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View Full Version : Snow, is it really so different in the UK?


alwayzinit
3rd Feb 2015, 13:16
It may not happen every year but it always seems that whenever the White fluffy stuff falls out of the sky the UK grinds to a halt.
Yet counties on a similar latitude appear to cope admirably.
What do these countries do that allows life to continue whenever a dusting of snow touches down?
Could the fitting of the appropriate type of tyres during the winter months be the solution?
In Germany, I believe, if one is involved in an Rta without winter tyres during the winter months, the insurance payout has a significant reduction.
Is it the "Health and Safety" culture that has made us all so nervous?
I know what my opinion is, I would be interested in the Blasters's .

ORAC
3rd Feb 2015, 13:21
if it happens frequently it's cost effective to have the machinery and infrastructure to deal with it; if it's uncommon it's more cost effective just to live with the consequences. Just basic economics at work - there are higher priority needs to spend the money on.

Ancient Mariner
3rd Feb 2015, 13:25
Here in Vikingwinterland we use snow tyres, never bought a car without two complete sets, except for when we lived in the Phils.
Not mandatory, but try having an accident without. Many also choose studded tyres, good on black ice, haven't used them myself for the last 15 years. Studless will be fine on snow and rough ice.

Three more items:

Wash tyres frequently during winter, even in summer it's a good ide.
Make sure the hand brake is between front seats. I hate my wife's Mercedes. :*
Drive faster than everyone else on the road.

Per

dazdaz1
3rd Feb 2015, 13:33
Have you seen the price of winter tyres?????????? From 'Which'........

5) How much do winter tyres cost?

Ideally, you need a second set of rims to which to fit your winter tyres. In many countries that already use winter tyres, drivers often opt for steel rims, which are less likely to corrode after exposure to winter grit.
Four winter tyres and spare rims for a Mini start from £560, excluding assembly. However, if you’re a family-hatch driver, KwikFit quoted £635 for a set of four 205/55 R16 Goodyear Ultragrip8 winter tyres (Nov 2011) – but additional rims are extra. http://www.staticwhich.co.uk/media/images/cars/medium/flat-tyre-270197.jpg Punctures are a distinct possibility - buy five winter tyres not four.

However, we think if you’re fitting winter tyres, it’s worth carrying a winter spare as well – since fitting a summer spare alongside three winter ones could seriously upset your car’s handling, whether it’s cold or not.

Those up-front costs may seem eye-watering, but overall costs aren’t actually as high as they sound. You’ll get wear from both sets of tyres, so once you’ve made the initial investment, the average time between replacements will be roughly doubled.
Unless you have room in the garage or shed, you'll probably also need to pay to store your 'out-of-season' wheels – several fast fit centres and car dealers are already offering this facility at a relatively low cost

Ps. Those are 2011 prices

G&T ice n slice
3rd Feb 2015, 13:54
There are several reasons for not bothering with "winter" tyres in the uk
(1) mostly we don't have extended periods of very low temps
example my location is just 40 miles south of Hadrian's wall and this is my local observatory averages:
(°C) Max. Min. temp
Jan 6.1 2.2
Feb 6.2 2
Mar 7.9 3.2
Apr 10.2 4.7
Oct 12.5 7.9
Nov 9.1 5.1
Dec 6.8 2.8
Mostly the "mins" are at night/dawn. So for most drivers most of the time the temperature will be at or above th +7deg that is upper limit of winter tyres

(2) British insurers are rip-off merchants of the very highest caliber
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/safety/winter-tyres-in-the-uk.htmlInsurance implications - winter tyres

If you fit winter or all-season tyres in place of your standard 'summer' tyres there should be no need to tell your insurer – even though the speed index might be lower.............
..............Over the winter of 2010/11 we did hear reports of some insurers increasing premiums or remarkably even refusing cover if winter tyres are fitted. As a result we recommend talking to your insurer if you are considering fitting winter tyres.

(3) The COST - probably over £1000 for 5 wheels & tyres for my Ovlov piece of automotive shyte - forget it

(4) I think I may have above average mileage - I usually clock up betwee 12 and 15 thousand a year, but I notice tthat a lot of cars are sold on these "personal leases" where the mileage allowance is 6-8 thousand. So for (average on 8000 miles/yr) the winter period that represents around 2700 miles. Got to question the cost/benefit relationship here.

cavortingcheetah
3rd Feb 2015, 13:58
Winter tyres are an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can with a set of ordinary tyres.

maliyahsdad2
3rd Feb 2015, 14:04
we don't get a lot of snow - so when we do get it -

1. Everyone gets a little excited so they make a big song and dance about it in the Media.

2. Because we don't get much snow People don't know how to drive on it so you end up with either lots of accidents, cars stuck or very slow moving traffic on every affected road!

