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Snow

by Takeo De Meter

Watch out for the Yellow Snow.

Daddy, 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 o‘clock 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 doesn‘t because one wants to go play in da sno oneself.

Driving 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 people‘s home on a Sunday morning in the next town.

If 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)

BUT, 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.

What 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 don‘t 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.

Takeo

 

Alain sent me these pictures last sunday, after he had successfully planted his Defender 90 into the snow. He does that at least once a year. Last year I received a phonecall:
'How do I set the speed and aperture on that darn camera? I'm stuck in the middle of a snowhill in France and I'm waiting for Dadu to rescue me!"
Later, I found the whole story in 'OOps' May he get stuck again for more pictures like these! We can't help there, for in Belgium you never get so much snow to play in:-)

Annette