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Kal Tire Puts Tires to the Test—in Canada

Independent group tests tires in rugged Canadian winter driving conditions

How well will a set of tires brake at a slippery intersection, corner in a snowstorm, manoeuvre through puddles or push through slush? Now Canadians will know. Kal Tire is the first tire retailer to independently test tires right here in Canada and in the same rugged conditions drivers face in the winter. Drivers will now have the objective information they need to choose the right tire.

“We wanted to give drivers greater and more relevant information about how tires really perform in everyday winter conditions in Canada, and we also wanted to be able to show people how 3-season (all-season), all-weather and winter tires compare in their performance,” says Carey Hull, director retail products, Kal Tire.

“Black ice, slush on the highway, slick intersections—these are the kinds of situations where drivers get into trouble. It was important we had the tires tested on surfaces in Canada that consumers face in real, everyday winter driving conditions.”

In the first phase of Kal’s Tire Testing, 12 passenger and seven light truck tires from the company’s core line-up of 3-season, all-weather, and winter tire categories were subjected to 10 rigorous tests, including braking and cornering in dry, wet and ice conditions as well as hydroplaning, slush straight line stability, slush cornering and road noise. Come spring 2016, Kal Tire will release tire testing results on another 57 passenger and truck tires, and new tests were added relevant to spring and summer driving conditions.

The independent tire testing company hired by Kal Tire conducted sophisticated tests in order to determine how the tires would perform against slippery intersections, patches of black ice, puddles during winter rains and highway slush amidst fog.

Key findings*:

  • Winter tires, on average, stopped 14.68 metres sooner on ice compared to 3-seasons:
    • Winter tires stopped in 30.1 m
    • All-weather tires stopped in 35.5 m
    • 3-season tires stopped in 44.8 m
  • All-weather tires, on average, stop 77 cm sooner on wet pavement (from 70 km/hour) and 33 cm sooner on dry pavement (from 90 km/hour) compared to 3-season tires.
  • Winter tires are nearly three times better at holding corners on ice than 3-seasons.
  • Studless winter tires aren’t noisy! On average, all-weather and 3-season tires emitted the same amount of road noise, and winter tires were 1.6 per cent quieter than all-weather and 3-season tires, contrary to popular belief.
  • On slush straight-line tests, professional drivers rated:
    • Winter tires an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars
    • All-weather tires an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars
    • 3-season tires an average of 2.4 out of 5 stars

*Aggregate results of the 19 tires tested by Kal Tire

“We deliberately chose to execute the tire tests in real Canadian road conditions, rather than a test track, in order to reflect realistic Canadian driving conditions our customers encounter,” said Hull. “Much work was done to ensure that the testing provided objective and comprehensive results based on measurable, scientific data.”

To ensure accurate results, even the most minute variables, such as track temperature and wind temperature, were monitored. Industry-leading technology measured precise driving lines, speed, GPS information and G-Force measurements of each vehicle. And multiple runs were conducted with each tire test to ensure accurate results.

Professional drivers used the same vehicles in the same weather conditions and repeated the tests at identical speeds never knowing the specifics of the tire being tested at any time. With the consistent precision of professional drivers at the wheel, using expert driving techniques and handling the tests in the exact same manner every time, Kal Tire is confident the results are objective and scientific.

“Between the range of tests conducted, the calibre of the drivers and the technology used to capture the data, this is an incredibly sophisticated and comprehensive tire testing program,” says Hull. “Canadians face pretty tough conditions in the winter, and now they have proof about which tires are going to perform when push comes to shove.”

Tire testing results will be provided to drivers through a five star rating system for each test conducted. Additionally, each tire will be ranked both in how it compared to others in its category as well as how it compared to all tires tested. Results can be found in-store and at kaltire.com/testing.

 

 

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