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)

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

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

(Photo submitted)
MISSING: Alexis Creek RCMP request help in finding Randolph Quilt, 59

Quilt hasn’t been heard from by family since Sept. 26, last seen in Williams Lake

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 (file photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, and 26th Nov. 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10.

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

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

Interior Health said its new toll-free line will help people connect to health-care services. (File)
Interior Health expands toll-free line to improve access to community care

By calling1-800-707-8550, people can be connected to several health-care services

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read