Modern Tire Dealer

MAR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D M a r c h 2 0 1 9 26 W i n t e r T i r e s S tainless steel studs, denser siping and winter grip impressed tire dealers who tested the new Hak- kapeliitta LT3 from Nokian Tyres plc at the Copper Mountain ski resort in Colorado. "Stainless steel is a brilliant idea," said Tom Richey, owner of Laurel Gardens Tire Service Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pa. "Unlike the studs that are a round surface, this stud has a three-pronged pin that sticks out and as it wears it does not rust." Nokian set up driving courses to give Richey and other tire dealers a chance to test the premium winter tire for light trucks. Richey said he liked the new style stud: "It is beefy and gives you more bite." e new tire's siping also earned praise. "e monstrous amount of siping clears away water that's on ice and gives you more traction. e sipes zigzag nice and pretty. You want grooves and channels fighting for you when you are on ice," said Richey. Richey has been in the tire business for more than 40 years. His family has owned Laurel Gardens Tire Service since 1991. His wife, Cindy, is chief financial officer and their children, Tony and Tina, are managers. Laurel Gardens Tire Service generates $3.5 million in tire sales a year. e store offers retail and commercial tire sales and service as well as wholesale. Evan Zierk from Waukegan Tire & Supply Co., which operates four stores in Illinois, gave Nokian's new tire high marks for its performance in oversteering situations. "is was the real deal," said Zierk, who is digital sales and marketing specialist for the wholesale department at the Waukegan Tire store in Park City. "It held the turns even when I intentionally oversteered. I got control back quickly. Even as the course itself was trying to pull me to the edges, I felt like I was controlling the road, not the road controlling me. ere is no other tire you could put in that situation and have that type of control." e Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT3 is made for heavy 4x4s and pickup-type light trucks. The company says it is the first to offer stainless steel studs, which are the tire's most important feature and are designed to offer extreme grip on slippery conditions. TSMI (Tire Stud Manufacture Index) studs for passenger cars and sport utility vehicles are typically made from aluminum or some type of alloy, which are not strong enough to withstand the weight of a light truck, according to Steve Bourassa, manager of passenger and light truck products business in North America. "For a light truck stud, you end up going to steel. When you use steel studs, you end up with rust. Rather than using the traditional TSMI stud, we have developed a unique stud using stainless steel," said Bourassa. "is new stud also has a special base to help reinforce it to the tire, a special body to help it maintain stability, and a hard metal pin specifically designed for that shoulder area to maximize the efficiency of the stud. e base is unique, the body is unique, and the head is unique. With stainless steel studs, we avoid the rusty nail look." e shape of the base of the new stud helps it stay in the tire. A special base rub- ber compound helps stabilize the stud and keep it vertical even in emergency braking conditions. In addition, the Hakkapeliitta LT3's tread design is improved over the prior model. "e deep grooves and the blade grooves are quite efficient and will help with self- cleaning properties," said Bourassa. Dense siping throughout the tire improves ice traction and wet traction. "e sipes are also at various angles to help with both lateral and longitudinal traction. e 3D locking sipes have been modified to accommodate the heavier weight of light trucks," said Bourassa. Along with the stainless steel studs and tread design, new technologies include sipe activators on the tread shoulders for strong snow and ice grip, brake boosters on the tread block shoulders for braking grip on snow and an "Arctic Grip" compound developed specifically for heavy-duty use. e tire is constructed with the company's proprietary Aramid Sidewall technology for durability. e Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT3 will be available in 16 sizes from 16 to 20 inches with a speed rating Q in fall 2019. e tire will be offered with factory studding and in a non-studded version. e non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT3 is developed and tested to offer maximal winter safety in areas where studs are not permitted.■ Ann Neal By 'Stainless steel is a brilliant idea' NOKIAN'S LATEST LT WINTER TIRE FEATURES NEW STUD TECHNOLOGY Nokian says the Hakkapeliitta LT3 offers significant improvements in packed snow grip, ice grip and ice handling as well as wet grip versus the LT2. These models helped Nokian show the changes in the shape and length of the Hakkapeliitta LT3 stud (shown on the left) versus the stud used in the prior version of the tire.

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