ATS Euromaster has reaffirmed its commitment to ring-fencing supplies to support existing fleets using the high-grip seasonal fitment.
“We will not sell every cold weather tyre on our shelves by the end of March – and that’s deliberately so,” says Peter Fairlie, group sales director at ATS Euromaster. “We’ve protected a percentage of our stocks, in each of the key sizes, to ensure we can support our customers if they suffer a puncture.
“Every business wants the reassurance that you will have product available in the event of a tyre failure. This is particularly critical for blue-light fleets, where fleet availability can arguably make the difference between life and death,” he adds.
Much of the early demand for cold weather tyres during winter 2010/2011 was led by NHS Ambulance Trusts spanning England, Wales and Scotland – with ATS Euromaster fitting the high-grip seasonal tyres to hundreds of ambulances and rapid-response paramedic cars nationwide.
This strong demand from ambulance fleets followed a cold weather tyre trial jointly organised by ATS Euromaster and Michelin at the Motor Industry Research Association’s (MIRA) automotive test facility at Nuneaton in March 2010. It involved three laden ‘blue light’ vehicles comprising two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulances – a 515 Cdi and 416 Cdi – plus a Vauxhall Zafira rapid response car.
Cold weather tyres and standard tyres were tested on all three vehicles during a series of straight line braking tests from 30–0 mph using MIRA’s wet grip basalt tiled surface, which provides low levels of grip similar to a snow-covered road. The air temperature throughout the trial ranged from five to six degrees Celsius; the direct benefits of cold weather tyres start as soon as the temperature drops below seven degrees, when the performance of regular tyres deteriorates.
ABS stopping distances were measured using a GPS-based system and found the
Sprinter 515 Cdi stopped 35 per cent quicker on cold weather tyres, cutting the average braking distance from 49.2 to 32.2m. The Sprinter 416 Cdi reduced its braking distance by 38 per cent, from an average of 52.1 to 32.2m, whilst the Zafira recorded a 20 per cent improvement on cold weather tyres, cutting its average braking distance from 33.3 to 26.8m.