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New ATS Euromaster winter tyre service

Cold weather tyres: labelled, stored in summer

ATS Euromaster launches tyre exchange facility

IT MIGHT seem some way off now, but forward-thinking small businesses ought to look ahead to later in the year.

Remember the snow that brought travel chaos as vans and cars struggled for grip? It wasn’t for those few vehicles fitted with winter tyres, a normal fitment in Europe.

Now tyre supplier ATS Euromaster has launched a dedicated cold weather tyre service in response to growing demand after the recent harsh winter.

Under the scheme, during October and early November, ATS Euromaster will remove your ‘summer’ tyres and replace them with cold weather tyres. Each van’s summer tyres are then individually labelled and stored, ready for re-fitting the following March or April. The cold weather tyres are then labelled and replace the summer tyres in storage, ready for the following winter.

Drivers can take their vans to a local ATS Euromaster branch, or a mobile unit will visit your premises and swap the tyres on-site. ATS Euromaster has 380 service centres in the UK and 1,000 mobile service vans.

ATS Euromaster already offers a similar service in other northern European countries – including Holland, which has similar climatic conditions to the UK, where it fits around 300,000 cold-weather tyres a year. Research in the Netherlands by ING Car Lease found that across 12 months, users of cold weather tyres recorded 1.9% fewer accidents, resulting in a 10.2% reduction in claimed damages.

Steve Bury, head of national car at ATS Euromaster, commented: “The critical factor is securing supply. Demand is high from mainland Europe and while it might be early summer, businesses need to be making formal plans within the next couple of months.”

The direct benefits of cold weather tyres start as soon as the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius, when the performance of regular ‘summer’ tyres deteriorates. As a result of the cold, the rubber becomes harder and less ‘elastic’. This means that the tyres suffer from reduced grip and braking ability, and offer a less comfortable ride.

Cold weather tyres help to alleviate this as the larger percentage of silica in their rubber compound prevents the tyre from hardening in the same way as synthetic rubber can in regular tyres. This enables them to maintain better traction on dry roads throughout the cold weather, as well as when driving in the wet and on snow, slush and ice.

Some companies have already started using winter tyres through ATS Euromaster, said Bury. “This January a major home delivery fleet took the decision to switch its tyre policy overnight. Within a two week period, using a combination of our massive mobile resource and 380 fast-fit centres, we’d converted an entire fleet of 600 vehicles. This ensured our customer could continue its deliveries without any weather-related interruptions.”