A technician changes tires at OK Tire in Langley on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Like many, the business has noticed delays in getting winter tires due to COVID-19 plant closures and delivery disruptions (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Bad Video Embed Code

A technician changes tires at OK Tire in Langley on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Like many, the business has noticed delays in getting winter tires due to COVID-19 plant closures and delivery disruptions (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

WATCH: Want winter tires? You may face a wait because of the pandemic

Manufacturing plant shutdowns and shipping disruptions have held up shipments to B.C. dealers

Some B.C. drivers are facing longer-than-usual waits to get snow tires because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted deliveries and manufacturing, according to dealers who spoke with Black Press Media.

Brett Delaney, co-owner and manager of OK Tire in Langley said normally the store would have an “abundance” of winter tires.

Now, the wait for some popular brands and “not-so-popular sizes” can be as much as six to seven weeks, Delaney estimated.

There has also been a “spike” in demand that appears to be driven by “snowbirds” who are staying in Canada this year rather than heading south to the States for the winter, Delaney added.

“It has been interesting,” he commented.

Delaney expects the situation should have returned to normal by “early to mid-spring,” but in the meantime, he advises drivers to book sooner rather than later if they want tires.

“We’re booking a week, week-and-a-half ahead.”

Ryan Cox, assistant manager at KAL Tire in Langley, said their store is also experiencing some delivery delays.

“It depends on the size and the brand,” Cox explained.

“A lot of manufacturers are running behind schedule,” Cox observed.

Most tire makers shut their factories down in March for two weeks or more as a precaution during the early days of the pandemic, with most reopening by April.

As a result, production backed up and winter tires were shipped later than usual, meaning they could be in limited supply until later into winter driving season.

Tire companies in Asian markets like China and Korea have been especially hard-hit by shipping disruptions.

At Country Tire in Langley City, owner Howie Wirsch has noticed a difference, but didn’t think it was all that unusual.

“Some sizes are getting picked over,” Wirsch told the Langley Advance Times.

“[But] it’s always spotty, this time of year.”

READ MORE: Be prepared and drive safely, say BC RCMP as winter draws closer

Not that everyone will be installing new snow tires.

Roughly one in 10 Canadian drivers opted to leave their winter tires on through the summer because of COVID-19, and one in six were waiting longer to get snow tires installed, according to a national survey by the KAL tire chain.

A survey of 1,633 motorists from BC to Ontario found 11 per cent of respondents never had their winter tires removed last spring, and among those who did switch out their winter tires, 60 per cent planned to wait until at least November or when snow is forecast or falling to have their winter tires installed.

Bad idea, according to Kal Tire regional director for urban retail stores Mike Butcher, who warned running winter tires through the summer can “significantly” reduce tire life so “there might not be enough tread depth or grip for safe winter driving.”

B.C. drivers were most likely to keep their winter tires on over summer at 18 per cent, followed by Alberta at 15 per cent and Manitoba at nine per cent

READ MORE: Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to April 30. For select highways not located through mountain passes, tire and chain requirements end March 31.

Drivers caught without proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – face a $109 fine.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A technician changes tires at OK Tire in Langley on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Like many, the business has noticed delays in getting winter tires due to COVID-19 plant closures and delivery disruptions (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A technician changes tires at OK Tire in Langley on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Like many, the business has noticed delays in getting winter tires due to COVID-19 plant closures and delivery disruptions (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Smithers Weekly Police Blotter: Feb 12 – 19

Smithers RCMP open 83 new files including 15 property crime cases

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Junction of Highways 16 and 37 Sunday morning. (Drive BC traffic cam image)
Drive BC reports hazardous road conditions throughout northwest

Advisories include road closure of Hwy 37 for high avalanche risk near Bob Quinn

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read