towing in very bad weather

Stormin

New Member
Jun 28, 2007
2,001
0
0
Export - GMT+1
Whilst most of us will avoid taking the trailers out when the weather is particularly bad (snow/ice/severe winds/etc) sometimes you might not have much of a choice (like to transport a very ill horse to horspital, for example).

Are there any tips and dos/don'ts which could make a significant difference ?

Thanks
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,396
113
No idea, but it's great fun jacknifing all over the place on sheet ice, like last week.
 

Skippys Mum

New Member
Nov 25, 2007
7,407
2
0
Scotland
Dont brake! Stay in a low gear and use engine braking as far as possible. Leave the clutch alone.

Right now it would have to be life or death before I would try to trailer Arnie out of here.
 

Luna Corona

New Member
Sep 7, 2009
1,586
0
0
Galloway
Probably stating the obvious, but take a well-charged, topped-up mobile phone with you, and be insured with a company who does horse transport, too. Or perhaps have a friend with a trailer/lorry knowing you might need to be collected, on standby?

Keep your vehicle in 4x4 at all times (assuming you drive with a 4x4), even on supposedly clear roads. Take a shovel (plastic is easier to use than a metal one) and a sack of some kind of grit in case you really do get stuck, to pile in front of the wheels. Cold ashes from a fire are really, really good to get an instant grip on, and I hear cat litter (it's clay-based) can work as a ice-melting agent.
 

Niv2

New Member
Oct 3, 2007
358
0
0
Make sure you have winter tyres fitted...."normal" tyres are useless in the cold / snow even if you have a 4x4. If you value your horse at all, get a decent set of winter tyres.....you can get them from Camskill mail order or from http://www.mytyres.co.uk/ (your local tyre dealer should also be able to lay their hand on them)

With winter tyres fitted, should be no need to resort to grit, ashes etc

Winter tyres will make a really significant difference....they will be the best investment you have made if you want to tow or drive in winter conditions.
 

eml

Moderator
Apr 29, 2002
12,796
1,206
113
Leicestershire
www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
The trouble with that Niv2 is it is a bit like saying we should all carry snow chains. The reason Britain clogs up while Continental Europe runs is that we have so little really bad weather we are not geared up to it either on road or other forms of transport.

I have driven across the continent from Calais to the south of Germany in atrocious conditions and yes I used winter tyres and carried chains. I would not however justify the cost of special tyres for the very odd journey in our country, better to stay off the road not only to save the money but to avoid the inexperience of most British drivers.

Back on topic. I personally would not transport a horse in bad weather, if life or death situation I suspect the problems would outweigh the advantages unless you were relatively close to a good vet hospital and the prognosis was good. If that was the case then I would use a lorry , not a trailer.
 

Niv2

New Member
Oct 3, 2007
358
0
0
A horsebox might be a solution but plenty of lorries got stuck in the snow...our local main road (A41) was closed several times due to lorries getting stuck!

I still maintain that proper winter tryes are a good investmetn.....I got fed up with sliding about on the snow and fitted winter tyres to my car for the first time since I lived in the French Alps and found that they made a huge difference in my ability to get around....I passed many a car inc 4x4s struggling to move in the snow.....I just sailed by on my winter tyres...much safer. If you must tow in winter, proper winter tyres will make you safer.....
 

Stormin

New Member
Jun 28, 2007
2,001
0
0
Export - GMT+1
Thanks for all of your suggestions.
Just for the record
- no, I'm not suicidal and do not intend to take my trailer out with this type of weather, but I'd rather be prepared IF ...
- I already have a "big 4x4" with snow tyres
- don't have a lorry and doubt transporters with lorries would be prepared to come and transport in bad weather, plus the time waiting for them to arrive etc. I've also seen lots of lorries in bother as they're usually rear wheel drive too.

Would fitting chains on the trailer help to avoid jacknifing if/when going down (steep) hills ?
Using engine braking is a nice idea, except that it doesn't work too well on an automatic. Can't you brake progressively ? Most modern vehicles are equipped with ABS anyways which would surely help you out ?