3. Health and Safety - thats why public places, schools, stations, buses and airports grind to a halt.

4. Other countries on the same lattitude often get harsher and colder winters because they don't have the gulf stream, so have more investment and experience in snow clearance.

rgbrock1
3rd Feb 2015, 14:07
You don't get much snow maliyahsdad2? Lucky you. Unlike us, who get way too much snow.

http://files.harrispublications.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/11/o-BUFFALO-SNOW-570-661x441.gif

funfly
3rd Feb 2015, 14:09
I was in Jersey (Channel islands) a few years ago when they had about a quarter of an inch of snow.
The whole place almost ground to a stop!

maliyahsdad2
3rd Feb 2015, 14:13
I was in Jersey (Channel islands) a few years ago when they had about a quarter of an inch of snow.
The whole place almost ground to a stop!

To be fair, Jersey is probably halfway there without Snow.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
3rd Feb 2015, 14:15
Just opened my front door...guess I'm using the back today!

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag156/RickXI/dd003f9a-3821-47bc-b505-a362e462c6b0_zps3db6a70d.jpg
note impression of door handle on RHS

n.b. Not everywhere copes - the weather has just cleared in the last half hour, but basically the entire Island is shut down right now.
We've just had 60cm of snow plus drifting with winds of 100km/hr. Even the plows are off the road due to whiteout. Emergency services unavailable, nor power crews. Luckily only about 70 without power.


'Nutha one on Thursday!

rgbrock1
3rd Feb 2015, 14:18
Fox3:

Glad you're enjoying the snow which came to you via the Northeast U.S.!

You know what they say about pay back, eh? :}:E

Fox3WheresMyBanana
3rd Feb 2015, 14:20
Snow? Love it!

I shall be getting out my miniplow after lunch for a spot of driveway clearing.
Boys & Toys!

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag156/RickXI/snowplough.jpg

Katamarino
3rd Feb 2015, 14:35
It's not just the UK, it's anywhere that gets very little snow. When I lived in the Netherlands they went to pieces just like the UK does, and you should see what happens in the Southern USA when a dusting of snow hits...

http://i.imgur.com/GiHLyDK.jpg

UniFoxOs
3rd Feb 2015, 15:32
Winter tyres are an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can with a set of ordinary tyres.

UFO version of above.

Winter practice & experience is an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can withouit it.

Oh, and if driving a fairly high powered RWD car, a couple of hundredweight blocks of concrete in the boot.

MG23
3rd Feb 2015, 16:59
Have you seen the price of winter tyres??????????

A set of the best-rated winter tires for our SUV and a second set of wheels to put them on cost about $1600 a few months ago. I think that would have been about 1000UKP at the time. Which seems a lot, but they're on the car six months a year, and they should last five years or more before the rubber gets too old to grip properly.

In the UK, OTOH, there just isn't enough snow to justify the cost. Though there are 'all weather tires' now which are winter-rated but also usable in the summer... normal winter tires are too soft and wear out too fast when used in warm weather.

Edit: around here, three or four inches of snow doesn't cause too many problems, but six inches starts to delay things as idiots crash because they were tailgating on bald summer tires.

G-CPTN
3rd Feb 2015, 17:27
There's winter tyres and then there's winter tyres.

Back in the 1960s, when we had serious snow in Northern England, I used to fit 'Town and Country (http://www.retrofair.co.uk/uploads/8/7/5/9/8759988/7880521_orig.jpg)' tyres that had deep tread blocks - essential for traction in deep snow with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
The removed wheels and tyres were then fitted with snow-chains and carried in case things got really bad (which they occasionally did).
Then it was just a case of switching wheels.

Nowadays I don't bother, but what they want to sell you are low-temperature tyres that have better compliance below 7 deg C, have extra sipes but no significant size of tread blocks (http://www.haynes.co.uk/wcsstore/HaynesPublishing/images/features/110105_WinterTyresPR_1_small.jpg).

I do, however, carry 'snowsocks (http://www.adamesh.co.uk/ekmps/shops/adamesh/images/autosock-snow-socks-[3]-2595-p.jpg)' and also chains (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/stores/auto/detail-page/thule.xd16.01.lg.jpg) in case I find myself in adverse conditions.

angels
3rd Feb 2015, 17:55
I love snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK1ouUWh7Ko

VP959
3rd Feb 2015, 18:48
We had between 30 and 50mm of dry powder snow overnight. I drove to work and on a narrow lane found that traffic had backed up and come to a halt.

Walking past a couple of dozen cars I found the lane blocked on a 90 deg bend by a small 4x4 (one of those "crossover" things). The driver (female) was hysterical, with two kids in the back, skidding all over the place as she was completely clueless about driving on snow.

It took over ten minutes to persuade her to move to the passenger seat and let me drive her car around the bend to the clear stretch ahead. It took all of 30 seconds to get her car on to the straight downhill stretch, where she gt back in and proceeded to bounce from bank to bank down the lane, basically because she was just far, far too dumb to be allowed to drive a car.

The 30 or so cars that had backed up when this fiasco was going on were mightily pissed off, and from what I could see none had any problems at all driving down the snow covered lane.

