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Idiots without / who can't put on chains & think winter tyres will be ok

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
BobinCH wrote:
......
Did you tell her that she was an idiot Toofy Grin


Leave that to my brother, he has regularly Laughing

Asked my brother about the new rules and he said that for the first year they are being lenient.

Now back in Serre Che and was pretty gnarly from the well below La Grave and up and over Lautaret to around 1800m this side, and it's bone dry here and grass Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Only lenient re fines this year, still can be turned back by the Gendarmes if you don't have the right equipment.......
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Very slidey snow this morning. We're on Yokohama all seasons - and they were fine last year, but very cold and hence slidey snow today (snowing at ~ -3C).

What is good is that they go very light on the steering when grip's compromised so you get some warning. Obviously cautious on teh speed etc.
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We had about 4cm of snow on Sunday. I queued for about 10 minutes coming downhill to these traffic lights
https://goo.gl/maps/Q12TwmEdswrPGoCT6

then for another 15 minutes or so before I got through theres lights about 200 yards further on, before climbing a larger steeper hill

https://goo.gl/maps/pv113yLMhZWZ2UHV6

At both sets of lights there has been accidents, both cases looked like people just not driving to conditions, being unable to stop in time and failig to stop before hitting whatever was in front of them

I could see that every vehicle who came from the road on my left and turned up the hill was wheelspinning

When I eventually got up to my house (towards the top of the hill) I could see a few of the neighbours drives were empty - theyd been out and failed to get the cars back up the road.

With snow tyres on, it just felt like normal driving for me. Love it. No traction issues at all, just nice and easy.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We hired a car in Bergamo last Friday for our ski trip in Switzerland. I asked about hiring chains and was told that I didn’t need them as the car had winter tyres Once we got to the bottom of the Simplon we found the car absolutely useless. After a very difficult journey we finally made it to Haute Nendaz but couldn’t get up the hill to our chalet. We have snowchains in the chalet and I’m contemplating taking them back to Bergamo early Wednesday morning. We only have hand baggage and I’m wondering whether anyone has experience of taking them as cabin baggage. I suspect that they won’t be allowed.
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Quote:

was told that I didn’t need them as the car had winter tyres

rolling eyes
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@taffvalais,
Probably the most surpising thing about the "you won't need them" was that they didn't try to add chains to the bill.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@taffvalais, if they aren't allowed take them to the hire desk and charge them for them Toofy Grin
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The only reason I asked was that if they were allowed I would consider taking them if the circumstances were repeated
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@taffvalais, appreciate that but it would be more fun to wrap them round their heads Toofy Grin
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
taffvalais wrote:
We hired a car in Bergamo last Friday for our ski trip in Switzerland. I asked about hiring chains and was told that I didn’t need them as the car had winter tyres Once we got to the bottom of the Simplon we found the car absolutely useless. After a very difficult journey we finally made it to Haute Nendaz but couldn’t get up the hill to our chalet. We have snowchains in the chalet and I’m contemplating taking them back to Bergamo early Wednesday morning. We only have hand baggage and I’m wondering whether anyone has experience of taking them as cabin baggage. I suspect that they won’t be allowed.


Was your car actually equipped with winter tyres? What were they?

Edit: I asked as one year I booked a special winterised package (basically winter tyres). After the paperwork I go by a bus to a parking where all the rental cars are and after checking the tyres I discovered that it had summers on and chains in the boot. The poor gal at the rental tried to convince me that it is the same as winter tyres …. There were 3 cars from Sixt with the actual winters in the parking lot, after a bit of shouting I got one if the three available.

The other time in Milano Malpensa I got chain lego set (sadly discovered the lego when I needed to put chains on).