I do think that snow tyres on the trailer is excessive, especially for the use that a trailer would have in winter. Plus you don't have traction problems with a trailer so I guess a waste of money.

Tyres with nails are illegal in many countries anyway so that's not an option.
 

Skippys Mum

New Member
Nov 25, 2007
7,407
2
0
Scotland
I've had to use engine braking this last couple of weeks to get out the lane. Its a very steep downhill over a narrow bridge with no sides so its a bit hairy.

My Pajero is automatic but doesnt have abs. I go into 4 low gear and then into L on the gear shift (I have the options of L, 2, D, N, R and Park) and its a real crawler gear. I've been managing with that but I hate the thought of adding the weight of a trailer.

Arnie really would have to be dying before I would even consider taking him out just now (frantically touching wood).

I dont think any of us in the UK will have the experience you're looking for Stormin - especially as you are not in the UK so will have different weather conditions.

The other problem I would have here is that although its so bad for half a mile from my house, after that, the roads are plowed and gritted and driving is pretty much normal! chains would need to be taken off at the end of the lane.
 

Niv2

New Member
Oct 3, 2007
358
0
0
I do think that snow tyres on the trailer is excessive, especially for the use that a trailer would have in winter. Plus you don't have traction problems with a trailer so I guess a waste of money.

.

Its not traction you should be worried about, its stopping! Mind you if you were to take things carefully, which you should be doing, then relying on the trailer brakes to slow you down should not be an issue + the weight of a horse in the trailer would effectivly increase the "bite" of the trailer wheels, so yes winter tyres on trailer probably OTT!
 

Stormin

New Member
Jun 28, 2007
2,001
0
0
Export - GMT+1
I dont think any of us in the UK will have the experience you're looking for Stormin - especially as you are not in the UK so will have different weather conditions.

Ah, but where I'm hiding out, the weather is quite comparable to (average) UK weather ;)

Maybe Mr Safedrive Steev has some advice ? :)
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,396
113
We are hoping the weather will clear up, as we have to get a pony to the boat next week!....that is if the trucks are willing to collect the other side.
 

Safedrive Steev

New Member
Nov 23, 2009
76
0
0
Just outside Derby, UK
Sorry for the late reply

I must start by apologising. Another forum I am on e-mails me when I'm needed, and I must admit that searching through the forum is time consuming. I am more than happy if anyone wants to send me a 'prod' giving me a clue as to which thread 'needs me'.

Back to topic.

Agree with much of what has been said.

1) If you don't have to - Don't.
2) Good tyres, well maintained, good pressures. Winter tyres a really good investment.
3) Treat gas & brake like they've got a raw egg on them - any big pressures and you're looking at a mess.
4) Plan, plan, plan. Look WELL ahead, use 'off gas' engine braking GENTLY (don't just suddenly take your foot off the gass). If driving auto then select the lower ratios before you need them otherwise the 'snatch as it goes down a gear may start a skid. If driving manual practice sustained changes . . .

Sustained change. When most people change down a gear they off gas, on cluthc, change gear, off clutch, on gas. In normal driving this seems to work well enough but there is a time when albeit momentarily the engine will be trying to make the wheels go more slowly (that was after all the idea of changing down) . In snow & ice however the wheels going more slowly than the car is a skid.

So, in good weather practice this - it does take some practice but is a really good technique to use at all times - it will lead to a smoother gear change.

Start by practicing this in 4th going to 3rd. Drive along a nice flat road at a speed that your car would hapilly go down a gear - let's say 40mph. Keep your right foot EXACTLY (and this is the hard bit) where it is. Now drop the clutch and the engine revs will go up - normally by around 500 - 600 rpm. It only revs itself if you have put more gas on - remember you MUST keep that right foot still. change gear, off the clutch and because the revs are already at 500 - 600 higher than you were in 4th you will find, somewhat magically that they are right for the new gear.