I suspect that 99% of UK snow related problems are created by people like the imbecile driving this 4 x 4. She clearly hadn't got the faintest idea of how to drive on snow, and despite me giving her a few quick tips on taking things really steadily, with no sharp acceleration or braking, she insisted on hitting the gas pedal hard enough to get all four wheels spinning, then locking all wheels up in the resulting skid.

If it's snowing again tomorrow, I'm going to leave home ten minutes earlier, in the hope I don't meet her on the same lane, as I have the distinct impression that she's someone w wil never, ever, learn how to drive on snow.

ExXB
3rd Feb 2015, 19:16
P.S. They are not Snow tyres/tires, they are Winter tyres/tires. Summer tyres perform poorly at 4C and lower, and don't like going from below 4C to above 4C on a fairly regular basis.

Winter tyres handle the extremes much better. I wouldn't use summer tyres in the winter, nor would I use crap All-season tyres, which are poor in every season.

seacue
3rd Feb 2015, 20:21
There is snow and there is snow.

In northern climes, the snow is fluffy and easy to blow away, etc.

But farther south it snows just about the freezing point. Put your foot / tire on it and it melts ... than refreezes as ICE as soon as you take the pressure off.

Here, around DC, we usually get snow around the freezing point. The wet snow makes a mess.

I spent two winters in Colorado and they made fun of how poorly DC and similar East Coast cities handled snow. That was until they had a wet snow just like back in DC. Those "superior" Coloradans couldn't get around on it either.

So, yes, there are two or more kinds of snow.

Gordy
3rd Feb 2015, 21:05
I guess it comes down to planning. Here in Salt Lake City we expect snow between certain dates and there is a plan to deal with it including maps of where gets cleared first etc.

Salt Lake Snow Plan (http://www.slcgov.com/streets/streets-snow-removal)

MG23
3rd Feb 2015, 21:09
But farther south it snows just about the freezing point. Put your foot / tire on it and it melts ... than refreezes as ICE as soon as you take the pressure off.

That's why God gave us studded tires.

ShyTorque
3rd Feb 2015, 22:03
So for most drivers most of the time the temperature will be at or above th +7deg that is upper limit of winter tyres

The plus 7 isn't a limit. However, winter tyres give better grip than "all season" (read summer) tyres in low temperatures.

Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate.

G-CPTN
3rd Feb 2015, 22:07
Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate.
Which they don't tell you.

pigboat
3rd Feb 2015, 22:11
Winter tyres handle the extremes much better. I wouldn't use summer tyres in the winter, nor would I use crap All-season tyres, which are poor in every season.
Give that man a amen! :ok:

Fox here's the best site for checking all the crap that comes up the East coast, gives a great overall view instead of the Canadian site which chops the map into forecast areas. Check out the prog for 12:00Z Thursday morning, the center is forecasted to be a hundred miles north of your house. ;)


NOAA National Weather Service. (http://www.aviationweather.gov/adds/progs)

G-CPTN
3rd Feb 2015, 22:18
Early in my working life, I got to drive many examples of the same make and model of vehicle, and I got to the stage of being able to identify the make of tyres fitted within a few corners of driving.
Moreso if the road was wet - one brand had incredibly poor grip in the wet.

macuser
3rd Feb 2015, 23:06
You are not wrong! Happened again yesterday!!!

Tankertrashnav
3rd Feb 2015, 23:16
In Germany, I believe, if one is involved in an Rta without winter tyres during the winter months, the insurance payout has a significant reduction.

Son drove from Delft to Dusseldorf yesterday, and in his words, one cm of snow reduced the autobahns to a shambles. A two and a half hour journey took him over five hours, and the roadside was littered with jack-knifed trucks etc.

GrumpyOldFart
4th Feb 2015, 01:18
ShyT:

Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate

... unless they're studded and your wheels are properly aligned, in which case you'll likely get 1-2 more winters out of them.

Pinky the pilot
4th Feb 2015, 02:40
I wonder what has happened to the Global warming alarmist who said a number of years ago that snow will never again fall in England?:hmm:

Even had that sort of pronouncement here in Aussie; ie the dams will never be full again.:rolleyes:

Shortly afterwards they had that flood up in Queensland.

ExXB
4th Feb 2015, 07:18
One benefit from having your tires changed twice a year, is they are always aligned and balanced. Garage also takes care of the 'rotation, such as that is these days.

Yamagata ken
4th Feb 2015, 08:28
Haha. Hahaha

There are four vehicles in the family fleet. I get to change all the wheels. I do check tyre wear/pressure, but I don't go for alignment. :)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 09:43
The main reason winter tires aren't compulsory here is cost. Quite a lot of old folks only use the car 3 times a week in winter, and most of the roads are very quiet, so there isn't a problem driving around slowly. Winter tires doesn't even get a mention in the Road Safety Strategy.
I cannot recall an accident seen or reported in 5 years "caused by" all season tires. The only ones I have seen are SUVs driven by working age women (probably using mobile phones if the stats are right), and vehicles driven by drunken males.

