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

 

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

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read