Gary Powell, Technical Manager – North Region for Bridgestone, discusses the symbols to look out for on your tyres when driving in adverse conditions and what Bridgestone can do to help.
Whether you operate within the United Kingdom, the Nordics, or central and southern Europe, the winter months pose very different driving challenges for coach and truck drivers. Which is why Bridgestone has developed a comprehensive range of premium tyres to safeguard the continuity of your operations within a wide variety of weather conditions, from extreme wet weather to the challenges of ice and snow.
You may also find that ‘M+S’ and ‘Alpine Symbol’ (3PMSF) marked tyres are compulsory in certain countries during the winter season, making it advisable to check local regulations in order to avoid financial penalties or the immobilisation of your vehicle.
In the past, tyres with winter performance were marked ‘M + S’ (Mud + Snow). This reflected the individual tyre manufacturer’s assessment that the tyre had better performance in mud and snow conditions when compared to a tyre without the marking (e.g. a summer tyre).
More recently, the introduction of the ‘Three Peak Mountain Snowflake’ (3PMSF) – or ‘Alpine Symbol’ – has helped maintain a consistent and guaranteed level of winter performance. The 3PMSF tyre sidewall marking identifies that the tyre meets an objective standard for winter performance.
Considering the different winter tyre regulations in force across Europe, this can be very confusing. Therefore, regardless of the applicable regulations and penalties, Bridgestone always recommends the use of 3PMSF marked tyres when driving in cold conditions, wherever you operate. However, in extreme wintery conditions, as can be found within the Nordics, then a dedicated winter tyre may be necessary.
Don’t get left in the cold
In the interests of driver safety and operational integrity, Bridgestone recommends changing to tyres that are better suited to perform well in colder, wetter, and/or more extreme conditions (e.g. 3PMSF marked tyres or dedicated winter tyres for extreme wintery conditions).
The Duravis (Regional/Versatility range of coach and truck tyres) R-Steer 002, RDrive 002, and R-Trailer 002 for trailer operations, are all equipped with both ‘M+S’ and ‘Alpine Symbol’ (3PMSF) tyre sidewall markings, which will deliver a consistent and guaranteed level of winter performance. This is also the case for Ecopia (Highway range) H-Steer 002, H-Drive 002, and the HTrailer 002, again for trailer operations, which have both ‘M+S’ and ‘Alpine Symbol’ (3PMSF) tyre sidewall markings.
However, if you require a dedicated winter for those extreme wintery conditions, then Bridgestone offers a wide variety of winter tyre products to suit all conditions. Take, for example, the company’s regional winter drive tyre for mild winter conditions, the RW-Drive 001, or, for the more severe wintery conditions, its Nordic Drive 001. Bridgestone also provides a severe winter steer tyre in W958 and W958EVO.
Having the correct product fitted to your coach or truck will ensure that, in adverse wintery conditions, your operations continue as normal and you avoid the financial penalties for not fitting the correct tyre product for the weather conditions you are faced with. Always look out for both the ‘M+S’ and ‘Alpine Symbol’ (3PMSF) marked tyres.