Time to get a snowflake

It is this weekend where we need to think about keeping our car on the road?

On Monday, you are required to have a snowflake logo on your tires to traverse high passes in B.C.

What does that mean? Well, frankly it leaves a lot to the consumer, which is why this weekend you want to think about what you put on your car.

First of all and most important, the right compound with less tread will typically look after you better than a brand new tire with the wrong compound.

That situation occurs from the fact that tires are inherently a conflict. 

There is such a conflict that when I am racing the rally car, we often take four sets of completely different tires to an event, because one set cannot be all tires to all situations.

We are barely able to convince people to switch over from summer to winter use tires, so there is no way we can practically keep four sets of tires for varying weather.

This weekend is pretty clear and simple in terms of decision making.

Don’t rely on your all seasons to get you through the winter. For tires to provide grip, the compound needs to be at a temperature that allows it to function. All-season tires will not function very well before we even get to negative digits on the thermometer.

Winters on the other hand have a much softer compound that will work even to extremely low temperatures. 

What are we facing ahead? Typically, we will be plagued with black ice in the early winter through to the snow season with the exception of high passes.

If that is the case, it would make sense to choose an Ice tire. Something like a Bridgestone Blizzak. 

With that being said, that is not always the best tire later in the year when we need a much more open tread to clear snow and dig in to what can be a compact layer of snow — more akin to perhaps a Hankook iPike.

The iPike doesn’t do quite as well on ice, but you can add studs to improve performance. 

So what is the best solution? You need to analyze the type of driving you expect to do and select the best compromise.

More ice, go to a tire with lots os siping, which will help with the temperature of the compound and the surface area on the ice.

If more snow, go with an open tread pattern to clear snow from your tires.

For sure, do not think that your “all seasons” will get you through this winter; you will be a danger to other drivers as well as yourself.

Remember that winter requires us to make sure our vehicle is in top shape mechanically, that we have safety gear for an overnight in a remote area if necessary and that we drive according to the conditions.

Slow down!

Stay safe.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
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Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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