Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30.11.2009, 21:43
gordoni7's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Valais
Posts: 78
Groaned at 4 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
gordoni7 has become a little unpopulargordoni7 has become a little unpopular
My first snow driving was today,

My first snow driving was today, came across a car with Summer tyres, he was completely stranded (so I lent him my chaines and discovered I need more practice); I am fascinated to experience so directly the difference between Summer and Winter tyres: mine are from Co-Op 75chf each and worked very well, to my pleasant surprise. So today we used: snow tyres, yellow jackets x2, chains, towing bar, torch(es), gloves and it is only the first day! I need to add a spade to the boot.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30.11.2009, 21:47
Shinigami's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gland, Switzerland
Posts: 802
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 338 Times in 230 Posts
Shinigami has an excellent reputationShinigami has an excellent reputationShinigami has an excellent reputationShinigami has an excellent reputation
Re: My first snow driving was today,

haha, true true. The first time driving on the snow can be an experience...

I was driving a few years back from the Geneva car show late at night, it was March of course... And suddently it began to snow like mad on the highway, a massive blizzard. I of course had my summer performance tires on my cabriolet.

Those were some hairy minutes, drove some 5 miles until I got to a decent mini parking area on the side of the highway.

Another time I was driving a Smart ForTwo from near Zurich to Lausanne at 2 or 3am in a blizzard. Could barely see 40 ot 50 meters ahead of me, the snow flakes creating a star trek hyperspace look ahead of me as I drove at a constant speed of around 40kph... oh the joy

But what an experience!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30.11.2009, 22:19
dakman's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NYC (heart is split between Switzerland and the Big Apple)
Posts: 1,877
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 901 Times in 543 Posts
dakman has a reputation beyond reputedakman has a reputation beyond reputedakman has a reputation beyond reputedakman has a reputation beyond reputedakman has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Not to go off topic too far, but one of the best comedy acts in the world is when there is a snowfall in New York City, the cab drivers mostly from warm lands, have no clue how to drive in snow. They don't get the concept that their usual tactic of going as fast as possible and slamming on their brakes is not well suited for snow. There is a whole lot of sliding going on....not a good day to be a pedestrian.

Growing up in a snowy climate, snow driving is definitely a different skill. I did not drive much in Zurich but going down a pass in the snow is not somethign I enjoy even with my snow driving background.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30.11.2009, 22:25
cbb's Avatar
cbb cbb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK (ex CH)
Posts: 421
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 81 Times in 43 Posts
cbb has earned the respect of manycbb has earned the respect of manycbb has earned the respect of many
Re: My first snow driving was today,

I drove up here in the mountains tonight. The snow was pretty bad. I have the Winter tyres on thank goodness! I am in a RWD which is new in itself and there was a bit of slipping. I always ruled out snow chains as their speed appears to be limited from what I've read. However I didn't get above 40 anyway. Are chains expensive? Are they really worth it? I'm seriously considering looking into it after tonight.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 30.11.2009, 22:27
Doctor's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,072
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 527 Times in 323 Posts
Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeDoctor has a reputation beyond reputeDoctor has a reputation beyond reputeDoctor has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

My first experience was in Driving school. My Driving Teacher pulled the handbrake in a snow covered parking lot

Doc.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 30.11.2009, 22:46
kevlegs's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Far far away
Posts: 2,180
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,324 Times in 700 Posts
kevlegs has a reputation beyond reputekevlegs has a reputation beyond reputekevlegs has a reputation beyond reputekevlegs has a reputation beyond reputekevlegs has a reputation beyond reputekevlegs has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Glad I got my Jeep handy
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 30.11.2009, 22:48
Mud's Avatar
Mud Mud is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Romandie
Posts: 2,569
Groaned at 26 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 5,002 Times in 1,826 Posts
Mud has a reputation beyond reputeMud has a reputation beyond reputeMud has a reputation beyond reputeMud has a reputation beyond reputeMud has a reputation beyond reputeMud has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

My first time was about 10 years ago. I had just bought an old turbo Volvo station wagon from a dealer in South Carolina and was driving it back to Ohio. This meant crossing the Appalachian mountains- several hours of mountain driving in the (normally) 8 hour trip.

It was snowing so hard my headlights almost didn't shine they were so caked (night drive). I was anxious to get home and passed a half dozen salt trucks in the mountains cruising at a steady 60 mph.

No problem at all, and the tires were at least 5 years old with about 3mm of tread- these were low profile, hard, SUMMER tires.

A few days later we had a light snowfall in Ohio and I slid a good 100 meters down the hill from my apartment breaking a wheel and farking the rear suspension.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 30.11.2009, 23:42
Captain Greybeard's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sarganserland / NW Lower Penin
Posts: 3,526
Groaned at 43 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 7,410 Times in 2,314 Posts
Captain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond reputeCaptain Greybeard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

I grew up in Switzerland and got snow-driving instilled as a baby. The last two decades with fairly mild winters never saw me using chains. Last year, before X-mas, I took my American Better Half (ABH) to our vacation home in the Engadine, about 1400 m above sea level. Not that it was her first time there, but she still screams in every hairpin bend.

