing tyres.
If temperatures are consistently below 7°C throughout the year, cold weather tyres will offer better performance.
This won’t be an option for all fleets, particularly those that operate in warmer parts of the UK.
Continental suggests that in summer conditions, vehicle handling will be less precise and braking distance will be longer on dry and wet roads at warm temperatures.
Tyres will also wear much more quickly.
Case study: Scottish Ambulance Service
General manager, fleet: Michael Jackson
Began fitting cold weather tyres: Before 2003
Number of vehicles fitted to: 1,400 ambulances, support vehicles and cars
Scottish Ambulance Service began using cold weather tyres in remote areas more than a decade ago but decided to roll them out in 2011.
All A&E ambulances, patient transport ambulances, support vehicles and most company cars are now fitted with them.
The tyres are fitted when the original fitment tyres need replacing or prior to the winter if it is a priority vehicle, whichever occurs first.
Fitting cold weather tyres all-year round “removes the headache of storing a huge number of tyres”, according to Michael Jackson, general manager, fleet at Scottish Ambulance Service.
Scotland’s climate also means that cold weather tyres give a better all-year round performance than standard tyres.
Driver feedback has been positive with a key benefit that vehicles can reach patients quicker.