It is suprising what you can do with training and practice. The course
involved things like an emergency stop, on ice, in a tight bend and
recovering from an induced spin before hitting water jets, which
simulated obstacles like those cars. The problem is, you do need the
training to be able to keep the car under control and thus avoid the
results in the video.
Up until a few years ago they gritted all the roads around here (tipton).
Then it became difficult to drive gritting lorries down the roads because of
the increasing number of cars parked inconsiderately.
There were also an increasing number of complaints about the grit damaging
the parked cars.
The council stopped doing it.
On Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:38:31 +0000, dennis@home wrote:
They have this "calendar parking" thing in our nearby town - folk are only
allowed to park on one side of the road on odd-numbered days, and the
other on even - the whole point being to allow road-sweepers to do the
job in the warmer months, and the ploughs and gritters to do theirs in the
winter (we're snow-covered for about 6 months of the year)
Out here in the sticks everyone has driveways and it's illegal to park on
the roadside - which is good, because the ploughs are a lot bigger and
don't let anything get in their way :-)
Some, make that most, drivers just don't have a clue.
I have yet to get stuck in snow, but I pass hundreds that have and I only
drive a normal car with two wheel drive.
The smart car I drive is the most difficult car in the snow, it has a very
short wheelbase and rear wheel drive and a stupid semi auto box.. you have
to be quick to catch it if the rear end starts to slide. If I am going to
get stuck it will be in the smart.
On Sat, 26 Dec 2009 22:12:45 +0000, Dave Liquorice wrote:
Funny thing is, everybody still goes loopy on the first few days of proper
snowfall each year; seems like it takes the most people a while to
re-learn how to cope with the stuff.
We got about a foot of snow on Christmas Day, but before that it had
been unusually mild up here this year; we got a few inches of snow back in
October and then nothing afterwards (in other words I think the UK was
beating us on snowfall until a couple of days ago :-)
Down here in the Thames Valley it was 2cm of ice. Combined with roads
that are packed to the extent that someone on the hard shoulder with a
flat tyre causes a major jam.
Even if people _did_ know how to drive in it we would not have been much
Actually I'm not sure about that last bit - I've heard a few silly
stories - but it would have been bad.
You UK guys HAVE been encountering some unusual, for there, weather!
Not too unusual here, during many winters.
But will recount the following:
Driving back, alone, some 250 miles to the capital city from an area
called the Burin Peninsula during heavy icing, many winters ago, in a
V8 rented automatic rear wheel drive Chevrolet, typical for that
period. IIRC it had snow tyres but not the studded variety, no extra
weight in the back because had not anticipated the type of weather.
The longest section of that road were, then, unpaved and sleet/ice can
really stick to that.
Rushoon Hill was always a particularly treacherous section; even in
good weather nicknamed 'Mile Long Hill'. And it faces north. Driving
north arrived at the top of this downhill section; there were several
vehicles having a problem, one, like myself, descending was sort of,
'Off the road' part way down. Coming up was a truck struggling for
grip. It's the middle of nowhere, even today the nearest community is
several miles away.And it's late afternoon coming on dark.
No sign of a Highways vehicle, and not likely to be, salting and
sanding not common on those unpaved roads. Nearest tow trucks about 50
miles up the road at place called Goobies!
What to do? Tried edging down out of gear using the brakes! No good;
heavy car just slid bodily, sideways toward the ditch, without any
steering control. Easy to see why that other car was 'sort of' off the
road. Wishing my vehicle was at least a manual drive so I could have
edged down in low gear. But on that type of Chev. rental, probably
then a 3 speed automatic; no good at all!
Solution: Now on the downward slope of the hill. Oops!
So put car in reverse, edging forward with the rear wheels turning
slowly backwards. Worked a treat, the faster the rear wheels turned,
backwards, the slower the car rolled forward. With complete ability to
steer past other obstructing vehicles; and the ditch!
Soon reached the bottom of the really steep part of the 'Mile Long'
and could then roll to reach the more normal but also icy section. A
couple of hours later reached Goobies where the unpaved (dirt) road
joined Highway 1 (The Trans Canada) and was able to complete the
remaining mileage into the capital city St. John's. on relatively ice
free and/or salted/sanded road surfaces.
That was many years ago in another existence. But as a family we have
always preferred manual drive vehicles in these conditions for better
BTW one major caution. 'NEVER use Cruise Control in icy weather'. In
fact I have never used it on my 7 year old Nissan and have no
intention of doing so. One person, here, was asleep in back of a
vehicle where the driver was using Cruise Control. Went off the road
on ice and that person now is a quadriplegic communicating via a
special computer set-up.