Go practice.

As an 'oldy' I can, and do - even on my modern car change gear, up & down without the clutch - YES it can be done NO it doesn't harm anything. If you can do this then you are already doing what amounts to a sustained change - you are getting the engine and gearbox speed matching the road speed.

Lastly and perversly - Be prepared to accelerate. If the car starts to move faster than the wheels - that's a skid. So if going downhill your choice of gear / gas is making the wheels go slower than the car you are in a skid. Recognise this and if needs be gently accelerate (despite all intuition) to get the wheels back up to road speed. In this situation brakes will not help - the car is already going too slowly for the road - brakes will just make it worse.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
J Towing - Anyone else not very confident? Transport and Travelling 10
Doodle92 Towing to max of car? Cafe 5
M HELP with TOWING pls!! Transport and Travelling 4
E Towing with freelander Transport and Travelling 1
C Towing Transport and Travelling 2
B Towing trailer with Estate car? Transport and Travelling 3
HorseHelen Towing vehicle Transport and Travelling 7
kingsofscotland Towing recommendations Transport and Travelling 7
sjp1 Towing a Trailer Transport and Travelling 3
Gattino Opinions on Kia Sorento for towing? Transport and Travelling 6
Wally Confused about towing weight? Cafe 10
OwnedbyChanter New rules on towing Transport and Travelling 32
BonBon85 Appropriate towing vehicle - talk to me;)!!! Transport and Travelling 22
R Car - Towing - Lorry h e l p Transport and Travelling 12
Di'nDora Towing a Trailer Transport and Travelling 18
M Legal Towing Limit? Transport and Travelling 7
alwaysfallingof Towing with a Hyundai Transport and Travelling 12
skyenfaye Towing? Transport and Travelling 8
Stormin towing capacities Transport and Travelling 6
Safedrive Steev Automatics for towing Transport and Travelling 7
Laura2184 Roughly how much for trailer towing lessons and test? Transport and Travelling 6
P Towing Vehicle Recommendations please Transport and Travelling 6
Waikato Valuta Safe cheap car for towing? Transport and Travelling 6
Roxy's Mum Freelander towing Cafe 2
OwnedbyChanter towing and cars!!! arrgggg Transport and Travelling 20
Y Towing With A Small Box Transport and Travelling 0
C Towing lessons in Berks / Hants? Transport and Travelling 6
diplomaticandtactful 4x4s for Towing - Advice On What is Reliable Transport and Travelling 15
happyhacker101 Kia Sorrento for towing Transport and Travelling 10
kellym Best Jeep for Towing! Transport and Travelling 11
MrsCarter Meet my new towing team! Transport and Travelling 4
ladywiththebaby Hints and tips for towing Transport and Travelling 20
Bimbambo Best/most economical engine for towing Transport and Travelling 17
H Is a freelander 2 capable of towing? Transport and Travelling 28
ragtime Towing! (N) Transport and Travelling 2
K Towing Weight - Surely not?!? Transport and Travelling 14
L the most economical towing vehicle? Transport and Travelling 22
dex Towing with bongo/freda Transport and Travelling 4
CurlyWurlyRach Towing when under 21 years old Transport and Travelling 9
S Trailer Towing Lessons In Bristol? Transport and Travelling 2
M Trailer towing test? Transport and Travelling 4
Native Lover Warning....Wheel came off trailer while towing it home. Transport and Travelling 3
Karenmc towing with front side door open?!?!? Transport and Travelling 15
Daffy Dilly Towing - not as hard as I expected! Transport and Travelling 0
L towing weights and the law, how does it work? Transport and Travelling 5
Mr Ed Towing with Rav4 T180 2.2D Transport and Travelling 20
L Towing with a van. Transport and Travelling 25
eventerbabe towing and commuting Transport and Travelling 7
Karenmc Towing with l plates Transport and Travelling 9
*Sez* Trailer and towing laws? Transport and Travelling 15

Similar threads

newrider.com