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Fall Weather

- November 7, 2017 by Dan Heinen, ASP (View all posts by Dan)

Fall is fickle; you can easily go from sunny to rain to snow in one day. If you live in or travel through high elevations, the changes can be extreme and occur quickly.

Recently, I was on a vacation trip in the mountains, and it happened to me. It was in the mid 50’s at our location. My friend that lives there showed up to our campsite and said, “We have to go NOW!” He explained there was a foot of snow on the pass and more coming. We got one truck out with no problem, but the truck I was in was pulling a trailer with an off-road UTV . We ended up unloading it, then unloading the trailer so we could get to the top of the pass. It took us 6.5 hours to go 12 miles. Not fun driving on a forest service road though 2.5 feet of snow. We were lucky that another couple left the same time we did, and they had a winch on their truck so working together we all made it out safe.

  •  Keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Gloves, hat, coat, blanket or sleeping bag sand or kitty litter. Perhaps some snacks and water.
  •  Sand or kitty litter can be used to throw under and around your tires go help with traction if needed.
  •  Make sure someone knows your travel plans in case something does happen.
  •  Check your tires for proper tread depth. A service center should be able to tell you if you need new ones or if they are ok.
  •  If your area allows or requires them, keep a proper set of chains in your vehicle and know how to install them.
  •  Keep your vehicle maintained good wipers, engine coolant at the proper level, check belts and hoses.
  •  Most important, check the forecast before you travel, not only at your location but your destination. It may be a wiser move to delay your trip (whether to or from) by several hours or even a day or two.
Fall also brings new slip and fall hazards into play. Leaves and frost can create slippery conditions, especially for people who work early morning hours. Pay attention to places on your property that collect leaves and make sure you are clearing employee pathways. Frost cannot be prevented, but making sure that you have ice melt handy for the first day ice forms is a good idea. If your employees work off site, now is the time to remind them to wear proper shoes for the conditions and report any hazards at the customer locations.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.