Lets get this discussion started!

cam04

Well-Known Member
I'd like to add a little to this one with respect to lights...

I live in the Central West of NSW, and driving home from work this moring - still dark - there was snow falling, and a stiff wind swirling it around.

I have a small high-intensity LED lightbar fitted to the bullbar, and switching it on resulted in something that wouldn't have been out of place in Star Wars, when one of the spaceships went into hyperspace. LOTS of long straight white lines driving right at you, no matter which way the road took you.

Turning off the lightbar made it easier to see in the blizzard-like conditions, and switching off the high beam - low beam only - gave me the clearest vision, because I wasn't getting all of my own light bounced back at me off the falling snow.

We all get caught up in the debate about the best / brightest / longest range lights for the front (and back) of our 4WD's, but sometimes, less is better.

Oh, and slow down - you might be an old hand at driving in the snow, but there's always the chance you'll encounter that tourist in a rented car who has never driven in snow before coming the other way.
Northern US states where subarus rule, they are sold with proper yellow fog lights still.
 

Ol' Harley

Active Member
Take your point! I've always found that driving through fog has a few differences to driving through snow though. Still, 'snow use complaining! (sorry...)
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
Yellow is much easier on the eyes and gives a better contrast to oncoming drivers. Getting your fog lights down low and under the fog makes a heap of difference but not so easy to do on a 4WD
 

Tappet

Member
Only drove in this country once in the snow and I will say it is difficult. Have driven in the Yukon and North Western Territories in Canada in winter on propper Snow tyres. Goodyear Blilzarks (Not studded) and it was a walk in the park. These tyres it's not recommended to use above 4 C. I will say the difference is like chalk and cheese, you can drive in good conditions on snow covered bitumen road at 100kph. It's almost like the snow is not even there or like driving on well graded dirt road. I found down to minus 20 they were great but did loose it a bit as the temp went lower.

Thing is in those neck of woods the snow that fell in early winter does not thaw out for the whole of winter. This makes a big difference. an overnight light sprinkle of snow gives even more grip. Trick is with snow driving don't do anything sudden. Braking, acceleration, steering input and you'll be fine.
 

AngryWO

New Member
I worked at the Thompson Reservoir as Caretaker in the 80,s and 90,s did heaps of snow driving. Never adjusted air pressure never used chains standard Toyota 4x4 Ute PTO winch standard tyres.
 

shahmeer

New Member
All-terrain tires are a must-have. And if there is a lot of snow, consider putting chains on tires. And never push the race to its fullest. Drive the vehicle with minimum and consistent acceleration.
 

LongRoad2Go

Well-Known Member
One thing perhaps overlooked is: not all snow is alike. Although dependent on seasonal variation, the typical slushy and icy stuff we get in humid Oz throughout winter is unlike that in, say, the northern island of Japan (Hokkaido). About 20 years ago we were picked up from Chitose Airport by a minibus at night and driven to Niseko (about a two hour drive) in the middle of their winter with snow bucketing down. The Highway was thickly covered in packed dry snow, deep enough to almost cover the guardrails on the road edges. We didn't drive below 100km/hr, keeping pace with other traffic. To say I was concerned is an understatement, but the van gripped the road like glue.

Two things made a significant difference: the snow in Hokkaido is known to be extremely dry, in fact, you can watch individual snowflakes fall, land on your jacket, and not have them melt - can actually see the individual crystal formations (very beautiful). The flakes fall on the ground and don't stick until enough pressure is added. Hence why skiers love the place - never get wet either.

The other difference were the tyres on the vehicle - AT's with stainless steel spikes. Obviously these tyres are economically viable and useful in climate zones where winters are very long. In other countries, chains would be more useful - dual purpose for 4WD use in snow and tricky mud situations.
 

