…for British motorists! With the present snowy road conditions on the mainland, Jeppe wants to give some helpful hints for British drivers. Naturally, if you don’t have to drive, please don’t! Otherwise, here’s what Jeppe has to say…
1. BE PREPARED if you take yourself out on uncertain wintry roads. Prepare a thermos of tea/coffee, a couple of sandwiches, some fruit, sweets etc should you drive into the ditch and need to wait for help. Don’t forget to take a torch with fresh batteries. Remember, mobile phones may not always work, so don’t rely on these. Have an extra blanket in the car or even thermo coveralls. First aid kit! Small shovel! Flares! Matches and a small sack of firewood could be good to have for long waits or at night in isolated places. Sacks of sand/grit in the boot is a good idea! Just use common sense and be prepared for personal safety.
2. NO SUMMER TIRES is a great rule! At best, good quality all-weather tires. In the Swedish arctic, we use studded tires with their own wheels that we put on our cars when road conditions require it. So, be smart and not lazy- take a grip on the problem of snowy roads. Snow chains for cars don’t take a lot of space and you should practice putting these on before you need to use them. Careful with driving too fast into slush piles…your front wheels may pull into traffic or off the road. When starting out, carefully test braking conditions on a straight un-crowded stretch of road. Then drive sensibly.
3. MANUAL TRANSMISSION is smartest. Do starts veerrrry sloowwly and with feeling. Even second gear can help. With automatic transmissions, put in low and gentle with the gas. Should you start sliding, gently pump the brakes and look for a soft spot to land. Front wheel drive is good. Jeppe thinks 4×4 are best…but, he’s a little bias.
4. BACK WHEEL drive…a few sand sacks in the boot just over the back wheels. Get some weight on those driving wheels.
5. TRUCKERS- if you can, lift your back wheels slightly up and put more weight onto the power wheels. Buckets of sand/grit on your trailer to spread out on difficult places or on starts/ uphill can help. Almost reached your driving time limit? Be smart and take a nap or just pull over and enjoy life.
6. COUNCIL ROAD PEOPLE…Salt just makes water out of snow. This freezes and requires more salt…freezes…more salt etc. You have to spend the time to plough slush and snow away; not just make it into water. Be better with ploughing and snow removal using correct plows and methods. This may mean 24 hour procedures. Use more sand/grit (with 10-15% salt to make it stick and not blow away) Take a course about roads and snow removal from geographical areas that know how to do it!
7. BEST OF ALL, when it gets bad, take time to play and test snow and road conditions when you can. Not a bad idea to gain experience on oily test tracks etc. And…better late for appointments than dead.