Winter Tips PRP Rescue Services Ltd        Tel: 01488 657651    Fax: 0844 8546681
© PRP Rescue Services Ltd 2014  
Top tips to get your LGV Transporter or Trailer in Perfect Condition for the Winter Winter   opens   up   a   host   of   different   motorsport   opportunities. Although   the   driving   conditions   can   be   a   bit   trickier,   using   your car and trailer in winter can be safe and fun if you follow a few common-sense safety tips. Check the following items on your vehicle. Battery Antifreeze Wipers and windshield washer fluid Ignition system Thermostat Lights Flashing hazard lights Exhaust system Heater Brakes Defroster Oil level (if necessary, replace existing oil with a winter grade oil or the SAE 10w/30 weight variety) Make   sure   your   tyres   have   adequate   tread.   All-weather   radials   are   usually   adequate   for   most   winter   conditions. However,   some   european   jurisdictions   require   that   to   drive   on   their   roads,   vehicles   must   be   equipped   with   chains   or snow tires with studs. Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal. Maintain at least a half tank of fuel during the winter season. Plan long trips carefully. Listen   to   the   radio   or   call   the   state   highway   patrol   for   the   latest   road   conditions.   Always   travel   during   daylight   and,   if possible, take at least one other person. Dress warmly. Wear layers of loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Carry food and water. Store a supply of high energy "munchies" and several bottles of water. Contact   your   local   emergency   management   office   or   American   Red   Cross   chapter   for   more   information   on   winter driving. Winter Vehicle Kit Keep these items in your vehicle: Flashlights with extra batteries First aid kit with pocket knife Necessary medications Several blankets Sleeping bags Extra newspapers for insulation Plastic bags (for sanitation) Matches Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap Rain gear and extra clothes Small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels Small shovel Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver) Booster cables Set of traction mats Cards, games, and puzzles Brightly coloured cloth to use as a flag Canned fruit and nuts Can opener Bottled water   Traction As   road   surfaces   become   wet,   vehicle   traction   decreases   by   about   half   and   on   ice-covered   roads,   traction   can   be   almost   nil. Avoid   any   abrupt   manoeuvres.   Some   towing   vehicles   have   anti-lock   brakes   you   must   use   continual   pressure;   don't   lift   up when   these   brakes   pulsate.      Drive   smoothly   and   steadily.   Slow   down   well   before   entering   a   curve.   While   applying   brakes, use   light   and   even   pedal   pressure.   This   light   application   should   still   let   the   wheels   roll,   so   you   can   maintain   control.   If   the curve   is   a   constant   radius,   keep   your   speed   steady   through   the   turn.   Decreasing-radius   turns   require   that   you   slow   down   as you proceed; these are the trickiest. Increasing-radius turns allow you to accelerate lightly as you exit them. Ice Expect   icy   conditions   any   time,   although   water   freezes   at   0˚C.      Ice   can   form   on   roads   when   the   outside   air   temperature reaches   6˚C   or   lower.   An   important   place   to   watch   for   this   condition   is   on   bridges.   Bridge   surfaces   are   exposed   to   the   wind and   cool   off   faster   than   the   rest   of   the   road. You   should   also   prepare   for   icy   conditions   on   roads   through   shaded   areas   where a cold wind can freeze a wet road surface. Black Ice Black   ice,   clear   water   that   has   frozen   on   black   tarmac,   usually   forms   below   overpasses,   on   bridges,   and   exposed   areas. Black ice commonly occurs in low, shaded areas and/or when the road surface starts to freeze at night Rain The   first   few   minutes   of   a   rain   can   be   extra   dangerous   because   of   the   slippery   road   surface   caused   by   oil   and   rubber   build- up;   driving   is   especially   hazardous   until   the   surface   contaminants   wash   away.   Rain   also   may   cause   hydroplaning,   which occurs   when   the   tires   can't   channel   the   water   away   fast   enough,   causing   them   to   start   running   on   top   of   the   water   instead   of on the road. Traction will be lost and a skid is likely unless you slow down. Fog Fog   is   usually   found   in   low   places   or   areas   surrounded   by   trees,   hills   or   mountains.   Slow   down   and   turn   on   your   low-beam headlights   wherever   you   encounter   fog.   Make   sure   you   can   stop   within   the   distance   that   you   can   see   ahead   clearly.   For speeds   less   than   40   mph,   allow   at   least   one   second   of   travel   time   between   yourself   and   the   vehicle   ahead   for   every   10   feet of   your   vehicle's   length. At   speeds   over   40   mph   and   especially   under   unfavourable   weather   or   road   conditions,   add   one   more second to the total; as conditions worsen, increase your space ahead. Mud Any   time   you   drive   off-road   when   it   is   wet   or   after   it   has   been   raining,   prepare   for   mud.   Some   soil   textures   cause   a   vehicle   to sink;   others   will   make   the   surface   like   driving   on   ice.   Try   to   keep   your   vehicle   moving   slowly   and   steadily   forward   in   gear.   If you   feel   the   wheels   start   to   spin   and   lose   traction,   let   up   on   the   accelerator   slightly.   This   should   allow   the   wheels   to   regain traction. If   you   stop   in   mud   and   try   to   restart   quickly,   you   could   dig   the   wheels   deeper   into   the   mud.   If   you   do   get   stuck   in   mud,   make sure your front wheels are pointed straight ahead and don't spin the wheels. If   this   fails,   place   some   type   of   friction   material   under   the   wheels   -   straw,   carpet,   stones   or   anything   with   a   rough   surface. Call for help if you can't free the vehicle with these techniques Wind Anticipate   wind   gusts   by   looking   for   signs   such   as   tree   movements,   dust   or   blowing   snow   or   leaves.   The   best   advice   for driving   in   windy   conditions   is   to   slow   down.   When   passing   trucks,   move   slightly   away   from   them   whenever   possible,   as   this reduces gust effects. One   last   tip:   keep   your   fuel   tank   at   least   half   full   –   you   don’t   want   to   get   stranded. Another   reason   for   a   full   tank   is   that   warm daytime   temperatures   will   fill   the   empty   space   in   the   tank   with   moisture,   which   will   condense   during   a   cold   night.   This   water will sink to the bottom and, sooner or later, rust out your tank or give running problems when the level gets low.