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

File photo
Princeton mayor ready to support referendum if proposal for $7 million loan gets defeated

A proposal to borrow $7 million to fix town infrastructure may well… Continue reading

Directors and alternate directors at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received nearly $560,000 in remuneration and expenses in 2020, according to the Statement of Financial Information. (Black Press file photo)
Almost $560,000 in remuneration for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board

Costs of directors and alternate directors outlined in Statement of Financial Information

(File photo)
$8M in wages for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen staff

34 employees paid more than $75,000 in 2020

Glen Lennon now resides in a neat and fully serviced unit in the Silver Crest Retirement Home, managed by Princeton and District Community Social Services. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Princeton RCMP and social workers find new home for elderly accident victim

“I love the sun and the sun shines on my patio here. I can go out and walk around.”

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Stuart Park on June 12 to honour the Muslim family who was attacked in London, Ont., on June 6. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
‘It’s gotta stop’: Kelowna mayor, local faith groups honour victims of London attack

Faith groups at the event included the Okanagan Jewish Community, the Baha’i community and the Sikh community

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Helmet selfies and sober pledges: Changes coming after rough e-scooter rollout in Kelowna

A number of changes are coming to Kelowna’s e-scooter program, more could be on the way

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Most Read