Stopped trusting rentals.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 14-12-21 12:53; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It really is difficult to know how to respond when a rental desk clerk tells you that you don't need chains. I've had this happen to me in San Francisco when hiring a big SUV to go to Heavenly Lake Tahoe. There were five adults with quite a lot of luggage, and we needed a big car with the space, so opting for smaller car with chains available wasn't really an option. In our case, it was that the car was equipped with serious winter tyres but of a size that couldn't take chains, which is not quite the same thing as claimed by the clerk. It's one reason why I now don't rent AWD/4x4s and go for something like an estate with chains. But if the 'you don't need chains' is the line you're being fed on the day, it's hard to know what to do, as you're not in a strong position to insist.

Personally, I think that many rental clerks have no idea of the issues around driving up a mountain in a car without chains. They just go by what is on the screen, or what the guys at the drop-off point are feeding back. Which is that either the car can't take chains (because the wheels are too big) or the drop off point has run out of chains (or chains of the right size). So you get the 'you don't need chains' line.

You can argue 'till you're blue in the face but if they've run out of chain sets or the car can't take them, and there's nothing else available, then you're in a dilemma. And generally, it's at a point where you just want to get away, and not have a long argument. And rejecting the car may not be an option either, if there's a cancellation fee. As I said, I try and minimise this risk by going for a mainstream model with chains explicitly provided - but on the day, you're at their mercy.

Proper winter tyres should have the following symbol on them:



The 'M+S' is meaningless, it's the 3-Peaks-and-Snowflake that's the key certification standard: but even if they are winters, if they've less than 4mm tread on them, they're not going to be that great in the snow anyway i.e. they can still look quite 'chunky' at <4mm, but actually they won't work that well in the snow. In addition, at sites like GVA, the chain sets are kept down at the pickup/return car park, not the desk - having seen it at a busy time, I can understand it must be easy to put the wrong chain set in a car. So it's always good to check the chain size matches the tyres on your vehicle.

The problem with using your own chains with a rental vehicle is if it's a case that the spec' of wheels on the hire car can't take chains (because of limited space behind the wheel). You may have been told you don't need chains or they've run out, but that's no guarantee the clerk has any idea what they're actually talking about. So if you damage the suspension /brake s/steering because the chains foul the mechanicals, then you'll not only be liable for the repair cost, but also the loss of earnings while the car is in the garage.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We have accumulated no less than six sets of chains and tire socks/nylon grids over the years for rental cars.

The reason being is that I grew up in the country in a snowy part of the US. We had to use chains or serious (i.e., high-aspect-ratio Hakkapellitta rally tires) snow tires just to get out of our rural house, let alone navigate small farm roads. So when we moved to France those skills came in handy, but I also will not trust modern "all season" or even snow tires because they are too low-profile for most serious alpine snow driving. You need something that will cut through the snow or slush rather than ride on top. I used to run 80-series Hakkas on my Saabs and Subarus back in the US -- unstoppable even in 50 cm of fresh snow.

And the key benefit of chains, as I see it, is they give you control on ice, especially descents. Yeah, they're a PITA, but it's much worse to crash a rental car or not be able to get up your driveway at the ski station because it's not properly plowed. So unless we can get chains I always stop at a auto-parts store and buy a set of proper chains or tire socks...I figure spending 40-100 euros is well worth the peace of mind.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
LaForet wrote:

The problem with using your own chains with a rental vehicle is if it's a case that the spec' of wheels on the hire car can't take chains (because of limited space behind the wheel). You may have been told you don't need chains or they've run out, but that's no guarantee the clerk has any idea what they're actually talking about. So if you damage the suspension /brake s/steering because the chains foul the mechanicals, then you'll not only be liable for the repair cost, but also the loss of earnings while the car is in the garage.


