Winter Proving Grounds

Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Smithers Winter Test Center (SWTC) is a world-class facility ideal for testing and conducting performance evaluations on vehicles, tires and components under the special challenges of extreme cold and hazardous road conditions.

Engineering concepts and theories will always remain just that until tested in real world conditions. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where it is critical that the design and performance of vehicles and their components be evaluated and verified through testing that duplicates conditions encountered in actual use. Our facility can fulfill an almost unlimited array of winter testing needs.

Smithers Winter Test Center

The Smithers Winter Test Center is located in Raco, MI (about 25 miles southwest of Sault-Ste. Marie) and features over 750 acres of snow, ice (approximately 40 acres) and bare pavement surfaces. It is staffed by more than 40 employees proficient in creating and maintaining a variety of snow, ice, and dry area surfaces. The facility is ideal for testing a variety of vehicle types ranging from small automobiles to Class 8 trucks, vehicle components (both OE and aftermarket), snow handling equipment, construction equipment, recreational and seasonal sport vehicles and military equipment.

Learn more about reserving our facility.

Winter Track Durability Testing Capabilities

The SWTC is well suited to evaluate a wide variety of vehicles and vehicle components. Some of the component durability evaluations that have been conducted at SWTC include:

  • Smithers winter traction truckTire performance
  • Powertrain performance
  • Snow-ingestion
  • Fuel systems
  • Power steering systems
  • Antilock brakes
  • Heaters/defrosters
  • Cold-start testing
  • Sensors
  • Autonomous vehicle component testing

Learn more abour our Courses and Surfaces.

Spin-Up Traction and Brake Testing

The team at Smithers Rapra is able to conduct a wide variety of passenger and truck traction and braking tests to industry standards or can provide facilities for companies to perform their own tests. Our passenger traction track is ISO 17025 accredited for ASTM F1805 testing.

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For more information or to request a quote, please contact us.
Winter test preregistration
Need to register for the upcoming season? Go to the Preregistration form.