ExXB
4th Feb 2015, 09:48
The only ones I have seen are SUVs driven by working age women (probably using mobile phones if the stats are right)

... and who do not understand that four wheel drive, does not mean four wheel stop - even with ABS!

ShyTorque
4th Feb 2015, 10:11
ShyT:

Quote:
Winter tyres also give very good grip in warmer temperatures, but at the expense of a higher wear rate
... unless they're studded and your wheels are properly aligned, in which case you'll likely get 1-2 more winters out of them.

I used my last set of winter tyres through the winter and most of the way through the following year, until I sold the car and gave the winter wheels and tyres to my son, who had a near identical, RWD car. He used them until he sold the car, with still legal tread on them after almost two years of constant use. They transformed the traction of his car and got him through deep snow on the M62, which caused many other vehicles, including Police 4x4s attending the incidents, to get stuck on the motorway for the night.

It doesn't matter how many electronic driving muppetry aids a vehicle has; if the tyres don't provide sufficient grip, the car don't go, steer, or stop properly.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 10:16
I think most of us are making that point. My very first car driving lesson, given to me by my younger brother, was driving around a muddy, slushy field one Christmas Day. If there's no grip, THERE'S NO GRIP, and no technology in the world is going to help. A vote here for a skidpan session being compulsory in driving lessons.

G-CPTN
4th Feb 2015, 10:31
Each 'significant' birthday I arrange some special activity for my 'children'.

This year it is going to be 'skidpan' for my daughter.

ShyTorque
4th Feb 2015, 10:54
I agree wholeheartedly about skid training being essential. In my youth I was unable to afford professional driving lessons, but learned vehicle control by driving an old motorcycle, then an Austin van and a tractor in muddy fields and moved onto snow covered roads in the hills after passing the driving test.

My daughter is now learning to drive. I taught her basic car control but have now bought her some lessons from a qualified instructor. However, she will get some extra vehicle control tuition off road from me after she's passed her driving test (and she will hopefully have a go at competing in my off-road trials car, with me as her co-driver). She will get some fatherly tuition before driving on motorways, too.

ExXB
4th Feb 2015, 10:56
I had the immense fortune to experience a 5cm snowfall over the night before one of my driving lessons. I was 17 at the time. The instructor was literally rubbing his hands with glee as we headed for a huge, empty, parking lot. We must have spent two hours there ....

It's amazing how one never forgets an experience like that. Steering into a skid just isn't natural, but having had that lesson - it is for me.

redsnail
4th Feb 2015, 11:04
Several years ago I happened to note the headlines in Germany bemoaning how a bit of snow causes carnage on the roads. So it's not just the UK.

Also, the Russians deal with a bit of snow every winter and their cars show it! They slide around just like every one else.

cavortingcheetah
4th Feb 2015, 11:21
But it's above all the British who so monotonously complain about the snowflakes and the lack of all types of grit every year. Then they justify what is nothing more than inefficiency by claiming that snow and ice hardly ever happen and whinge there's no need to do anything anyway.

maliyahsdad2
4th Feb 2015, 11:24
.......

Also, the Russians deal with a bit of snow every winter and their cars show it! They slide around just like every one else.

Agree- Watching a lot of the dashcam footage they don't deal with it well at all.

G-CPTN
4th Feb 2015, 11:32
I live in a valley, and we don't get the amount of snow that the surrounding hills get, but, as a teenager with a recently-acquired driving licence, I frequently drove up into the hills and found deserted roads and open spaces where I could experience the effects of 'power' on stability and how to control slides.

Later on, in my professional life, I had the opportunity of regular sessions on a 'proper' skidpan (lots of used engine oil and water).

ShyTorque
4th Feb 2015, 12:16
Skidpan? You were lucky! All we 'ad was...

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y290/shytorque/Spitfireinthesnow.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/shytorque/media/Spitfireinthesnow.jpg.html)
Winter 0f 1978/9, Derbyshire Peaks.

Surprising what type of car you can get to go well in the snow, if you know how. :ok:

Blacksheep
4th Feb 2015, 15:29
As regards "Winter" tyres, I haven't seen a figure below minus 3 on my thermometer so far this year and only one day where there was a light dusting of snow - which was absent once I had gone 200 yards down the road onto the bus route after which all roads had been gritted.

Pom Pax
4th Feb 2015, 16:39
Watching French tv news to maintain currency in understanding 50%!
I saw they were performing no better than the UK, especially on motorways. However I noticed many had chains fitted and those vehicles were moving.

skua
4th Feb 2015, 17:12
Daz Daz
FYI I bought a set of steel rims and winter tyres (Contis) for our large Skoda three months ago for £525. I think it is a v wise investment. Handling is superb. It pays to shop around....

MG23
4th Feb 2015, 17:22
Supposed to have about six inches in the next couple of days. Forester won't have any problems, just hope no-one else hits me because they don't have winter tires.

rgbrock1
4th Feb 2015, 17:40
MG23 wrote:

Supposed to have about six inches in the next couple of days.

