Tire Business Article on Winter Tires

Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
4,000
Location
Somewhere in the US
From Tire Business, Mar 29, 2021 edition:

Marked for winter driving

Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol makes things easier for consumers

**********************************************************
Key points:

There is a symbol which designates tires that pass a snow traction test. It's abbreviation is 3PMSF.

Canada considers tires that pass this test to be "Winter Tires".

Quebec requires Winter Tires from Dec 1 to Mar 15.
***********************************************************

NORTH CANTON, Ohio

Winter tires are easy to spot thanks to the well-known 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) logo.

The aim of the logo is to help consumers easily identify winter tires.

The symbol was adopted two decades ago to set winter tires apart from the rest of the growing crowd of tires, which included the all-season and all-weather categories.

“The symbol means the tire has been tested by the manufacturer to perform in severe snow conditions,” according to a Michelin official.

“Any Michelin tire with 3PMSF has undergone severe snow traction testing and has been determined worthy of the designation.”

The symbol — a snowflake inside of a three-peaked mountain — indicates the tire meets performance-based standards for safety in severe snow conditions by testing wheel slippage.

Tires are tested for acceleration on an average snow-pack and, basically, must accelerate 10% faster than an all-season tire. The tests do not measure braking or turning in snow, deep snow response or ice traction.

The 3PMSF symbol is in addition to the M+S (mud and snow) symbols used on snow and all-season tires. The M+S definition is geometric-based, while the 3PMSF definition covers tires that attain a traction index equal to or greater than 110% during the American Standard Test Method (ASTM) F-1805 snow traction test devised by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

The voluntary initiative was announced Feb. 1, 1999, by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (now the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, or USTMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (now the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, or TRAC).

“This new standard will ensure that Canadian consumers can identify and purchase tires designed to provide a higher level of traction in Canada’s harsh winter conditions,’’ then-Transport Canada Minister David Collenette said in 1999.

The RMA and RAC worked on the new definition for about 2 1/2 years, after Transport Canada (Canada’s counterpart to the U.S. Department of Transportation) requested it.

The ASTM standard spells out how to set up ice and snow surfaces — including precise definitions of four types of snow — and how to conduct the test. The traction index is derived by measuring wheel slippage of the driven wheel versus that of the non-driven wheel.

Each test consists of 10 runs Marked for winter driving Tire Business Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol makes things easier for consumers over the prepared course, with traction values determined by averaging eight valid test runs out of 10, according to the ASTM standard. Each candidate tire is to be tested at least three times, preferably on different days.

The 3PMSF symbol has also become important in areas where winter tires are a requirement, like Canadian provinces Quebec and British Columbia.

According to Quebec’s highway safety code, only tires with the 3PMSF symbol are considered winter tires. By law, drivers must use winter tires from Dec. 1 through March 15, not just because of severe snow but also because the compound of winter tires handles extreme cold temperatures better than an all-season tire.

**************************************

Source: https://www.tirebusiness.com/this-week-issue/archives

Tire Business: Issue Archives
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,143
Location
pa
its a step in the right direction BUT IMO stopping is always even more important + although the 3 peaks "may" be better they may not!!! i am critical of tires + see far too many drivers with worn out by the bars still using them. i live in Pa + winters have been "weaker" than in the past but see the need for MANDATORY winter tires as drivers struggle going sideways up the medium grade i live on!
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
6,197
Location
down in the park
this stresses that along with the 3pmsf symbol, you should get a reputable brand tyre to ensure handling on snow or ice is also considered.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
6,197
Location
down in the park
its a step in the right direction BUT IMO stopping is always even more important + although the 3 peaks "may" be better they may not!!! i am critical of tires + see far too many drivers with worn out by the bars still using them. i live in Pa + winters have been "weaker" than in the past but see the need for MANDATORY winter tires as drivers struggle going sideways up the medium grade i live on!

I came across a 17% grade yesterday, sure wouldn't want to be caught there in winter conditions without good tyres.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
221
Location
Northern Michigan
The key to winter driving is S-L-O-W down...yes tires help, but some people think it is safe to drive at posted speed limits just because they have snow tires.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
3,397
Location
Idaho
Tires are tested for acceleration on an average snow-pack and, basically, must accelerate 10% faster than an all-season tire.
more specifically, the tire must accelerate 10% faster than the special ASTM reference tire.

 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
481
Location
USA
The key to winter driving is S-L-O-W down...yes tires help, but some people think it is safe to drive at posted speed limits just because they have snow tires.

Agree completely. I run Firestone WinterForce tires on some stock steelies. Night and day difference compared to my DD tires....accelerating, turning, stopping....in a different universe.

Yet I drive just as cautiously. They're there to help me....not make me invincible.

Screenshot_2021-02-18-20-56-28.jpg
20201108_101845.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
2,282
Location
Somewhere in time
Tell us how to do this on 17% grade going down.

Krzyś
If the route is a 17% grade going down and with bad weather, I take another route or delay my trip. It is the intelligent driver thing to do when weather is bad.

