Winter Arriving - Autumn By-Passed
So, it seems Autumn has largely passed the UK by in terms of normal weather patterns. Unseasonable warmth may seem to make our winter message dwindle in importance, but Winter is certainly drawing in, if weather reports are to be believed.
Already to the north of the UK, temperatures are consistently below 7°C, the magic number at which Winter Tyres become advantageous and improve grip, stability and safety on the road.
A week or so ago, we highlighted some of Britain’s “Cold Spots”, courtesy of the BBC. As you can see from the update below, temperatures are now substantially below 7°C in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Snow has already been reported in Scotland, and has not been entirely on the highlands, lower lying ground has started to receive a dusting of snow, and it is predicted that this winter precipitation will be moving south throughout December.
The mild weather will be making way for winter - make sure your summer tyres make way for winter ones and stay safe!
In case you are new to our blog, you can read more about the need for Winter Wheels & Tyres on our website: http://wheelwright.co.uk/winter-wheels-and-tyres
The Monday Morning Blog: 21/11/11
The Monday Morning Blog: Unseasonably Mild & Dry November Extends Window To Prepare For Winter
Although we have had one of the most mild and dry Novembers for some time, weather predictions for December & January are looking more typical, with a cold snap due within the next few weeks. Much of the UK is already suffering from temperatures below 7°c - the temperature at which your all-weather tyres become less suitable and you should be driving on Winter Wheels & Tyres.
Some of the UK’s Cold-Spots have been highlighted by the BBC:
Much of Scotland, Northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland have already been suffering with freezing temperatures, which coincides with the highest demand for Winter Wheels & Tyres - clearly the message is getting out there and we are very proud to have been driving this forward, along with the major Tyre Safety groups such as TyreSafe.
By the final week of November, much of the UK will be returning to average temperatures - this is the week where temperatures regularly dip below 7°c. This milder start to the month has extended the window for people to prepare for the cold snap to follow.
We will continue to push home the message of Winter Wheels & Tyres and are excited to see the Wheel Hotel concept is developing well with dealerships, fitment bays and wheel retailers up and down the country.
Harsher UK Winters to impact positively on Wheel & Tyre market.
Two consecutively harsh winters have raised awareness to the safety implications associated with freezing temperatures, frost, ice and snow on Britain’s roads. Winter Wheels and Tyres are already compulsory in most European countries, particularly in northern and central Europe, and one could consider it just a “matter of time” before fitting a set becomes compulsory here in the UK too.
From October to April, temperatures regularly dip below 7°c – this is generally considered the signal to change tyres for a winter set. Winter averages in the past thirty years have been around 1°c, with a 2011 average of -1.5°c. When temperatures dip below 7°c, braking distances from 62mph (100kph) can increase by up to 5m, from 65m to 70m, when using summer or all-weather tyres. This is owing to the decreased plyability and increased stiffness in the rubber at these temperatures. As a result, they are unable to react to road surface irregularities and traction dramatically decreases.
Winter tyres are made of a different tread compound which remains more flexible at low temperatures, giving excellent contact between the tyre and the road, thus retaining traction and grip. This does not just improve safety in braking situations, but also improves the ride on the variable road surfaces and textures experienced in winter, as well as when cornering. On ice, snow and in wet conditions, winter tyres offer traction that no summer tyre can match. Using winter tyres really can help you avoid becoming another accident statistic.
The safety benefits speak for themselves. However, there are also associated cost benefits. In the UK, we often combat the Ice and Snow conditions using aggressive mineral compounds such as rock-salt/grit. This grit and salt can inevitably damage the finish of your OE or aftermarket alloy wheels. Having a second set of alloy or steel wheels for use during these conditions will increase the longevity of your vehicle’s summer wheels, and ensure they are not corroded by the salt and slush from the road. This could save you a considerable amount of money in the longer term.
Alcar Wheelwright, the UK’s has developed an extensive programme of Steel and Alloy wheel & winter tyre packages to cover the winter market, with over 90% of the car park covered. Managing Director, Kevin Greer, explained: “The winter wheel market in the UK has remained latent for some time. But, with two consecutive harsh winters, the safety implications and cost benefits, people are realising the benefits of having a set of winter wheels. For retailers and fitting bays, it also offers an opportunity for another “touching point”, which they can use to up-sell other products such as oil changes, MOTs and winter health checks. It really can benefit both our retailers and, more importantly, the end consumer.”
In essence, offering a Winter Wheel & Tyre programme shows business acumen, and, more importantly, an interest in the safety of your customers. Kevin continues: “By partnering with Alcar Wheelwright, you will have access to their high-volumes of stock both in the UK and Europe, supplying wheels from top brands such as AEZ, Dezent, Dotz, Enzo, Calibre & KFZ Stählrad.” The company are now taking enquiries and pre-season orders and expect to have a great deal of interest in their range.
 Met Office Statistics – Average Winter Temperatures 1971-2010
 Met Office Statistics – Winter Temperatures 2011 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/winter.html)