Michelin’s CrossClimate tyres are helping County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s rapid response ‘flexi’ officers save lives, after the Service selected the unique summer tyre with winter capabilities for the specialist officers’ cars.
The Service is gradually rolling out CrossClimate tyres on 27 Škoda Octavias driven by the ‘flexi’ officers – experienced specialists trained to respond to any emergency situation at a moment’s notice – adding the Michelin fitments’ on-road performance, safety, longevity and durability to a cargo of specialist firefighting expertise.
Jeff Dickson, Transport Manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, says: “When we heard about Michelin’s CrossClimate tyres we thought them ideal for our requirements, and asked to trial the fitments – trials which quickly revealed the tyres’ on-road performance and traction in all weather conditions.
“We quickly took the decision to fit the new tyres to our ‘flexi’ officers’ Škodas, as these specialists must be able to respond instantly to an emergency call, no matter the weather – and get to places other cars may struggle to reach,” adds Jeff.
“Also, fitting CrossClimate tyres hasn’t cost the Service one penny more than the winter tyres fitted previously under our tyre policy. By swapping the winter tyres for CrossClimate, we’ve gained the traction of a winter tyre on occasionally snow-covered roads, married to the performance of a summer tyre – we’ve simply acquired the best tyre possible for the job at hand, and boosted mobility in unpredictable conditions for this vital part of our fleet as a result,” Jeff says.
The fitments offer the benefits of a summer tyre for dry or wet braking, total mileage and energy efficiency, while also boasting the traction and braking performance of a winter tyre on cold and snow-covered roads – making CrossClimate tyres perfect for the UK’s often unpredictable weather.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service serves an area of approximately 2,460 square kilometres, operating from 15 fire stations across the counties of Darlington, Derwentside, Durham, Easington, Sedgefield and Wear and Tees.
The highly-trained ‘flexi’ officers typically carry specialist gear in their Škodas’ boots above and beyond a firefighter’s standard protective equipment. Some officers carry personal protective equipment and information packs required to help control various dangerous situations, such as chemical and fuel spills, working at height or flooding incidents.
The ‘flexi’ fleet’s new CrossClimates will be fitted exclusively by service provider ATS Euromaster, which also manages the Michelin tyres fitted to the Service’s mainline fire response and support vehicles.
“I was so impressed by the CrossClimates during testing that I’ve since purchased a set for my personal vehicle,” adds Jeff. “During a period of poor weather in the winter, my wife said she had sailed past wheel-spinning commuters while out and about. There’s no higher praise than that!”
CrossClimate tyres are currently available in 23 dimensions, covering 76 per cent of all car and car-derived van tyres in sizes from 15 to 17 inches, with Michelin expected to launch more sizes throughout 2016, including additional fitments in 15 to 17 inches, plus new tyres in 14, 18 and 19 inches.
With a V-shaped tread and self-blocking 3D sipes, CrossClimate tyres are designed to optimise traction in snow. Described as a “claw” effect, the vertical and lateral waves of the sipes give the tread blocks greater rigidity, while also benefiting longevity, steering precision and general dry road performance.
CrossClimate tyres have also earned the top ‘A’ rating for wet braking on European tyre labels, and several sizes have achieved a ‘B’ rating for rolling resistance, with a noise rating of 68 decibels.