There are scarcely few circumstances where one decides that they must go down a 17% grade in poor weather.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
269
Location
Ontario, Canada
The key to winter driving is S-L-O-W down...yes tires help, but some people think it is safe to drive at posted speed limits just because they have snow tires.
Tell that to all the semi drivers that go blasting by everyone in the rain, snow and sleet and crap. Its becoming wayyy to common up here :(
 

CapriRacer

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
4,000
Location
Somewhere in the US
The new (from May 2021) EU label goes one step further. In addition to the 3PMS, there is an ice logo also.

energylabels_tyres.jpg
Just an FYI on the new EU tyre label:

* The EU has adopted the 3PMSF symbol, but are calling it the "Alpine symbol". My best guess is that over time, everyone will adopt that nomenclature.
* They created an ice grip symbol that doesn't seem to have a name. It also doesn't have a test - maybe later. The current regulations only call for one to be established using "reliable, accurate and reproducible methods".
* Both the Alpine symbol and the new ice grip symbol only apply to passenger car tires - not light duty vehicle tires (so called LT tires), and truck and bus tires.
* The RR, wet grip, and noise rating have been consolidated such that there are 5 levels.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
1,074
Location
South Carolina
its a step in the right direction BUT IMO stopping is always even more important + although the 3 peaks "may" be better they may not!!! i am critical of tires + see far too many drivers with worn out by the bars still using them. i live in Pa + winters have been "weaker" than in the past but see the need for MANDATORY winter tires as drivers struggle going sideways up the medium grade i live on!
Good luck getting Americans to go for MANDATORY anything! Too many of these rocket scientists perceive "freedom" to mean they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no regard for anyone else.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
333
Location
Toronto
Wouldn’t be caught dead without winter tires living here in Toronto. Yes the roads are cleared and salted by morning before work, however that’s only the main roads and highways. You have to still deal with slush and potential build up of ice and temps below -7.

However, if the snow falls when work is wrapping up 3-5pm then you’re in trouble. Snowplows won’t be able to clean quick enough and you WILL encounter snow on side roads, main roads and the highways that’s when you’d wish you had winter tires. I’ve seen the damage first hand when snow falls when work is out.

My thinking is this, if you can’t afford a separate set of rims and winter tires you shouldn’t be buying a car. Period. If I ran my province they would be mandatory from November - beginning of April.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,010
Location
Colorado Springs
The key to winter driving is S-L-O-W down...yes tires help, but some people think it is safe to drive at posted speed limits just because they have snow tires.
Tires are key! Let's get off this common sense garbage that people argue just to comfort themselves (personally here in CO I consider all those driving A/S tires absolutely stupid).
Real-life does not work that way. You can have a dry road, drive posted limit, and hit a patch of ice or snow behind curve. Snow tires are much more capable in really cold conditions in dry than anything All season.
You can still drive slow with snow tires, but if you think you will compensate lack of traction and braking capabilities of snow tires by driving "slow," you fall into that group that thinks if they wish hard enough, it will happen.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,010
Location
Colorado Springs
Good luck getting Americans to go for MANDATORY anything! Too many of these rocket scientists perceive "freedom" to mean they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no regard for anyone else.
"I have a right" group of people are absolutely dumbest group one can encounter. One minute of conversation with them and you quickly realize they are pretty much illiterate.
We had that initiative a few years back here in CO to at least demanding it on the I70 stretch through the Rockies. "I have a right" people immediately popped out. Still, the law was passed that fines people who block lanes due to lack of winter equipment for I think $600 each hour of the stall.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
11,225
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
It’s kind of a shame GY stopped making the Tripletred tires-3 peak mountain/snow performance, nearly unbelievable in the rain, decent dry traction. And they can legitimately go 80,000 miles too (brother’s Altima did it). They’re not quite as good as dedicated snows, but the MGM in my sig hasn’t got stuck with them yet.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
11,816
Location
Illinois
If the route is a 17% grade going down and with bad weather, I take another route or delay my trip. It is the intelligent driver thing to do when weather is bad.

There are scarcely few circumstances where one decides that they must go down a 17% grade in poor weather.
Exactly, slow down includes stop which translates to "don't go!"
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
3,813
Location
Parts Unknown
Wouldn’t be caught dead without winter tires living here in Toronto. Yes the roads are cleared and salted by morning before work, however that’s only the main roads and highways. You have to still deal with slush and potential build up of ice and temps below -7.

However, if the snow falls when work is wrapping up 3-5pm then you’re in trouble. Snowplows won’t be able to clean quick enough and you WILL encounter snow on side roads, main roads and the highways that’s when you’d wish you had winter tires. I’ve seen the damage first hand when snow falls when work is out.

My thinking is this, if you can’t afford a separate set of rims and winter tires you shouldn’t be buying a car. Period. If I ran my province they would be mandatory from November - beginning of April.
Your Ontario law makers does not agree with your assessment.
 
Top