And I have no doubt that some, if not all, of that snow will be sent southwards over the border. No doubt of it at all. :}:E

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 18:17
Just back from a run to 'town on my all-seasons. The only people spinning their wheels were 2 minivans, 1 SUV and a truck - all proudly displaying 4x4 logos on their rears, and no doubt also having traction control, winter tires, etc; they all looked expensive enough!

As ever, the most unreliable part is the nut that holds the steering wheel.

rgbrock1
4th Feb 2015, 18:25
Fox3:

What you described, and which I see on a semi-regular basis, is one of life's many enigmas, isn't it? During the aftermath of Monday's snow storm (12"+) the most common theme on the roads were the amounts of SUV's and other assorted all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive vehicles camped in a ditch on the side of the road. A true enigma. (Not really.)

Gordy
4th Feb 2015, 18:36
I suspect the SUV's and 4 X's were driven by the "yuppie" crowd who have no clue what 4 X 4 is and how to drive using it. I hazard to guess most of them have never even taken their vehicle off road in the first place.

I drive an AWD BMW and have no problems in the ice, just the snow when it gets above 3 inches as the front of my car acts like a snow plow because it is so low. I will be selling it this summer and buying something more appropriate.

MG23
4th Feb 2015, 18:38
During the aftermath of Monday's snow storm (12"+) the most common theme on the roads were the amounts of SUV's and other assorted all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive vehicles camped in a ditch on the side of the road.

1. "I've got 4WD, I don't need winter tires."
2. "I've got 4WD, I don't need to slow down."

Same around here, the people who think they can keep driving at their usual speed despite the snow are the ones who end up in the ditch. Snow tires and AWD should be used to increase safety when driving at sane speeds, not to drive faster in bad conditions.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 18:50
"Yuppie" round here usually means tracksuit bottoms with pockets, but you're probably right.

G-CPTN
4th Feb 2015, 19:25
Stupid bus driver. (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153064995458748)

G&T ice n slice
4th Feb 2015, 19:28
"Yuppie" round here usually means tracksuit bottoms with pockets

:ok:

good one

con-pilot
4th Feb 2015, 20:08
Stupid bus driver.

Well I don't know, as the cars the bus driver kept hitting kept the bus from sliding off the road. :p

Windy Militant
4th Feb 2015, 23:00
Traction control doesn't help as most of them work by cutting the power either by cutting sparks or fuel to the engine. Unless you've got one of those posh ones that applies the brakes onto the spinning wheel which keeps power going to the wheel that isn't spinning. Noticed it a few years ago when had a young lass came to a stop on a hill in front of my old Astra, my mate who's a petrol head jumped out and ran over to her car stuck his arm through the window switched off the traction control, told her to put it in second and be gentle with the throttle. She did and got to the top of the hill no trouble. I hadn't come across traction control then but he was into hill climbs so had a bit more knowledge of them. I don't know about Chelsea tractors and crossover 4 byes but proper ones have a limited slip diff or a diff lock.:ok:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
4th Feb 2015, 23:20
When I lived in the Dales, reversing up snowy hills was the trick.

G&T - adapted from a joke by Island comic Patrick Ledwell. Credit where it's due. He laments his Masters in English Lit as being "about as much use as a Black Belt in Puppetry". Funny Guy.

G-CPTN
4th Feb 2015, 23:31
Traction control doesn't help
Ain't that the truth!
Daughter's house has a steep drive covered in ¾" loose gravel.
My 2012 car (with traction control) will not climb that drive - the engine bogs down and stalls.

Dealer suggested "Turn off traction control" - after which I can now drive up the gravel drive!

ShyTorque
5th Feb 2015, 10:30
Every rear wheel drive car has a basic form of limited slip diff. It's called the handbrake. Only to be used in extreme circumstances to literally get the car out of a hole. I learned this trick years ago after using independent rear brakes on a Ferguson tractor in deep mud. Some classes of off-road trials cars have "fiddle" brakes, essentially two independent handbrake levers. They are highly effective in the right hands (so much so that they aren't allowed in all competition classes, nor are limited slip differentials for that matter).

By applying a brake to the spinning wheel, torque is transferred to the opposite side wheel, instead of it idling, which can be enough to get the car moving.

Some years ago I helped recover a severely bogged in Ford Granada by getting the lady driver to apply two or three notches of handbrake. She had tried to do a three point turn on a narrow village road but had bumped the rear wheels over the kerb behind her and dropped into a very muddy verge, trapping the car. Three of us passers by tried to push and lift the car out without success. As soon as she applied the handbrake, the car almost climbed out by itself.

Ancient Mariner
5th Feb 2015, 13:19
This how we do it in Vikingland. Total control. :hmm:
Per

Her kunne det gått liv - NRK ? Møre og Romsdal (http://www.nrk.no/mr/her-kunne-det-gatt-liv-1.12191353)

ShyTorque
5th Feb 2015, 14:08
Another fine display of horse power over brain power and driving ability.

