Tires with the Mountain Snowflake Symbol
If whiteout conditions are your norm, you should think twice about settling for all-season or normal winter tires. Under extreme circumstances, you'll want the right tires on the road to get you safely through your commute.
But whether you're traversing the snowed-in grounds around your property or favorite trail, or simply trying to get to work before the snowplows are out, there's a heavy-duty tire out there that's researched, tested and produced specifically for the most brutal blizzards and cold-weather conditions winter can throw at you.
They're also easy to pick out: severe duty winter tires have sidewalls that are marked with a three-peaked mountain that has a snowflake symbol in the middle of its outline.
What does the mountain snowflake symbol on tires mean?
If this symbol is on the sidewall of the winter tires you’re shopping for, it denotes that they have been tested and proven under extreme winter driving conditions. It also means that specific set of tires meet or exceed the prerequisite capability requirements put in place by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (formerly known as the Rubber Manufacturers Association) to determine whether a tire is fit for use in severe snow conditions.
M + S Tires vs. Mountain Snowflake Symbol Tires
It's fairly common to find a tire that has a large "M" and "S" stamped on its sidewall. The M + S, M / S, or M & S rating signifies what generally is a manufacturer-determined mud and snow rating, that may feature tire sipes designed to provide more grip in these kind of conditions than the exact same tires that do not have the M + S rating.
Some all-terrain and all-season tires may even have the M + S rating, but these should not be considered true snow or severe snow condition tires. Basically, they're acceptable for use where temperatures occasionally dip down below freezing and where light snow flurries aren't uncommon.
Because tires bearing the mountain snowflake symbol have been so rigorously tested to excel in winter conditions, they may also have the M + S rating from their manufacturer – but remember that this rating is not standardized like winter tires with the mountain snowflake symbol are.
At the end of the day, when traction is paramount and stopping distances need to be as short as possible every time you have to venture out in the snow, any winter tire with the distinctive severe snow service mountain snowflake symbol on its sidewall is the best choice to safely get you where you need to go.
More questions about the mountain snowflake symbol, give us a call at 800-589-6789 and we can set you up with a set of these heavy duty winter tires before the cold sets in!