Photo credit: bilanol – stock.adobe.com
As snow removal and commercial and residential landscape maintenance and construction professionals, one might wonder why we are writing about winter tires. But, because we spend a lot of time on the roads in the winter, moving from job site to job site, we know how valuable our fleet of vehicles is for us to get our job done.
To us, winter tires are on par with a good pair of winter boots. They keep our employees safe and comfortable in the fact that technology is taking care of them while also ensuring our clients continue to receive fast and reliable snow removal service. As we make our way around to our snow removal clients’ properties, we are usually doing so immediately after a snowfall and before the City of Calgary makes their snow-clearing rounds. We have an obligation to get to our customers as quickly as possible after a snowfall, and getting stuck is simply not an option. Plus, our trucks need to have the best grip possible while pushing plows around. Our winter tires are what help us provide our services in a timely manner, and we recommend them for everyone.
Where are winter tires mandatory?
Winter tires are mandatory in both B.C. and Quebec, meaning if you get caught driving without them you could be subject to a fine. Given that many of us Albertans love to head to the B.C. ski hills and warmer interior destinations in the winter, winter tires are a must for many vehicle owners. They are required between Oct. 1 and April 30 and must have the “M+S” (mud + snow) symbol or the three-peaked snowflake/mountain symbol. Your tires’ treads must have a minimum of 3.5 millimetres depth, and B.C. also recommends drivers carry chains. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory from Dec. 1 to March 15 and they must have the must have the “M+S” (mud + snow) symbol or the three-peaked snowflake/mountain symbol as well.
Winter tires are not mandatory in Alberta, but they are highly recommended by Transportation Alberta. All-weather tires are also ok in this province, and the government suggests those marked with the snowflake/mountain symbol. Chains are allowable, however should you cause damage to a roadway you could incur a fine.
What gives winter tires their grip
Tire technology has improved greatly over the years. Normally, rubber stiffens and hardens in cold weather, which causes tires to start to lose their grip. Winter tires are made out of a special kind of rubber that maintains its elasticity and malleability even down to temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius. That allows them to keep their traction. Winter tires can help you to stop about 30% faster than regular tires.
With deeper and more prevalent siping, which is the slits that are “cut” horizontally across the tread, winter tires provide a lot more bite on the snow and ice. Snow build-up is also reduced with a more aggressive tread pattern. Winter tires are also good for wet weather, as they are designed to push water to the side rather than simply roll over it, which greatly reduces the chance of hydroplaning.
Summer tires will start to stiffen and harden as soon as the temperatures are consistently below 7 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in November is 3 degrees Celsius, which means you should probably try to schedule swapping out your tires around the end of October.
Proper storage is key
Be sure to store your summer and winter tires properly – do not just leave them out in the elements, even if they are covered. This will definitely shorten their overall life span. UV rays are very bad for tires, and fluctuations in temperatures (like we often have in Calgary) will also cause damage. They should be wrapped well in sturdy plastic to help keep them safe from an accidental chemical spill and kept indoors in a place where the temperature stays consistent, such as your basement or a heated garage. They can be stacked on their sides, hung up on hooks, or stood up side-by-side. Many dealerships and tire companies also offer storage for a small fee, which is very handy for many.
Trust Mirage for your snow removal services
Mirage Landscaping is a family-owned business, and we work hard to maintain the reputation we have worked for decades to earn. Our snow removal contracts are clear and detailed so you know exactly what our obligations are, and we always live our obligations to the letter.
In addition to snow removal services, we also provide landscape maintenance and landscape construction services. We specialize in serving the southeast communities of Calgary, where we have lived and worked for several years. Contact us today for a fast and easy quote using our online form, or else give us a call at 403-252-5235. Unlike many landscaping and snow removal companies, we hold regular office hours and are easily reachable during the day.