Nokian Tyres plc has created a new tire for the toughest winter conditions in the coldest regions of the planet. It was designed for an Icelandic vehicle company that converts four-wheel drive vehicles to handle the most severe weather in places like Antarctica.
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44 was designed for Arctic Trucks, which outfits vehicles in the northern parts of Eurasia, Antarctica or other glacial regions.
“Arctic climates mean being able to trust your tires against ice, snow and rugged terrain without being interrupted by either a puncture or conditions that make travel impossible,” says Kalle Kaivonen, research and development manager for Nokian Heavy Tyres. “Arctic Trucks’ vehicles are re-engineered to handle punishing conditions for various uses including those encountered by polar exploration teams. So we designed the new Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44 knowing their customers needed a tire that takes winter seriously, excelling in grip and durability.”
To get that done, Nokian created a tire that weighs about 154 pounds and has a diameter of about 3 feet. The midsection of the tread pattern features sharp V-shaped angles, which were designed to help clean the grooves of slush and snow. The tread’s width and the tire’s maximal airspace also ensure it’s adept at handling soft surfaces.
“The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44 has enforced shoulder blocks for better balancing and handling in situations where a driver must react quickly and a supported center rib that delivers a feeling of more precision driving capabilities on surfaces that are covered in ice and snow,” says Kaivonen. “It also features the special Nokian Tyres Polar Expedition tread compound that combines first-class winter grip with durability in extreme winter conditions.”
“The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44 is the tire we have been waiting for,” says Herjolfur Gudbjartsson, managing director for Arctic Trucks in Iceland. “Arctic Trucks offers a wide range of solutions and products for four-wheel drive vehicles and the Hakkapeliitta 44 has the rugged capabilities our customers expect when they’re in one of our vehicles exploring some of the harshest environments in the world.”
With the option of adding studs, production on the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44 will begin this year in the size LT475/70 R17 and is available through Arctic Trucks and Nokian Tyres North America.