GT Radial expands winter car lineup, wins plaudits for winter coach tyre

WinterPro2 launched with Dekra certified performance enhancements

Giti Tire has launched the GT Radial WinterPro2, available for the 2017 winter season in the UK from exclusive PCR distributor Micheldever Tyre Services. The manufacturer’s Giti brand commercial range has also received a winter boost with a leading UK coach hire company endorsing its first specific winter marked tyre.

The GT Radial WinterPro 2 showed wet performance gains while maintaining snow handling against its previous generation and four main competitors in independent tests by Dekra. Giti states that the tests, which were conducted early this year in Rovaniemi, Finland and Fontange, France, confirm the tyre was up to 10 per cent better in wet braking exercises and 2 per cent ahead in wet handling.

Conducted on a VW Golf TSI petrol engine on manual gearbox in size 195/65R15, Dekra purchased, fitted and tested competitor tyres, which were all presented at Essen 2016. The tests performed included braking and handling on wet and snow surfaces, with further traction testing on snow.

The GT Radial WinterPro2 is aimed at compact and medium cars and smaller SUVs. It is available for the 2017 winter season in 36 unique sizes with rims ranging from 13-17” across speed indices T, H & V, section widths from 155-215 and series sizes from 50-80.

Brian McDermott, sales and marketing director – Europe for passenger car and light truck (PCR) and country manager – UK for Giti Tire said: “The target with the WinterPro2 was to deliver a tyre that would maintain its excellent snow properties, while further improving wet grip performance.

“The competitor products were jointly selected, ensuring that we only compared the new tyre against the latest models from our peer manufacturers at the top of the mid-market.

“The independent results from Dekra confirm that our targets were fully achieved and we have created a tyre that is perfectly suited to European winter road conditions and a quality option at its price point.”

Coach hire firm endorsement

Compass Royston used Giti Tire’s GSW226 on its DAF Berkhof Axial Mk3 for the trip to Switzerland and Austria

Compass Royston used Giti Tire’s GSW226 on its DAF Berkhof Axial Mk3 for the trip to Switzerland and Austria

Giti Tire’s GSW226 has won plaudits following a nine-day trip to Switzerland and Austria, fitted by one of the North East’s leading coach hire companies. Stockton-on-Tees-based Compass Royston, which undertakes transport for schools and travel operators, and counts Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United Football Clubs among its many sport clients, decided to trial the tyre based on brand feedback from its sister companies, Esk Valley Coaches and Proctors Coaches.

For the trip the company selected a DAF Berkhof Axial Mk3, which carries 57 passengers and has a load capacity of 18,000kg, and operated with 315/80R22.5 across all six positions. One of the many tyres which are being rebranded to Giti from GT Radial, the size has benefitted from an increased load index to 158/150L (154/150M). All four sizes are three peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) accredited.

Martin Bainbridge, transport manager at Compass Royston, said: “We have primarily used various premium manufacturers for our overseas winter routes, but with feedback from our sister companies who operate with the tyres year-round, and our great relationship with the regional salesman, we decided to put Giti to the test.”

“The feedback from the workshop and the drivers is nothing but positive,” added Gary Buxton, workshop manager. “The main observation is the excellent road handling in both snow and ice, but also it was noted how good they perform when the roads were simply dry or wet.

“In addition they were called ‘quality’, ‘reliable’, ‘comfortable’, ‘nice and quiet’, and ‘comparable with premium tyre manufacturers’ winter products’. We are more than happy to use the tyre next winter season, up until which time we will use it in our ongoing day-to-day operations to really ascertain its wear and mileage credentials.”

The Giti GSW226 is designed for coach operators, hauliers and gritter fleets who need to meet UK and trans-European winter road regulations. Classed as a high traction steer and trailer axle tyre, it is available in 315/70R22.5, 315/80R22.5, 385/55R22.5 and 385/65R22.5. The load index ranges from 156/150 (154/150) to 164K (160L).

The tyre is suitable for all seasons, performing in severe winter conditions including snowy, icy and wet roads. It has been designed with a wide shoulder groove to deliver optimum handling and stability and utilises an advanced compound for high mileage potential.

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