OFSO
5th Feb 2015, 16:31
By applying a brake to the spinning wheel, torque is transferred to the opposite side wheel, instead of it idling, which can be enough to get the car moving.

My car's anti-skid does this on soft ground: the spinning wheel is braked by the mystery box in the engine compartment. A AP* light then comes on on the dashboard.

*(AP as in anti-prat: "don't be a prat trying to drive in this weather").

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Feb 2015, 16:32
This is cool. In Nova Scotia they have a new Provincial Plow tracker, so you can work out if your road is going to be plowed soon.

Provincial Plow Tracker - Government of Nova Scotia, Canada (http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter/plowtracker.asp)

n.b. doesn't work with IE

rgbrock1
5th Feb 2015, 17:35
Fox3:

We don't need no stinkin' plow tracker as we are fully aware that in our area of the world the plows come around as a last resort and only after either being threatened or cajoled into doing so. :ok:

UniFoxOs
5th Feb 2015, 17:38
In UK the regularity of ploughing minor roads is in proportion to the number of local councillors living on those roads.

spInY nORmAn
5th Feb 2015, 19:32
If for no other reason, this video of a CN train plowing through the snow in New Brunswick a few days ago, is pretty spectacular. I am curious about the safety aspects of a train approaching a level crossing with such limited visibility though :eek:

Yja2VmZOfdA

redsnail
5th Feb 2015, 20:00
Hoofing it down with snow in Milano. So heavy that the 2 de-ice bays are flat out with 2+ hour delays for start....
So pax said "sod this" in Italian and went home.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Feb 2015, 20:22
The snow is causing some unusual cancellations here:

Pubic Archives will be closed this evening
Posted: Feb 5, 3:46 PM in the Business category.

G-CPTN
5th Feb 2015, 20:24
video of a CN train plowing through the snow
Two miles long?

(Two minutes @ 60mph)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Feb 2015, 20:35
Limit for General Cargo trains in Canada is 3700m, just over two miles. Double-Stacks can be 4200m

gEe9d69NpyM

Windy Militant
5th Feb 2015, 22:48
Every rear wheel drive car has a basic form of limited slip diff. It's called the handbrake

There are a number of idiots who have built catapults using this idea, but thanks to the burks who run the interweb, finding anything other than the rubbish they want you to see makes it impossible to find any videos of them.
I think they built one for an episode of scrap heap challenge.

Dead simple take an old car put it on blocks. Take the wheel off one side, on the other side weld a scaffold pole to the rim. Clamp off the brake line on the the throwing arm side.
Tie down the throwing arm with some baler twine. Rev the engine to a goodly lick and stamp on the brake pedal and wheee. It's advisable not to hold the brake on though!

Four wheel drive is not always a guarantee of safe passage even when there's no snow. On my way home from work tonight I came upon a Police car parked in the road lights flashing. The nice policeman waved me around the obstruction the car was protecting. A short wheelbase land rover on its side in the road!:uhoh:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
6th Feb 2015, 19:05
Just finished clearing the driveway with the miniplow on the front of my lawn tractor - lots of fun in the sun!
Apparently we've had 5 and a 1/2 feet of snow in the last 4 weeks - thought I'd been busy!

rgbrock1
6th Feb 2015, 19:33
Fox3 wrote:

Apparently we've had 5 and a 1/2 feet of snow in the last 4 weeks - thought I'd been busy!

You had to know that I would comment on this, no?

3' of your 5.5' have arrived this side of the border in the past 4 weeks. Now, truth be told most of the snow you've had up yonder has actually originated from this side of the border, for once. (I told you I had a plan of action to counter your batteries of snow-making apparatus NORTH of the border. We'll just call it 'counter-battery fire')

So, now that your done cleaning up your white mess perhaps you can jump back on that thar tractor and drive it in a southerly direction? I'll wave you down once you get to the NY border and, from there, it's only a few hundred more miles to my house. :}:E

ricardian
6th Feb 2015, 19:37
Bus driver knows how to mange in slippery road conditions

Q0xDMzS9fHg

rgbrock1
6th Feb 2015, 19:41
Nice job driving that bus: impressive! :ok:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
6th Feb 2015, 22:45
I would happily come plow for you - take about 2 weeks I reckon to get there - except for the Border people. The Canadians would give me a friendly wave, and your people would probably shoot me; or maybe just Crucifixion, since it's a first offence. ;)

I've just discovered they made a movie about that guy who drove from Iowa to Wisconsin on his lawn tractor to see his brother - I'll have to borrow that! (The Straight Story)

phyxit
7th Feb 2015, 01:38
In UK the regularity of ploughing minor roads is in proportion to the number of local councillors living on those roads.

When I moved to rural Quebec I was warned to rent a house only on roads that the school buses needed. If there were kids deeper into the brush than I was my road would be plowed; if not, not.

