Thu December 13 12:46 pm 2012 in category Product news

Sweden’s new winter tyre law for heavy vehicles concerns all trucks

From the beginning of next year, Sweden is introducing a requirement for winter tyres on the drive axles of heavy vehicles. This can be expected to substantially increase road safety during the winter season.

According to the decision made by the Swedish Government last week, all trucks operating in Sweden must have tyres with at least 5 mm pattern depth and winter tyres on their drive axles between 1 December and 31 March, whenever winter conditions occur. The new legislation enters into effect at the beginning of next year. The law has its background in the unfortunate statistics from previous winters concerning traffic accidents where trucks with worn out tyres were involved.

According to a study performed by the Swedish Transport Agency last nearly half (45%) of foreign truck and trailer combinations involved in run-off-road collisions had poor pattern depth in their drive axle tyres. In addition to accidents, many trucks with poor tyres have caused severe traffic delays by running off the road or getting stuck on slippery uphill routes.

Nokian Tyres considers Sweden’s new regulations an important step towards better winter safety.

− This is a very important and respectable decision from the Swedish Government; they are taking the initiative in ensuring road safety and fluent transport. It is essential that all transport companies driving in Sweden notice this new requirement, regardless the country of origin. Winter conditions can be extremely severe in Nordic countries and it is essential that proper tyres in all axles are used says Pontus Stenberg, Vice President, Truck Tyres at Nokian Tyres.

Paying attention to tyres on the entire truck and trailer combination

The biggest problem is trucks with worn or poorly suited tyres for Northern winter conditions. For the most part, Nordic transport companies with long experience of winter use tyres designed for the Northern conditions. As a common procedure, winter tyres are usually fitted in the autumn before winter arrives, ensuring the best possible grip and performance.

Legislation requiring good winter tyres for trucks would also promote winter safety for heavy traffic in Finland. Nokian Tyres also wishes to emphasise that good winter tyres are required on both the truck and trailer. For the trailer, the minimum groove depth should be at least 3 millimetres.

− In the winter, you need to pay attention to the tyres of the entire truck and trailer combination. It is quite common to install new or retreaded tyres in the autumn. For safety, using the correct winter tyres with an open tread pattern and the M+S label is essential. The handling of a truck and trailer combination under winter conditions can be vastly improved when using winter tyres instead of worn regular tyres. When using reliable tyres, the driver has much better control over braking, acceleration, and cornering, Stenberg says.

Worn tyres have an up to 30% longer braking distance

The importance of good tyres on the entire truck and trailer combination was highlighted in the winter testing event arranged by Nokian Tyres in Ivalo last March. When braking with ABS on packed snow and ice, the braking distance of a truck and trailer combination was over 30% longer with worn tyres than with new Nokian Hakkapeliitta tyres. When both truck and trailer combinations started braking from a speed of 70 km/h, the combination with worn tyres was still going 35 kilometres per hour at the point where the one with new tyres had already stopped.

− All of our Nokian drive axle winter tyres, as well as all of our Noktop retreading materials for winter use, meet the requirements of Sweden’s new legislation. Our strong competence is based on experience. After all, it was us who developed the “Kelirengas”, the world’s first winter tyre in 1934 for professionals in heavy traffic, Stenberg emphasises.

Read more:

Safe winter driving requires good winter tyres on both the truck and trailer

Watch our heavy vehicle winter tyres test video

Be prepared – don’t let the winter surprise you

Nokian Truck Tyres: Safety and efficiency

The Nokian tyres for trucks and buses are developed for demanding professional use and varying conditions in order to enable safe driving under all weather and road conditions. We test extreme driving situations under all weather conditions at our own testing centres in Ivalo and Nokia. The tyres are developed further by driving millions of kilometres in different operating environments and all kinds of weather. Our close co-operation with bus and transport companies offers valuable operating experience to support our design work. The purpose of our versatile testing is to offer the market’s safest, most economical tyres for professional driving.

Further information:

Nokian Tyres plc
Pontus Stenberg, Vice President, Truck Tyres
Tel. +358 10 401 7232