In recent years we have all noticed that, to quote our dad’s, ‘winters aren’t what they used to be’ and they are very much correct!
Our last bad winter was in 2010 when the country ground to a halt and no-one went to work, shops were looted for the essential Prosecco and nibbles and traffic didn’t move. But that was nearly five years ago and since then, the majority of us have only suffered with some really cold and icy days, not a sniff of snow to be had, boo, we really wanted to get the sledges out!
So now we need to look at an alternative to cold weather (winter) tyres, particularly for those who don’t want the expense of a second set of wheels and tyres or just the tyres, haven’t anywhere to store them or just plainly do not see the benefits of full on winter tyres for what is, generally, mild winters in the UK.
If you live in the Highlands of Scotland or in areas that do get more than a dusting of snow, then we encourage you to invest in a set of winter tyres, if only for safety reasons, you will see the benefits, but what if you live in a big town or city and just get the really cold weather? All season tyres from Vredestein are the perfect compromise solution.
Why? Because we don’t see the temperature fluctuations as they do further inland into Europe, everything is gradual. All season tyres have defined areas that work in the summer mode or the winter mode but both elements sync perfectly with each other to provide the high levels of grip and braking ability you would get with the summer or winter equivalent.
Tyremen have been at the forefront of importing and selling Vredestein tyres, the biggest and best tyre manufacturer you never heard of! The Quatrac range of tyres has been around for 20 years and that has helped Vredestein produce this superb tyre so that the range now covers small city and compact cars, performance cars, SUV’s and even light commercial.
The Quatrac 3 and Quatrac 3 SUV
This tyre comes in two variations, a car version and an extra load (XL) version for SUV’s. With large radius groves and the outer edge to clear water and other debris, it maintains its huge levels of grip because of the strong shoulder construction.
As with all the Quatrac range, a strong tyre carcass is the starting point. This builds in the stability, strength, and extends the life span over other brands of all season tyre.
The Quatrac 5
The 5 has been changed from the 3 and is now available for all types, car, SUV and 4WD from small to large. Using the previous technology of the 3 this has enabled Vredestein to take a huge step forward in terms of ability and safety. This tyre has great levels of steering ability and it holds the road like a summer tyre, just remember, you can’t take it around corners at 70mph, you still have to be sensible.
Both the 3 and the 5 have good EU label ratings, and as they are tested during the summer, this gives them a big boost. Vredestein are known for tyres that, when used right, return great mileages. It’s a double edged sword for retailers as it means less visits to change them!
The Quatrac Lite
Vredestein’s tyre for the ‘green’ category. The Lite is a lot more subtle with the tread pattern and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just a summer tyre. The rubber is made up with a ‘Polymer Compound’ which reduces the rolling resistance increasing fuel efficiency.
The Lite has a feature called ‘Flexing Points’ which performs well during a ‘normal’ UK winter, be excels with wet grip, competing with premium brands in this sector.
A quiet tyre on the road, stable and leading steering capability, Vredestein have aimed this tyre at compact city cars, electric cars and for difficult urban roads.
Last on the list is the tyre for the light commercial sector.
The Comtrac All Season
It has always been a problem for van owners and fleet managers. How do you best keep your vans moving when the weather turns nasty?
Winter tyres are there for vans and light campervans, but the most viable alternative is all season. This means that you can just leave them on and replace as required, rather than have a second set that require changing and storing, just completely inconvenient and not really cost effective to any business.
As with any all season tyre the emphasis is for safe all year driving and when you need that robust grip and confident steering capability. The Comtrac has a ‘V’ style tread pattern with sipes in the tread blocks, it looks imposing and strong.
Water and snow clearance is a key element of this tyre and it is all pushed away with ease.
All in all, Vredestein produce some very good tyres that cover all the seasons. I personally have them on my 10 year old Touareg and our UK winters are a breeze, ice, snow, damp and just purely cold conditions are dealt with without issue.
Just remember, if you live in and around areas with lots of traffic movements, motorways and areas generally not really affected with lots of snow, then all season tyres are the way forward. No changing around twice a year and storage issues.
But, and you have to consider this carefully, if you are prone to persistent snow, even small amounts by regular, then you may just need to have cold weather (winter) tyres, but here in the UK, all season are a great alternative.
Thanks for reading
The Tyremen Team