Cold Weather Trucking: 2 FAQs

Driving a light commercial truck safely is often challenging enough without the truck driver having to be twice as worried about problems related to the traction of tyres. For this reason, truck owners should have no doubts as to whether cold-weather tyres are a worthwhile investment. For the same reason, truck owners who already use cold-weather tyres should ensure that proper traction is maintained on the tyres.

Discussed in this article are answers to two questions about the use of cold-weather truck tyres.

What Makes Cold-Weather Tyres Different?

There are various distinctive characteristics that may distinguish a cold-weather tyre from an all-weather tyre. In a large number of cases, cold-weather tyres have various additions that work to improve positive impact between the tyre and the road surface. These additions often include, but they're not limited to the following:

  • Walnut shells: There's no doubt about the "hardness" of walnut shells. These shells may be crushed before they're incorporated into the tread compound of a truck tyre. When driving on snow (for example) the crushed shells serve as small spikes which increase tyre traction by digging into compacted snow and/or ice.
  • Carbonic powder: Carbonic powder used on cold-weather tyre treads is often derived from bamboo charcoal. Carbonic powder improves traction on tyre treads by removing the thin layer of water that forms on compacted snow and/or ice through absorption. As the truck tyre continues to rotate, the absorbed water is dispersed. Removal of the thin layer of water allows for increased contact between truck tyres and the road surface. 

Why Is Low-Pressure A Common Problem With Cold-Weather Tyres?

Even with the advanced features on cold-weather tyres, truck owners are almost always guaranteed that a cold-weather tyre will seem slightly deflated at one point or the other.

The thing about low-pressure problems during the winter is that they're not always an indication that the tyre is punctured. When temperatures are low, the density of air inside a cold-weather tyre increases and the air "settles". The end result is a seemingly deflated tyre. If this is the case, driving for a short distance should warm up cold air in the tyres and the tyres should regain their normal "full-pressure" appearance.

However, truck owners/operators need to have their tyres checked by a professional as soon as possible even when the tyres regain their normal appearance after a short drive. Only then can a truck owner/operator guarantee proper traction on their truck tyres in the face of low-pressure problems due to harsh weather conditions.