Good Luck. terry ex-Liverpool 1956.
Yes, it has been a tiny bit rough, but that has been down to the local
authorities not gritting the minor roads
Being ex Liverpool, you will have never encountered the winters I did in
Oldham. Frost used to form like a crew cut on the top of cars, snow used
to fall at the drop of a hat and be a foot deep in the morning when you
had to go to work. In the winter of 79, I was riding a small motorbike
in Preston and my boss was amazed that I made it to work (14 miles
away.) We were brought up with the snow and ice.
Last week, we had a bit of snow and as I was going out to get my morning
paper, I heard this car revving to about 3000RPM plus. I thought that is
a bad way to warm up an engine, but all he was trying to do was get up a
snow covered road, on a very small incline and he had someone pushing
him. His wheels were spinning so fast, you could not see what wheel
trims he had.
I wonder how some of the Brits would go on in Canada?
Re: Oldham weather etc.
My recollection of four years in Liverpool 1952 to 1956 was that I
mostly biked to work and night school etc.
We did later have an old 1934 Lanchester grandfather had given us.
IIRC only walked to work twice in four years; because there was enough
snow to prevent cycling and disrupt buses and/or trams.
And by the time we got off work at 12 minutes to 6 PM, both occasions,
the snow had melted sufficiently for things to be almost normal.
Being near the sea would have kept it quite mild in Liverpool. I once
went to my sisters house, in North Wales, for Christmas and I was in my
shirt sleeves helping a neighbour with his car on Christmas day.
This far inland and we are not that far from the sea, but quite a lot
higher, the snow and ice tends to bite when it gets cold.
Yes a rented car that had somewhat worn winter tyres (and not
studded). But returned to them in good condition. I think it was
rented from Hertz.
Many years later (like around 25 to 30) in connection with marriage of
a daughter we decided to 'rent a passenger van'.
The agent/manager of the rental company greeted me by name and said
that he remembered me renting Chevrolets from them on several
occasions back in the 1960s. Same guy! Small city. Everyone knows
everyone ....... etc. Nice touch; eh?
Many years ago had four 'strap on' chain units for the back wheels of
a 1956 Ford Consul
One poked the straps through the rim from behind and secured a
Two on each back wheel would often get one out of 'a situation'.
They were not designed for long continuous use and since the straps
would stretch slightly, but not enough for the next hole of the strap
etc. would loosen slightly. Haven't seen them on sale for years;
although guess one could fabricate something similar?
But nothing was so terrifying as broken cross piece of regular (full
wheel) chains slamming continuously, every revolution of the wheels
against a car body. But when one has to get somewhere, perhaps on the
way to a hospital during a storm, whatever works! Even so living some
miles out of town in cold and icy eastern Canada for some 50 years,
have never need/owned a four wheel drive vehicle!
BTW: On the previous snow-blower we tightened the chains with those
elastic straps with hooks on each end. Must equip the new one in a
similar manner; but it's wheels are somewhat bigger so new or modified
chains are required. Only used the new blower three times so far this
Best wishes to all posters for this time of year and the new one
coming up. Cheers.
If you were driving, then it is down to your training on snow and ice. I
live on a road that branches right and left until it gets to the bottom,
after a very gentle slope, where it splits both ways. I was going for my
lunchtime pint earlier in the week, when I heard an engine revving at
between 3000 to 4000 RPM. I kid you not. I thought that is was an
excessive way to warm up an engine, until I came to the part of the road
that joins us all. His front driving wheels were spinning too fast to
see his mag alloy wheel spokes and he had someone pushing him up this
slight slope. Had he used first gear at a tick over, he would have
driven up the slope without once spinning a wheel. I live one road away
from open country lanes and I don't have a problem with driving on them,
until the idiot driver comes along and polishes the snow by spinning his
Only of any use when it is not coated with polished snow and/or ice.
The anti skid coatings are pourous, they can't be allowed to freeze, or they
are ruined. Gritting is a priority where it is installed. This is what I
was told by a friend who is a road engineer and was responsible for gritting
in his last job.
I've been using coal ash on my drive - seems to be the best anti slip agent
I've used to date, and I have 3-4 bucket loads per week going spare.
If it's really icy, hot ashes are the best - they bite straight into the ice
and form an anti slip layer, rather than relying on melting the ice away
like salt. Have to be a bit careful round cars though - apart from the hot
bit, ash doesn't do modern paintwork many favours.
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