I've found that you can squees tire socks or those nylon gridded thingies on any car if you have your companion turn the wheels back and forth as you put them on. But yeah, there are some wheel/tire combos that just are too small to mount metal chains. And you have to be super careful, as you note, that they don't fly off and wrap themselves around the strut or driveshaft...I obsessively check to make sure that they're secure and I do keep it to 50 kph or less...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
https://m.facebook.com/j.davidwoods/posts/10223013513860170
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mooney058,
Could it be that "j.davidwoods" is using the same sort of "logic" as anti-vaxxers?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Nemisis, well spotted Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Judging by some comments below the post some hadn't realised it was a p**s take Toofy Grin
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Not so much "well spotted" as my nasty sense of humour coming through!
A merry, healthy Christmas to all of you.
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We hired a Ford Kuga, didn’t realise that they also made a 2wd version, the tyres I believe were Bridgestone,can’t remember what type but they looked like winter tyres and apparently winter tyres are compulsory in Lombardia. Just goes to show the difference in winter tyres abilities
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Quote:

apparently winter tyres are compulsory in Lombardia.

Don't think so?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pam w,
In this respect Italy is ahead of France (yes, I know that's unusual!). Quite simply winter tyres or chains on board are compulsory on Autostrade and some major roads in Lombardia and probably V.d.A. and Piemonte as well.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Quite simply winter tyres or chains on board are compulsory

Yes, that's my understanding and was certainly the case last time I drove into Italy in Winter, which was a couple of years ago now. Very clear signs requiring winter tyres OR chains on board. Same in France, on relevant roads and perhaps, as in France, drivers are somtimes required to put chains on in heavy weather, even if they do have winter tyres.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Fri 24-12-21 19:36; edited 1 time in total
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A number of Snowheads who've rented cars from Italian airports have struggled to get any winter tyres. Certainly doesn't seem to be standard.
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LaForet wrote:
It really is difficult to know how to respond when a rental desk clerk tells you that you don't need chains. ... .

Commission-based rental agents are perhaps no more reliable than internet people.

--
I think it's important to be aware that driving on snow is different in different places.
In BC it is against at least the majors' rental agreements to use chains, although no one who'd driven here would want to do that.
Chains are really only used by trucks.

Here's the Duffy Lake road yesterday. It's not a slow road and it's a long drive even at ordinary speeds. It was quite busy, but not a chain in site.


And here's a little later
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My experience of (the Alpine parts of) Italy is that you have to have winter tyres OR chains. With regard to hiring a car, that usually means chains, because it's cheaper for the hire company. They have always been included in the headline price though.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

not a chain in site.


Nor a hill, for that matter. The modest amount of snow on the side of the road doesn't suggest there's been much need for ploughing either. Does "no chains required" still apply when it gets hillier and snowier?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
LaForet wrote:

The 'M+S' is meaningless,


FWIW in the US the police are looking for the M+S when they check, so definitely not meaningless. Whether this is what they should be focused on is another matter
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Nemisis wrote:
@pam w,
In this respect Italy is ahead of France (yes, I know that's unusual!). Quite simply winter tyres or chains on board are compulsory on Autostrade and some major roads in Lombardia and probably V.d.A. and Piemonte as well.

France ahead of Italy in anything would be unusual.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Italy is not ahead of France in that respect. The rules are very much the same.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I’ve quite enjoyed reading this thread, as a relatively risk averse Brit! Interestingly, in my years of driving in the alpine regions of France and Italy I’ve always had a good set of M+S tires and matching chains available, yet I have another friend who is absolutely adamant one would never require chains and because he’s never required them, it’s likely that nobody else has ever required them either. One time, all the French cars were running them and rather a heated argument about us also using them followed. Quickly we deduced that I wasn’t looking for a hero to drive my car, and his driving privileges were duly revoked…!

My line of work had meant I’ve spent many years working in places from the depths of Austria in the height of winter to Minnesotan and Wisconsin snow (-36 and 4 metres of the stuff isn’t unheard of) and so I always chuckle when I see some plucky Brit lording it up on what is likely their first snow drive in however many winters!

As for the roulette of hire cars and chains….. lord have mercy.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just been reading a manual regarding the use of snow chains on a particular car.

