Falken’s highway RI151 and BI851 tyres have helped customer Kevin Hancock and his Iveco campervan – converted from a former life as a mobile police office – make an incredible journey from Swansea, Wales all the way to the Arctic Circle, with temperatures reaching a low as -27 degrees Celsius.
Having always wanted to see aurora borealis, the northern lights, Hancock embarked on an expedition to the Arctic Circle with his partner Nadine Huguet in a 7.5 tonne Iveco Eurocargo 75E18 that has been lovingly converted into a campervan. Needing new tyres for his ambitious trip, Hancock visited his local tyre dealer and truck specialist, Harris Brothers – Team Protyre, in Fforestfach near Swansea. “I was looking for reasonably priced tyres that were up for the task and the extreme temperatures, and the Falkens came up as the most competitive,” explains Hancock.
The campervan was fitted with Falken’s highway RI151 tyres on the front and Falken’s BI851 pattern on the rear in size 215/75R17.5. “Everyone at the Protyre garage was brilliant; I received excellent service and was impressed, but at that point I didn’t realise just how impressed I would be by the tyres,” explains Hancock.
From a starting point of Swansea in Wales, the pair drove through England, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden on their four-week trip to reach the Arctic Circle, before returning through Norway, Denmark and Germany and ending the trip, which took place before COVID-19 travel restrictions, in France. During the journey, the Falken tyre-equipped Iveco had to contend with temperatures as low as -27 degrees Celsius and 1,000 miles of driving on snow – and it didn’t falter.
“The tyres performed well above my expectations,” exclaims Hancock. “We did a huge stint of the journey on snow-covered roads, but we had no issues at all. We didn’t even need to put the snow chains on. I couldn’t fault the tyres; they did a brilliant job.”
The outstanding grip delivered by both the Falken RI151 and BI851 tyres comes courtesy of 4D Nano Design Technology, resulting in innovative compounds that provide excellent traction in all weather conditions: dry, wet and snow. Both feature the M+S stamp and are 3PMSF approved.
The RI151 tyre’s compound and premium casing, with wide solid shoulder ribs, also provide rigidity for enhanced road stability, excellent handling and even wear. The RI151 also features smart stone ejectors that reduces stones from lodging in the tyre. Similarly, the regional Falken BI851 drive axle tyre has a large contact area and deep profile in the tread pattern with a high number of lateral grooves to deliver excellent traction.
The converted Iveco truck was purchased from an auction site in Blackpool, having been previously used as a mobile police office. Hancock set about the two-year conversion project to make it a comfortable home, which now features a solar panel system for 24-hour electricity that runs a fridge and all the lighting. It also has a full-size cooker, woodburning stove and a bathroom equipped with a shower and toilet. It even boasts a ‘garage’ where Hancock stores his motorbike.
“It probably took a year to make it liveable, but closer to two years to make it really comfortable, working on it during the weekends between my work,” says Hancock. “I’ve lived in vehicles for 17 years, but this one is now a step above the rest. It was the trip of a lifetime to take it to the Arctic Circle, and its Falken tyres helped make that journey a fun, easy and safe one.”