That time it had been snowing all day but almost stopped briefly before we reached the house. There is a little ravine on the last 500 meters or so. The one-lane dirt road was snow covered, very slippery and steep, and I knew I'd need some momentum to make the last ascent without losing traction.

Briefly after the little bridge in the depth of the ravine, my ABH began to scream like mad. Granted, she was sitting on the downhill side, and there was no guard rail. I keep telling her that guard rails are there only for silly 'Merikins with overly busy lawyers. Anyway, she screamed, as kind of a reflex action I briefly lifted my foot off the accelerator, and promptly the car completely lost traction.

No chance to get it going on the steep road. I had to mount the snow chains on the very last 200 meters of our trip, and that in pitch-black night, tired and hungry. Of course the chains were in the trunk well under all the luggage. It really was fun. Anyway, I realized that the snow chain drill still worked.

Now, if a flatlanderish snow-drive newbie asks, "Where can I buy a snow chain drill, and how do I use it?" -- that may be a topic for another thread.
__________________

"This is AMAZING! I have the exact amount of money Joe Biden has cost us playing golf in my sweatpants pocket!" — Kona Lowell

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01.12.2009, 00:08
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Tessin
Posts: 6,303
Groaned at 124 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 7,486 Times in 3,520 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
I drove up here in the mountains tonight. The snow was pretty bad. I have the Winter tyres on thank goodness! I am in a RWD which is new in itself and there was a bit of slipping. I always ruled out snow chains as their speed appears to be limited from what I've read. However I didn't get above 40 anyway. Are chains expensive? Are they really worth it? I'm seriously considering looking into it after tonight.
Until you get stuck, you won't think chains are worth it. If you are driving in the mountains in winter, you will likely need them. Also, I advise buying a folding shovel.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mrs. Doolittle for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 01.12.2009, 00:22
magic's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 1,087
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 675 Times in 304 Posts
magic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
I drove up here in the mountains tonight. The snow was pretty bad. I have the Winter tyres on thank goodness! I am in a RWD which is new in itself and there was a bit of slipping. I always ruled out snow chains as their speed appears to be limited from what I've read. However I didn't get above 40 anyway. Are chains expensive? Are they really worth it? I'm seriously considering looking into it after tonight.
Cost: Depends on the size of the tyre, we paid 120CHF last year for our Skoda Octavia with 15" wheels. However they want 600+CHF for Volvo XC90 with 18" wheels here so depends but generally I would say no. If you get stuck you will be cursing yourself.

Are they worth it: If you intend to visit the mountains reqularly then definite yes.

Already mentioned: Folding Snow shovel & one of those fancy bungee cord tow ropes with snazy colours.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01.12.2009, 00:35
higgybaby's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,042
Groaned at 44 Times in 28 Posts
Thanked 815 Times in 422 Posts
higgybaby has a reputation beyond reputehiggybaby has a reputation beyond reputehiggybaby has a reputation beyond reputehiggybaby has a reputation beyond reputehiggybaby has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
My first snow driving was today....
Try and find a big empty car park and do some donuts in the snow. Excellent redneck fun. Yee Haar.


Looks like front wheel drive cars are better going in reverse.

Last edited by higgybaby; 01.12.2009 at 01:02.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:00
Bertrand - Geneva
 
Posts: n/a
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Driving a car in the snow is certainly one of the most funny thing you can do without being a *professional driver* (of course, in area where you are alone....)

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:01
gordoni7's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Valais
Posts: 78
Groaned at 4 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
gordoni7 has become a little unpopulargordoni7 has become a little unpopular
Re: My first snow driving was today,

another aspect that I find remarkable is the degree (pun intended) of change between the valley, where there is no snow and it was around 3 deg C compared to the drive uphill to 5,000 feet / 1500 metres where it was minus 1 deg C, snow packed on the road and snowing quite hard.

From what I saw if I had:

a two wheel drive car and (I have FWD)

Summer tyres (I have Winter tyres as of a few days ago) and

no "traction control" (whether electronic or limited slip diff) (I did not realise I had this, or rather how useful it would prove to be, I would have been literally stuck without it)

I would and do keep a pair of chaines in the car. The elderly gentleman we assisted was completely helpless and yet the rest of the sparse traffic was moving swiftly in the conditions, though lorries were stranded. I fitted one chain to his car and the other driving wheel simply span - an education to watch.

My first bad high mountain snow experience was in 2006 in Andorra while towing a braked double axle trailer with another car in it (so quite heavy) with my front wheel drive, Summer tyres, no chains available. I entered Andorra from Spain, indeed from Faro in Portugal, a few days before Christmas, no snow apparent. Then I departed in direction of France and entered a tunnel. Upon exiting the tunnel there was packed slippery snow and a gentle gradient downhill, which shortly after became much more steep with no warning about how steep the gradient was to become.

I touched the brakes and slowly and inexorably "jack knifed". Thankfully there was no traffic at all; clearly everyone knew something I did not.

