This is the response from Michelin tires to the request from Gary Spencer of the Department of Transportation for advice on the use of winter tires.
Click here to see the December 4, 2009 letter of request to Michelin from Gary Spencer of DOT, in which he mistakenly identifies the Multi Function Activity Vehicle as a "school bus" at least four times AND admits that since these 21 passenger MFAVs are new vehicles in the provincial fleet, and since the Department did not have a policy on winter tires for these MFAVs, DOT simply applied the existing tire policy for yellow school buses to the MFAVs).
Province of New Brunswick
Department of Transportation
1050 College Hill Road
P.O. Box 6000
December 18, 2009
Att: M. Gary Spencer, Asst Director Operations
The types of vehicles you will be using are common in the industry. Your present policy of fitting the steer with a rib type of tire and the drives with a Winter tread design is the right way to proceed.
The ideal situation is to have a vehicle with an understeer effect. A vehicle with oversteer is less predictable and harder to control.
Having Winter traction tire on the rear and a rib tire in the front will give you understeer. With the oversteer situation, it is in critical situations such as heavy rain, snow or icy slippery road conditions that it will manifest itself in an unexpected maneuver.
In 4X2 vehicles such as your vehicle, we recommend Rib tire on the steer and Winter traction type of tires on the rear. The importance of having a vehicle with understeer goes beyond the standard rear wheel drive type of vehicle. Even a front wheel drive vehicle in a situation where you need to replace only two tires, the industry suggests that the rear tire be replaced first. If you have your new tire on the front and worn tire in the back, you are inducing oversteer which is not a recommended situation.
Same thing applies to your vehicle, you want these to be fitted in such a way that you are not inducing oversteer, therefore Ribs on steer and Winter traction tread design on the rear axle. I hope this explanation will serve you in making your decision as to how to equip your vehicles.
Please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss this any further.
Special Projects Coordinator
Michelin North America (Canada) Inc.