My proudest snow moment was in bringing an old fart's Chrysler K-car from Tampa to Montreal in early March. He said "Please don't smoke in it" so I only smoked in it with all the windows rolled down and the blower on. I got to the NY state roadblock that said "Chains or 4x4 only beyond this point" with my stylish red toque on, a mitten on my left hand, all the windows open and of course Quebec plates. I said 'Snowy, eh?" and the nice state trooper man rolled his eyes and waved me though.

mixture
7th Feb 2015, 05:30
Four wheel drive is not always a guarantee of safe passage even when there's no snow.

The problem is you have to understand what four wheel drive is, and what it is not. In the right hands, 4WD has some great benefits over RWD (FWD is just a joke created by some designers having a laugh down the pub.... it has no real-life use for the owner, it only benefits the manufacturer, helping keep production costs down .... FWD is cheap, nasty and basically for people who don't care about anything else other than price).

Most people who are sold city tractors (a.k.a Range Rovers that never see mud) are never told anything.

Denti
7th Feb 2015, 07:14
Several years ago I happened to note the headlines in Germany bemoaning how a bit of snow causes carnage on the roads.

Indeed. And it doesn't really help that winter tires are mandatory since 2010 during winter weather. Not during a time period, but it is usually considered a good idea to have them on your car from october through march. However, due to the need to keep expenditure as low as possible, clearing streets is only done on major roads. It usually takes a few days until they get to secondary streets. By the way, studded tires on cars are outlawed, on bicycles they are considered a good idea.

OFSO
7th Feb 2015, 08:32
Just had a half hour's snow storm (i.e. snow with wind) here. I expect to see the plough going up the mountain road to Cadaques any minute. Have to hurry before it all melts.

Here's the thing: Roses municipality gets maybe one snowfall every five years, but they always have the plough ready when needed.

alwayzinit
7th Feb 2015, 10:38
Thanks all for responding Blasters.

The winter tyres question I posed was triggered from just returning from skiing in Europe.

Our hire car was picked up from Milan MXP, though we had been assured that winter tyres would be fitted, due to the season, they were not. A set of light weight snow chains were given to us as a substitute.

3 things became very obvious as we climbed into the mountains.

1) I felt really uncomfortable negotiating hair pin bends on "summer rubber" with the air and ground temp being right in the ground icing range.

2) How really effective and easy these new "eastfit" chains were once we had climbed high enough for the snow to be lying, requiring their fitting.

and

3) How good the winter tyres were on the icy refrozen slush in the resort on the local's cars.

Without doubt I will be fitting a set of winter rubber from oct to mar when we return to more Northern Latitudes.

OFSO
7th Feb 2015, 12:17
Incidently, in this part of Spain chains are mandatory under some conditions: you must watch the TV news in the morning to see where. Police patrols will turn you back if you don't have 'em.

Currently chains are required for all the Pyranees inland from the coast. The snowhall has been severe and the winds extreme (ski resorts closed).

Blacksheep
7th Feb 2015, 12:34
To be honest, I've only seen three days of severe weather in the past seven years. For the past three years it has only snowed once - and that melted and was gone by lunchtime. We actually cope rather well for the conditions in UK. Big blizzards do happen sometimes, but such things cause havoc wherever in the world they happen.

ShyTorque
8th Feb 2015, 10:13
Here's a good demonstration of the differences between winter and summer tyres.

elP_34ltdWI

wiggy
8th Feb 2015, 10:29
Incidently, in this part of Spain chains are mandatory under some conditions: you must watch the TV news in the morning to see where. Police patrols will turn you back if you don't have 'em.

Currently chains are required for all the Pyranees inland from the coast. The snowhall has been severe and the winds extreme (ski resorts closed).

Same where we are other side of the mountains from you..probably only 20% of the locals use winter tyres, I think the rest get by due to the fact that the drivers aren't in a rush ( it's southern France, you're late into work - so what??)and the relatively quiet roads allow everyone to keep a massive amount of distance between themselves and the car in front.

(Ski resorts round us now mostly reopened just in time for the start of spring holidays - 2 metres of snow at altitude last weekend, then it clears..the snow gods have smiled on them this year)

Windy Militant
8th Feb 2015, 10:50
(FWD is just a joke created by some designers having a laugh down the pub.... Aye Right!:p
/watch?v=nPsFTCyyzAw

Once had a four bye out on hire as they didn't have any estate cars. Muggins took it out of 4WD, until I found myself going side ways at the first roundabout, fortunately at low speed. Back into 4WD for the rest of the trip. :uhoh:

Mr Torque an excellent video it shows what I've been telling people about ABS, for years with out much success! :eek:

Yamagata ken
8th Feb 2015, 11:58
Thanks very much for that viedo ShyTorque.

Luddites and people who prefer to spend their money repairing bent metal/people rather than avoiding accidents might note these numbers.

Stopping distance. Winter tyres: 27m. Summer tyres: 85m. Speed difference: 25 mph.

