This is a long video but... after watching all these cars and a bus drive totally out of control, along comes a responding Seattle Fire Department Type 1 Engine. No sliding, no out of control driving... what gives? Not having a lick of experience driving in snow and ice, I have to ask, is it the weight of the engine, chains?
How on earth can you respond to an incident when the roads are this icy?
Driving in winter conditions is an art, truly. It takes patience and nerve to get thru these roads. Not saying that the big red trucks don't get in there fair share of slides here in the Inland Northwest. I have been on a couple of rigs that have slid right past an accident scene. Once, you have your first slide and spin though you respect the conditions more.
Be safe and learn something new today.
I hate driving on ice. I REALLY hate driving fire equipment on ice. I drive slow...real slow..Once the guys threaten to get out and walk. People don't realize how dangerous it is for the other person who freaks seeing the lights and doesn't know what to do and theres no where to go because the road only as one lane.
Pretty much what Ralph said. Around here (CT) our rigs all have on-spots, permanent chains that, when engaged, swivel down and are geared to the rotation of the rear tire(s) so that as the rig rolls, the chains are 'spun' so that they land in front of each rear tire. Kind of like a half-track in that you're driving on moving chains (that speed up as you do).
Not that anything is great on ice but the on-spots do work well provided the driver knows what he's doing. Only problem with them is that once stopped, on ice, it can be a bear to get going again, so regular chains are better. We're set up so that we can mount the chain sets in about 5 mins, we just back the inner rear tires of the rig up on to a low, wooden ramp, drape the chains over the tire from the top and then make the connection. Dropping chains takes about 30 seconds.
What I liked about the video was that 'most' of the knuckleheads were driving SUV's. They think that because it's 4 wheel drive, it's 4 wheel stop as well. Not so much, on ice you now have power to spin 4 wheels on ice. Sit back, enjoy the ride, not much else you can do.
SLOWLY the main thing is to get to scene. One of are firefighters did a complete 360 in are engine on the ice. Are asst chief slid down a hill on a street in a tanker though a stop sign and turned sideways in the intersection bumped a curb, It lifted up about 10 inches then slammed down. It was faceing the right way so he kept going. I was in are 4 wheel drive brush and did the same thing just a couple years ago.
I wish we had chains. I hate to drive on the ice my department tells me not to worry about it. They say thats why we carry insurance. We use are brush on aid runs and keep the tank about half full. It handles better with less water if there is snow and ice on the ground were not worried about brush fires.
I have very little experience driving on icy roads, but I know the first thing we do when the roads are even a little wet is shut off the engine brake. There's got to be an art to driving any apparatus on ice. I bet it does not include the use of brakes!