by Takeo De Meter
out for the Yellow Snow.
daddy, there is nearly a foot of it in the drive again, will you take
the Landy out today ??? When your six-year-old comes running into your
bedroom at six oclock in the morning on an icy Saturday yelling
the above, one could feel compelled to instantly strangle the little son-of-his-mother,
but one doesnt because one wants to go play in da sno oneself.
a Landy, Rangie, Disco or even a Freelander in the snow can be major fun
and being almost alone on the roads only adds to the pleasure. It may
also bring your hidden philantropic qualities to the surface when trying
to show off by attempting to pull a truck out of a ditch.
But snow driving has a little more to it than just slipping and sliding
and making figure-of-eight slides in the supermarket parking lot.
Imagine that you actually have to take to the unsalted roads with your
Landy and that you must get from A to B with a real purpose such as an
emergency delivery of a truckload of Viagra to the old peoples home
on a Sunday morning in the next town.
you have your head screwed on the right way, you will use snow chains,
drive sloooow and carefully and you will not attempt any fresh snow thicker
than 2 feet, which is about the limit, depending on tire size. (900/16
is what you need for 2 feet of da white stuff)
if you wanna play without any snow chains and whatever tires you got on
your rims, there are a couple of things I would like to suggest.
First of all, engage your front axle or centre diff before driving off,
so that you have independent traction on your front and rear axle.
Once that you are on the road and it is clearof any enemy vehicles, perform
a brake test on that particular surface at a speed of around 30 Km/h,
which will give you a fairly good idea of the the adhesion you are getting,
temperature and snow texture will influence adhesion and it will be different
every time. If you skid further than 10 metres from 30 Km/h, get off the
ice hockey rink and go back to bed.
After the longitudinal skid test, why not try a lateral skid test ? Best
done on the supermarket parking lot. Get a supermarket cart, position
it somewhere well clear of lampposts, build your speed up to 30 Km/h again,
aim for the cart and approach it to about 5 metres and then try avoiding
it by using your steering wheel only. If your vehicle spins around itself
more than 8 times, get off the damn ice hockey rink as I said before.
The above easy and simple tests will give you a good idea of how your
vehicle will behave during your afternoon out with da kidz.
I am saying is that you should avoid speeds above 50 Km/h at any time.
Avoid using your brake pedal at all cost and try coasting to a stop when
the kids need a pee break.
Going uphil on a snowy / icy road is usually quite easy, but going downhill
may have a surprise for you, better know as the Roadway Uncontrollable
Downhill Rollercoaster Slide, which you want to avoid at all cost. Go
downhill using 1 gear lower that the one you used to get up there and
dont use your brakes. This ought to get you down safely. In the
occurence of a RUDRS, short of building up a ridiculous speed with all
wheels blocked, consider driving into a ditch as soon as you sense that
things get out of hand. I have seen a Series Two sliding down a slope.
The ensuing crash into the garden ornament display yard of garden centre
not far from Sheffield was quite hilarious, but it could also have been
a solid concrete wall.