A suggestion to the fabulists. Why don't you de-content your cars by removing seatbelts, airbags and move on to crossplies? After all, car technology hasn't moved at all since the 1960s. Please don't come to Japan and involve me in your willfully ignorant and entirely avoidable accident. Everyone here uses winter tyres.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
8th Feb 2015, 13:12
JGfvyPtYR0Y

Here is another test, this time showing the effect of aftermarket winter tires against all-season standard manufacturer tires.
The difference equates to the all seasons having 27% less traction.

Put it another way, if you drive on your all seasons at 26 mph or on winter tires doing 30 mph (stopping distance depending on the square of the speed), you will stop in the same distance. Which is what I do.

Or put another way, the two cars would stop in the same distance from the same speed if the reaction time of an all season driver is 0.67 of a second faster than a winter tire driver.

A good alert driver will typically have a total reaction time of about 1.25 seconds. 90% of the driving population will react in 2.5 seconds or less (this is the current design standard). The rest by 3.5 seconds.

Recall that total reaction time = awareness and decision as well as muscle reaction times.

Texting typically increases reaction times by at least 2 seconds.
(New Study Says Texting Doubles a Driver?s Reaction Time ? Texas A&M Transportation Institute (http://tti.tamu.edu/2011/10/05/new-study-says-texting-doubles-a-driver%E2%80%99s-reaction-time/))
and statistics seem to indicate that 45%+ of young people do text whilst driving.
Even hands-free phones increase reaction times by 27% (source: TRRL)

So, before winter tires get made compulsory, by the same reasoning I'd like to see mobile devices rules properly enforced

ShyTorque
8th Feb 2015, 13:56
It would be beneficial to many UK drivers if winter grade tyres were made more widely available, in good time for the coming winter (i.e. in autumn, rather than once the snow comes), and their advantages advertised widely.

Most UK drivers have no idea about the subject and will, in ignorance, confidently tell you that their car will be fine in the snow because it has "all season" tyres fitted.

Unfortunately, the ones sold as "all season" are, in the main, exactly the same as summer tyres.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
8th Feb 2015, 14:06
Fortunately the roads are so empty around here that I do know just how quickly my car can stop, turn etc because I practice regularly, when the snowbanks are low enough to have a good view (not this week).

It's just the same as giving yourself a flapless cct or a PAR for the practice.

airship
8th Feb 2015, 14:44
I've given the whole subject of winter / summer tyres some thought. Why can't Michelin or Goodyear produce airship's "all year tyre" as follows:

General construction specification: steel radial, tubeless (see picture below):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Bridgestone_tire_cross_section.png

"All year" or what I call a "continuously pressure-sensitive"* construction tyre specification comprising:

3 to 4 ranges of additional studded-steel belts running in the direction of travel. This is what supplies the traction in snow / ice. Normally only exposed when the tyre is correctly semi-inflated (or very cold) or extremely worn (ie. as opposed to when the tyre is also correctly fully-inflated or very hot in normal summer conditions). So a more or less gradual process taking normal wear into account, where the less-inflated a tyre is, the more the studded-steel belts protrude through the tread and vice-versa. Integrating currently-available "run-flat" tyre technology obviously to make it all work properly.

* Patents pending worldwide - please contact me for priviledged licensing arrangements (available for a short period only).

G-CPTN
8th Feb 2015, 15:01
An under-inflated (WRT load) tyre will overheat when run at 'normal' speeds - denaturing the compound and leading to delamination and carcass failure 'explosion' (blow-out).

At best the tread will separate from the casing followed by failure of the casing (as above).

airship
8th Feb 2015, 15:05
Well, hopefully folks won't be driving at "normal" (ie. summer) speeds when in snow / ice conditions...?!

Windy Militant
8th Feb 2015, 16:59
Well, hopefully folks won't be driving at "normal" (ie. summer) speeds when in snow / ice conditions...?!

Unfortunately they still try to, I used to live in digs not far from a fairly busy roundabout on a dual carriage way. You could always tell the first frost of winter the noise changed from screech thump tinkle to swoosh Thump tinkle! ;)

vulcanised
8th Feb 2015, 19:53
Cuts down tyre noise though, dunnit?

MG23
8th Feb 2015, 23:50
I've given the whole subject of winter / summer tyres some thought. Why can't Michelin or Goodyear produce airship's "all year tyre" as follows:

Nokian have been working on tires with extendible studs. They're a long way from tire stores, but I'd guess we'll probably see electronically-controlled tires in another decade or two.

Their current studs retract into the tire if they're rolling on a solid surface (I think there's an air pocket above them, or maybe more flexible rubber?), but they're still noisy.

ExXB
9th Feb 2015, 10:08
Well, hopefully folks won't be driving at "normal" (ie. summer) speeds when in snow / ice conditions...?!

However driving at a snail's pace on summer tires in snow / ice conditions is just as dangerous. Impatient SUVs / 4WD and those of us with winter tires would like to get past those inconsiderate bar-stewards'.