Before setting off to Europe for a winter adventure, General Tire is urging motorists to check where winter tyres are mandatory. Laws surrounding the use of winter tyres vary from country to country and even region to region, so it is vital that motorists understand legal requirements and markings on the sidewall before they set off. Especially relevant in the lead up to Ski seasons and school holidays.
With many tyres on the market, understanding the different types available can be confusing. All-terrain and mud+snow markings can lead some to believe their tyres are suitable in winter conditions. However, in countries with mandatory winter tyres it is the alpine marking that is often required, before travelling it is advisable to check the which markings are compliant. Many 4×4 tyres on the market do not feature the alpine marking, making the General Tire Grabber AT3 the perfect companion for those winter adventures. As the Alpine mark can be found across the complete range of Grabber AT3tyres, not always the case with competitor brands.
The tread pattern of the Grabber AT3 has been designed in such a way that it is suitable for use on off-road terrain as well as road use. In addition, the all-terrain expert features a large number of robust blocks that interlock with the ground, and allow the vehicle to move forward, steer precisely, and ensure short braking distances even on off-road terrain. The deep tread grooves provide additional grip when the vehicle is traveling over muddy roads or slippery grassland. Aggressive shoulder blocks that reach into the side wall of the tyre prevent the side wall from being damaged. The Grabber AT3 has also been designed in such a way that it offers high tread strength for driving on the road, and thus carries out the steering and brake commands precisely. General Tire manufactures the model in 62 sizes in an extremely wide product range for rims between 15 and 20 inches in diameter; the tyre has been approved for speeds of up to 130mph.
Driving in winter tips
Before you set off:
- Check tyres for wear often and replace if necessary. The legal limit for tread depth on tyres is 1.6 mm, but safety experts at General Tire recommend a minimum of 3 mm for wet weather safety. In winter conditions a minimum of 4mm is recommended and in some countries is mandatory. It is advisable to check before travelling.
- Check your tyre pressures ahead of any longer journeys or every two weeks. In some cases, tyre pressure can be adjusted to suit the terrain for off-roading purposes. Make sure that when you go away on your off-road adventure, you take a pump, so you can re-adjust tyre pressure when you get back onto public roads. Driving on a public highway with even slightly deflated tyres can be extremely dangerous.
- Check your tyres for uneven wear. Although not particularly dangerous in itself, uneven tyre wear can be a sign that there is something more serious wrong. There could be underlying alignment issues, or in the worst case scenario, there could be an issue with worn down or damaged components in the steering/suspension assembly.
- Every time one of your tyres is replaced or repaired, a new valve should be fitted. Reliable tyre fitters will do this without question, but it is always wise to confirm this with them before they fit the new tyre.
- Always remember before leaving on any journey to check your battery is fully charged, lights are clean, and bulbs have been checked. It is also advisable to put together an emergency kit, such as food, drink, torch and extra clothing, for journeys in severe winter weather, and to keep it in the back of your car
On the road:
- Visibility is vital. Keep your windscreen and windows clean and clear
- Reduce your speed on slippery surfaces and avoid harsh braking or acceleration
- Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front – in rain, ice and snow leave enough space to stop safely. Allow up to ten times the normal braking disance, especially on motorways
- Use a higher gear to avoid spinning the wheels when starting off or climbing hills