It took me three hours at less than walking pace to get down 10 kilometres / 6 miles to clear roads again. I was in high anxiety the whole way on account of the precipitous drop to my left, albeit largely armco protected. My fear was about the shear weight of my car and trailer (and car within) literally being too heavy to stop at all and so sliding off the mountain. A few times I put a wheel in the ditch to stop myself.

Next stop was a supermarket and 2 pairs of chaines, I did not know only two are strictly necessary and I wonder if with that trailer I would still need 4 wheels chained to give the car sufficient grip to activate the trailer brakes; these depend on the trailer pushing against the car, so if the car slides they do not work. To this day I have not found any chains or other friction material for the small trailer wheels.

I suppose I should have said First Swiss Snow experience, but no matter. I think the suggestion above about finding a car park in which to practice is ideal - just make sure it is one you KNOW does not have any obstructions such as kerb stones hidden under the snow. The one I used to use 30 years ago in my VW Beetle near Manchester (GB) is now useless for snow practice.

Today, "day 2" of my "everyday snow experience", I will buy a folding shovel.

Whether to have spikes (les cloues) in my tyres seems so far not to be necessary, but equally I have not yet come across ice. Whether the "sipes" in these Winter tyres are suitable effective, waits to be seen. Anyone any thoughts and experiences to share about this?

In the end our stranded gentleman was towed the last hundred metres by a passing truck using my "towing bar": this is new to me, instead of a "tow rope" it is a solid steel bar with hooks/eyes to attach to tow eyes and tow hooks. I have to say that for my entire life I have wondered why we use short tow ropes instead of a solid bar. So when I saw this for sale I bought it "just in case". I believe that in France, where I bought it, it is now illegal to use a tow rope and one is required to use these solid towing bar devices.

p.s. Having just watched the videos above I will be showing my wife the one with the lady doing doughnuts in an SUV! Impressive.
__________________
Kind regards - Anthony

Last edited by gordoni7; 01.12.2009 at 07:13.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:14
Bertrand - Geneva
 
Posts: n/a
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Always good to read, practice and remember....

http://www.weather.com/activities/dr...tips/snow.html
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:14
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: DK - previously Zug
Posts: 3,328
Groaned at 169 Times in 123 Posts
Thanked 6,707 Times in 2,237 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
Try and find a big empty car park and do some donuts in the snow. Excellent redneck fun. Yee Haar.


Looks like front wheel drive cars are better going in reverse.
I used to do those as a kid (well, 15 or so, when I had my temporary license). Fun times - I had a rear wheel drive jimmy (blazer) with no weight in back, and in the movie theater it was nothing to pull a triple 360.

More fun was being able to do a donut in the street though - it was considered a skill to be able to drive down a street, put it in a complete spin, and come out of the spin going in exactly the same direction as before.

Perhaps not the safest games to play... but I have to say, I've never felt uncomfortable on the snow since.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:22
gordoni7's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Valais
Posts: 78
Groaned at 4 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
gordoni7 has become a little unpopulargordoni7 has become a little unpopular
Re: My first snow driving was today,

aha:

Quote:
Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
I'll get some salt today as well, say a 5kg bag.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01.12.2009, 07:56
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
Cost: Depends on the size of the tyre, we paid 120CHF last year for our Skoda Octavia with 15" wheels. However they want 600+CHF for Volvo XC90 with 18" wheels here so depends but generally I would say no. If you get stuck you will be cursing yourself.

Are they worth it: If you intend to visit the mountains reqularly then definite yes.

Already mentioned: Folding Snow shovel & one of those fancy bungee cord tow ropes with snazy colours.
If you need an XC90 in Geneva you certainly will need chains if you go anywhere !
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01.12.2009, 08:56
ullainga's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: around Basel
Posts: 1,583
Groaned at 12 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 2,189 Times in 911 Posts
ullainga has a reputation beyond reputeullainga has a reputation beyond reputeullainga has a reputation beyond reputeullainga has a reputation beyond reputeullainga has a reputation beyond reputeullainga has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

In my old country, to get a driver's licence you also have to take special classes to learn how to drive with snow and icy roads. Should be mandatory everywhere where it usually snows during the winter.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01.12.2009, 09:12
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Geneva
Posts: 5,531
Groaned at 123 Times in 108 Posts
Thanked 3,297 Times in 1,737 Posts
Shorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: My first snow driving was today,

Quote:
View Post
I always ruled out snow chains as their speed appears to be limited from what I've read.
If you have to put chains on you'll quickly find out the latest thing you care about is top speed...
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Shorrick Mk2 for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 01.12.2009, 09:36
SemAms's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: im Ausland
Posts: 305
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 415 Times in 228 Posts
SemAms has an excellent reputationSemAms has an excellent reputationSemAms has an excellent reputationSemAms has an excellent reputation
Re: My first snow driving was today,

read in today's 20minutes this morning;

a 31-32 year old mother with good winter tires had an accident due to yday's snow fall and hit a truck .. she and her 4year old child were severely injured while her child's friend got killed
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
No sense of danger driving in snow MoabMan Complaints corner 23 02.11.2008 17:46


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 18:30.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0