The Smithers Winter Test Center (SWTC) offers a wide range of facilities for evaluating tires with subjective and objective testing, vehicles, and non-vehicle equipment on snow and ice. Surfaces can be groomed to meet specific standards for company-specific benchmarking. Testing can be conducted by a Smithers expert, or clients can rent surfaces and perform their own testing.
Smithers has a long history of providing industry-leading traction testing for our clients. Our winter team built our first traction truck in 1980 and helped write the SAE J1466 test standard as well as its successor, ASTM F1805. Smithers engineers also created the CTI penetrometer for objective measurement of snow and ice test surface properties, which is referenced in both standards.
In 2001, Smithers developed and patented a device to measure tire force and moment properties outdoors. This vehicle was used in studies that ultimately resulted in the publication of SAE paper 2000-01-3431 —Truck Force and Moment in Cornering – Braking – Driving on Ice, Snow, and Dry Surfaces. 

Common Standards

Our expert team can work with you to design a custom testing program to meet your needs. We can also test to industry standards, including:
  • ASTM F1805 / UN ECE R117 — Standard Test Method for Single Wheel Driving Traction in a Straight Line on Snow- and Ice-Covered Surfaces: Smithers' small traction truck is ISO 17025 accredited for ASTM F1805 traction testing. The truck is used to test passenger and light truck (C1/C2) tires for the Rubber Manufacturers Association Severe Snow Use Symbol (3-peak mountain snowflake). It is also used for homologation of European winter tires UNECE R117.
  • UN ECE R117 / ISO 18106 — Passenger car, commercial vehicle, truck and bus tyres — Methods for measuring snow grip performance — Loaded new tyres: Our traction truck can also evaluate C3 (truck and bus) tires for snow traction under the ISO 18106 standard. The standard measures snow traction of the candidate tire against a reference tire under a specified load.  
  • ASTM F1572 — Standard Test Methods for Tire Performance Testing Data on Snow and Ice surfaces
  • ASTM F1650 — Standard Practice for Evaluating Tire Traction Performance Data under Varying Test Conditions

Smithers Winter Test Center

Our world-class winter testing facility offers test surfaces are available for rental and specific surfaces can be created to meet individual clients' needs. Contact our testing experts to discuss your current needs for testing, or to develop a test program for your specific requirements.
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