In the first part of our Winter Tyre feature, Commerical Tyre Business spoke to Westlake about its approach to winter tyres in the UK market. Westlake has a growing profile not just in the UK but across Europe, where winter temperatures tend to be lower and the winters longer-lasting especially in the Northern European countries, so we wanted to know what they are offering drivers in terms of quality tyres for this season
M+S and 3PMSF Symbols Lead to Enhanced Driver Confidence
Westlake explains that it has three suitable tyres for the winter tyre market for both the UK and Europe. With mud and snow (M+S) and Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbols, the tyres have earned their stripes for winter downpours and icy roads. The WSS1 steer axle, Westlake explains, handles both weather conditions particularly well as its hydroplaning performance and sipes keep the tyre going steady when it comes to heavy rains and slush. The wide circumferential grooves also ensure that the tyre can clear through snowy and icy roads effectively.
Moving on to the WDS1, the product is designed with a wide-open shoulder, which, like the WSS1, means that in extreme weather conditions, the tyre can break down ice instead of skidding, which is the most common problem drivers have in severely icy conditions. This is aided by the tyre’s studdable tread design, which gives the driver better traction.
Completing the roster of winter tyres, the WTS1 is a versatile tyre, suitable for trailer or steel axle applications. Its wide base allows drivers to have better security against snowy or icy roads. One of the key elements linking the WTS1 with the WSS1 and WDS1 is the tread compound, which has been designed to keep the rubber soft and cool even in sub-zero temperatures.
For Westlake, the importance of the two certifications allows the manufacturer to offer drivers peace of mind when dealing with treacherous routes. For drivers, the growing dependence on having tyres certified with the 3PMSF sticker ensures that they comply with legislation across European countries. Various countries, including Austria, Germany and Spain, require stricter prerequisites for driving.
Instead, most fleets opt for M+S tyres to handle the wet conditions that plague Britain during the winter months. Therefore, by Westlake designing its tyres to reach these demanding standards, this will surely come in handy for drivers who visit the northern European countries regularly. The requirements for drivers in winters tend to be a sturdy tyre that fulfils the legislation criteria requested by European governments to maintain a minimum level of safety in winter conditions.