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Snow tyre testing is a never-ending job

By Aimeemichael Subscribe to RSS | April 23rd 2012 | Views:
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Have you ever wondered how all those new innovations in tyres get made year after year? The tyre makers keep testing the tyres and innovating new ways to increase our, the regular drivers’ safety on the road.

I was lucky enough to get a rare glimpse of what the tyre testing really means and how it works. Nokian Tyres is world’s leading tyre manufacturer and the maker of for example the Hakkapeliitta winter tyres, which have been selected as the best studded snow tyres in many reviews, among others the consumersearch.com’s recent article.

Nokian operates the only permanent winter tyre testing facility in the world in Ivalo, Arctic Lapland in Northern Finland. Testing occurs in laboratory conditions as well, but nothing beats testing in real-life situations and environments. This ensures that the products perform exactly as they should even in the most demanding, difficult and changing conditions.

Nokian Tyres’ 700-hectare testing center in Ivalo is in use from November to May. The state-of-the-art equipment, the different tests and the expert staff make sure that all the extreme situations in winter driving are thoroughly studied.

They test the tyres daily on frozen Tammijärvi Lake for the grip on ice as well as the grip on snow in another nearby area. The hill test is used for finding out how the tyre climbs up a steep hill and they have three different routes with varying steepness and curves during the track.

Testing doesn’t end there; Nokian’s testing professionals also test the tyres on handling on icy and snowy tracks with different sized curves and long straights. And finally there’s a circle shaped track where the lateral grip and longitudinal stability on ice are tested. On this track the lap times are recorded and the test drivers subjective views on the handling of the tyres are compared.

On these tracks, the test drivers are pushing the tyres’ grip to their extreme limits by driving at very high speeds. Measured driving times and drivers’ professional assessment is all recorded for evaluation. During their tests, Nokian even has broken the world record for fastest car on ice. One of their test driver’s set the record to 331,610 km/h on a 14-kilometre ice track in freezing conditions. Now that sounds like a dedication for the excellence.

Aimeemichael - About Author:
Do you own a Nokia-branded winter tires and you want to share your experience on your own blog to improve road safety? Fill out an application or send us an email hakkapedia@nokiantyres.com

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