Continuous improvement: testing tires in the rain

Continuous improvement: testing tires in the rain

Coast Mountain Bus Company’s Maintenance Engineering team is currently in the midst of testing a new tire across all seasons.

Like our existing tires, the Michelin Grip D tire carries a three-peak-mountain-snowflake rating but has a more aggressive tread for enhanced performance in the snow.

The team previously tested these tires during a snowy day at Mount Seymour, and then last winter, we outfitted one-third of our buses with these tires.

Now, to further inform how well it performs, the team tested the tire’s stopping distance in the rain at the Vancouver Transit Centre bus depot. They will review this data as well as winter data, and continue to test the tire’s wear rate and fuel economy in summer.

Video transcript

Today we were doing stopping distance testing.

It was pretty consistent rain all day about 10°C, so that was pretty much what we were looking for for the kind of conditions to test the stopping distance performance between the two tire types that we’ve been evaluating.

Talk to us about the Grip D tires.

Yeah, it’s got a more aggressive tread. So it does perform better in traction, especially in snow. But we still had some questions about how it would do in rainy weather, which obviously we got a lot of here.

So we’ll look at what speed the bus was traveling before the operator hit the brakes, and then we’ll see how far it took the bus to actually stop. Because that’s essentially what we’re trying to do is assess if in an emergency, if the driver had to hit the brakes suddenly and come to a stop. Is there any difference between the two tires? And which one would perform better?

I’m happy with how the testing went. We did everything that we wanted to do. Like everything went smoothly. We were able to run the same test for both tire types and we’re going to just sit down and now go over everything and then be able to compare how the two tires performed.

Now that this is done, I think we’ll have some time to actually go over all the winter data and then the only other things we’ll look at is like I said, through the summer what the wear rates are and then also the fuel economy.