County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is fitting Michelin’s Cross Climate tyre to its specialist officers’ cars.
The Service is gradually rolling out Cross Climate tyres on 27 Škoda Octavias driven by the ‘flexi’ officers – experienced specialists trained to respond to any emergency situation at a moment’s notice.
Jeff Dickson, transport manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “When we heard about Michelin’s Cross Climate tyres we thought them ideal for our requirements, and asked to trial the fitments – trials which quickly revealed the tyres’ on-road performance and traction in all weather conditions.
“We quickly took the decision to fit the new tyres to our ‘flexi’ officers’ Škodas, as these specialists must be able to respond instantly to an emergency call, no matter the weather – and get to places other cars may struggle to reach.
“Also, fitting Cross Climate tyres hasn’t cost the service one penny more than the winter tyres fitted previously under our tyre policy. By swapping the winter tyres for Cross Climate, we’ve gained the traction of a winter tyre on occasionally snow-covered roads, married to the performance of a summer tyre – we’ve simply acquired the best tyre possible for the job at hand, and boosted mobility in unpredictable conditions for this vital part of our fleet as a result.”
The fitments offer the benefits of a summer tyre for dry or wet braking, while also boasting the traction and braking performance of a winter tyre on cold and snow-covered roads.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service serves an area of approximately 2,460 square kilometres, operating from 15 fire stations across the counties of Darlington, Derwentside, Durham, Easington, Sedgefield and Wear and Tees.
The ‘flexi’ fleet’s new Cross Climates will be fitted exclusively by service provider ATS Euromaster, which also manages the Michelin tyres fitted to the Service’s mainline fire response and support vehicles.
“I was so impressed by the Cross Climates during testing that I’ve since purchased a set for my personal vehicle,” added Dickson. “During a period of poor weather in the winter, my wife said she had sailed past wheel-spinning commuters while out and about. There’s no higher praise than that.”
Cross Climate tyres are currently available in 23 dimensions, covering 76% of all car and car-derived van tyres in sizes from 15 to 17 inches, with Michelin expected to launch more sizes throughout 2016, including additional fitments in 15 to 17 inches, plus new tyres in 14, 18 and 19 inches.
Cross Climate tyres have also earned the top ‘A’ rating for wet braking on European tyre labels, and several sizes have achieved a ‘B’ rating for rolling resistance, with a noise rating of 68 decibels.