The Snow Grip of Heavy Vehicle Drive Axle Winter Tyres

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Every winter in Sweden, winter roadways pose problems for heavy vehicles. Steep gradients can be difficult to pass when it is slippery, which has implications also for other traffic when congestion occurs. To reduce the problems it has been discussed whether to impose a legal requirement for winter tyres on drive axle for trucks. This papers presents test results of the available snow grip from test track measurements comparing different drive axle tyres. A summer tyre, together with three winter tyres, of which one was retreaded, were selected for tests. The results of the traction tests show that there can be a big difference in grip between winter and summer tyres on packed snow. The difference between the tyres, however, is strongly dependent on the nature of the snow surface, so it is difficult to give general values. Theoretical calculations show that a vehicle’s rolling resistance can have a major impact on a vehicles climbing ability. With a high rolling resistance, which may be the result of loose snow on the road, the difference between good and bad grip on the drive tyres becomes even more significant.

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