To stud or not to stud your winter tires in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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To stud or not to stud your winter tires in Kamloops, Okanagan

It is common for drivers to use studded tires between the beginning of October to the end of April.

While all drivers in the province are required to be using winter tires from the beginning of October to the end of April, some drivers choose to use tires that are studded for added grip in slippery conditions.

Studded tires come with their own regulations under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act. There are dos and don’ts when it comes to putting studs into tires, as well as the added cost.

Owner of Notre Dame Tire in Kamloops, Mark Wright, has been in the business of tires for fifteen years. He said approximately half of his customer base uses studded tires on cars, trucks and SUVs. Customers can purchase tires at the shop and get them studded there.

“Tires must be brand new to be studded,” Wright said. “Debris, dirt and rocks will be in the holes and then if we try to insert a stud, whatever is in that hole will go straight through the tire. It’s just not possible to put studs in after it has been driven on.”

Wright said he is seeing more and more manufacturers offering pre-studded tires.

“In my opinion there is no benefit to buying the pre-studded tires, but others will say they are superior,” he said. “I've personally used both and preferred the tires that I studded myself.”

Tires with studs up to 3.5mm high can only be on the roads during winter driving months, and only so many studs can be worn on a tire depending on the weight of the vehicle, according to the law.

“Studs can be hard on road services,” Wright said. “That's why after April when the temperatures start to rise they must come off. You can get ticketed for having them on after that date. Some parkades and underground parking lots will not allow you to have studs.”

The law also states a driver can only use studded tires on the front wheels if they're on rear wheels as well.

Kamloops resident Samantha Stacey has been working as a manager of a tire shop for over five years. She said studded tires are very common.

“I think some people choose not to stud their tires because of the cost, which is about $140,” she said.


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