"Since the sidewalls of radial tyres are thinner, they can be damaged by mounting some types of snow chains on them. Therefore the use of snow tyres is recommended instead of snow chains. Do not mount tyre chains on vehicles equipped with aluminium wheels; snow chains may cause damage to the wheels. If snow chains must be used, use wire type chains with a thickness of less than 15mm (0.59 in) Damage to your vehicle caused by improper snow chain use is not covered by your vehicle manufacturers warranty."

"! CAUTION
* Chains that are the wrong size or improperly installed can damage your vehicle's brake lines, suspension, body and wheels.
*stop driving and retighten the chains any time you hear them hitting the vehicle"

A lot more information regarding putting chains on in this manual (and driving with chains on) than you get with the chains themselves.

I recall using my Peugeot Boxer chains on my MX5 and then finding the inside sidewalls had split and both front tyres needed replacing at a MOT. WARNING! (although it was both front tyres that split, and I put the chains on the rear wheels on the MX5, so it was probably not related to snow chains, more likely just cheap tyres:- which indeed they were and were replaced with expensive tyres)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
pam w wrote:
phil w wrote:

not a chain in site.

Nor a hill, for that matter. The modest amount of snow on the side of the road doesn't suggest there's been much need for ploughing either. Does "no chains required" still apply when it gets hillier and snowier?
It's the Duffey Lake Road. That's the toughest highway connecting Vancouver to the rest of Canada.
It doesn't get much more "hillier and snowier" or more ploughed.

Whatever, if your own experience is from different roads in a different continent, perhaps that is why advice based on that is so inappropriate?
Possibly people who actually drive these roads regularly may know what's needed? You know, from real world experience?

Fortunately the rental agencies won't let you fit chains anyway. They're not "idiots".


There was an extreme weather advisory with temperatures about minus 35 when we drove back, intermittent snow, multiple ploughs out.


---
The precip which cut Vancouver off earlier in the year killed three here and closed the road until recently.
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No need for the sarcasm, @philwig. No doubt there are hillier bits than the section you photographed. But most of us writing on Snowheads are talking about roads in places like the French Alps. Canadian conditions are no doubt largely irrelevant for Alpine drivers, just as Alpine experience doesn't qualify anybody to give advice on driving Canadian roads. I don't believe I've provided any inappropriate advice, or advice not based on real-life experience.
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pam w wrote:
Canadian conditions are no doubt largely irrelevant for Alpine drivers, just as Alpine experience doesn't qualify anybody to give advice on driving Canadian roads.


I couldn't disagree more. Physics does not recognize political borders. Nor does experience. While the pitch and width of the roads is often (but not always) different, you drive 'em both EXACTLY the same: with caution, anticipation and the right equipment.
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@Scooter in Seattle, yeah but, no, but, ...
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The simple fact is that you are MUCH safer in low temperatures and snow if you have winter tyres. You are also MUCH safer on compacted snow/ice if you have chains on. You can manage to maintain traction and make it through all sorts of conditions on regular tyres, just at greater risk to yourself and others. Much the same way as you can manage to maintain traction and make it through while drunk. I find the argument (often used) that "never needed winter tyres or chains as have always managed without them", is the same as is made by those who drink and drive.

I choose to accept the facts, and avoid putting myself, family and others at unnecessary risk. I don't drink and drive, I drive within my capabilities and to the conditions. And I put winter tyres on my cars, with chains in the boot.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
zikomo wrote:
The simple fact is that you are MUCH safer in low temperatures and snow if you have winter tyres. You are also MUCH safer on compacted snow/ice if you have chains on. You can manage to maintain traction and make it through all sorts of conditions on regular tyres, just at greater risk to yourself and others. Much the same way as you can manage to maintain traction and make it through while drunk. I find the argument (often used) that "never needed winter tyres or chains as have always managed without them", is the same as is made by those who drink and drive.

I choose to accept the facts, and avoid putting myself, family and others at unnecessary risk. I don't drink and drive, I drive within my capabilities and to the conditions. And I put winter tyres on my cars, with chains in the boot.


+1!
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