Winter tyres: advice for safe driving - Guided visit of the Swedish Proving Ground: Get the winter jackets out!

Guided visit of the Swedish Proving Ground: Get the winter jackets out!

Winter tyres Published the 16/04/2012 by Daniel

Snow handling circuits, a snow and ice circle, high precision measuring instruments and extremely cold temperatures: The Vidsel testing facilities offer the best possible conditions to test winter tyres.

Swedish Proving Ground snow course Copyright © : Bridgestone

You need to bring appropriate clothing when you come to Vidsel. Here, we’re less than 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. The day we visited the Swedish Proving Ground, temperatures were between -30°C and -40°C…. An overwhelming experience for the body, but ideal conditions to test winter tyres. Indeed, with its northern location, Bridgestone’s new testing facilities have a constant amount of snow and ice from November to March, i.e. between 14 to 17 weeks per year. 

Birds eye view of the Swedish Proving Ground (Bridgestone)Copyright © : Bridgestone

A complete setup

The facilities can be used to test tyres on a variety of vehicles: Passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, lorries and even buses. The facilities include two flat snow tracks, 0.85 miles and 0.33 miles, complemented by a high-speed track.  

The facilities also offer an ice handling circuit, a snow and ice circle, and a hill track.

On the tracks, weather stations and sensors record air and ground temperatures and relay the information to the analysis centre. This set up allows temperature data to be accurately incorporated in tyre development.

A storage capacity of 2500 tyres
The test tracks are connected to a technical centre equipped with a sophisticated IT infrastructure.  Indoor facilities include a garage fully equipped to mount all types of tyres and check alignment, a warehouse cold room at outside temperature with a capacity of 2500 tyres as well as offices, work rooms, a conference room and rest facilities for operators and guests.

7 to 9 Bridgestone engineers throughout the winter
During the test period, a multinational team of 7 to 9 Bridgestone engineers work and reside at the Swedish Proving Ground. Tyre fitters and maintenance staff are employed locally.

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