Johnmo89

New Member
Many drivers confuse the concepts of "SUV" and "ATV". Any SUV is a WHEELED off-road vehicle. You can feel confident in the snow only on TRACKED vehicles. That is, if in the summer an off-road driver can still risk driving straight across the field to the lake shore, then in winter it is better not to do this.
Never forget the rule of off-road driving: "The more you walk, the further you drive." Therefore, we get out of the car and evaluate the snow cover. If the depth of dense packed snow exceeds half the wheel of a jeep, it is better to abandon the idea. Of course, the SUV must be shod in winter tires. It is winter and preferably with spikes. Because even "toothy" mud tires are able to polish four slippery holes in the snow, in which the wheels will sit as securely as a golf ball in its hole. To increase the jeep's snow performance, it is useful to reduce tire pressure to 0.8-1 atmosphere. The most important trump card will be a winch with a set of extension cables.
We will use differential locks in advance - if any. Immediately turn on the downshift. Trying to ride without it is a very common mistake. Even if the jeep is equipped with a powerful V8, capable of turning the wheels even in hardening cement, you still need to turn on the reduction. And get under way from the second or third gear. Thus, we are insured as much as possible against slipping, which will instantly "bury" the SUV in the snow. Then we go, maintaining 2.000-2.500 rpm, and we treat the "gas" pedal as if it were suspended on a glass thread. Switching in deep snow should not be done unless absolutely necessary.
It's easier with an automatic. "Automatic" will choose the optimal step. Just do not set the selector to position "L" or "1". Unable to move to the next stage, the engine spins up to too high a speed, which again threatens to spin the wheels. For snowy off-road, it is better to use position "3" or simply turn off the overdrive with the button. The only drawback of the "machine" is the inability to get out of the swing if the car is stuck. There are several nuances in driving on snow. It is necessary to be wary of lowlands and descents. The SUV's bumper, like the blade of a bulldozer, shovels a pile of snow in front of it, and the car stands up. And to file back, especially on a steep descent, will not work. It also needs to be rotated carefully. Where the SUV will calmly pass in a straight line, you can easily get bogged down if the front wheels are turned to the side. Indeed, in this case, they rest against the snow with their sidewalls, and the rear wheels have to "tread" their own track. Thus, the resistance to movement is doubled. Therefore, turning or, moreover, turning around on snowy off-road should be along the maximum radius. The less you turn the steering wheel, the lower the chances of getting bogged down. If possible, do not stop in the snow. Not the fact that then you can move.
 

GLee

Member
First day of snow season and as I drove up to Perisher, an LC79 dual cab with canopy was the first vehicle I see on the side of the road stuck in the snow. Oh the humanity, oh the shame

There are always 4WDs and AWDs stuck on the side, on most seasons.

I always carry snow chains.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
I used to go skiing. So, the roads were maintained, but still slippery. I got fed up struggling with chains never being able to get them tight enough at the side of the road.

I saw a Merc driving up one weekend, with poorly fitted chains. The chain I saw was half off and the loose link must have been swinging free. Clang, clang, clang it went as it hit the bodywork of the car every time the wheel went around. A panel shop repair when he got back home.

Not wanting that experience I ended up organising an extra tyre & wheel, fitted the chains on low pressure, then when inflated the chains were super tight. They never moved. So, I had to jack the car up each time to replace both rear wheels. I got proficient at it. Though, one trap I fell into. I set the warm wheel nuts on the ground the first time I was changing the wheels over. The ice melted and into the threads the water went and as it cooled froze solid in the threads. I had to open the bonnet and sit the nuts on the radiator for about 10mins to allow the ice to thaw before I could get the nuts back on.

Saw a car coming down the hill without chains. Not quite sideways, but diagonally, a bit like the way horses run. The driver gave me a stupid smile as he went past. His mate was outside pushing on the boot to keep the car straight. It seemed to be working.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
Just browsing some videos and came across this. These guys are commercial operators and they post a lot of videos of their rescues, a lot of which are worth a look, but this one of a snow rescue caught my attention. They are often an entertaining bunch and some of their rescues are amazing. After seeing the trouble they had with this one I can't imagine ever wanting to drive in snow. I can't imagine what they charge punters.

 
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