Stranded miles from nowhere? Here’s what to do
Our team of expert technicians work across the UK. The nature of our work means a lot of the time our professionals are in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, or the Welsh valleys, maybe even in the highlands of Scotland.
As the snow blew in recently, we are reminded of the perils of driving in adverse conditions. You only need to watch the news to see people stranded on main truck roads to understand that people driving on rural country lanes will face challenges.
We regularly offer advice and support to our remote workforce, to ensure they stay safe should they become stranded.
Should you travel?
We appreciate that the reputation of the company relies on our remote workforce being available when needed. We always value those workers who go the extra mile to get to our clients. Sometimes, however, we sensibly need to ask: is it safe to travel? Will I get to the client even if I choose to attempt the journey? If there is amber or red weather warnings, then it may be worth a conversation with managers and/ or the client.
If the journey is vital, then it would be best if it was undertaken with a colleague. Being stranded alone can be a dangerous and stressful experience.
If the journey is essential and you feel there is little choice, then plan for the potential of being stranded. The most important means of dealing with this eventuality is being prepared. You need the correct equipment in your car or van. You should consider packing:
- an extra jumper, hat, scarf, extra socks and gloves
- suitable footwear – boots are an essential
- two coats, one for you and one for the floor should you need to sit down outside your vehicle
- a flask of hot drink and a bottle of water
- some food, which will give you the essential vitamins and minerals required to deal with the physical impacts of the cold
- blanket, torch, shovel, and first aid kit
- a charger for your phone
A weird tip is to pack some cat litter. Cat litter can be used as traction under stuck wheels. More usefully, if put in a sock it can be used to collect condensation that could collect in your car and lower the temperature further.
You should also ensure that your car or van is fully maintained. There should be a full tank of petrol, with tyres pumped up, and window wash bottle filled, with de-icer.
If the event happens, and you are stuck in your car in the middle of nowhere, then there are things you should do.
First, it is essential to unclog the snow from your exhaust pipe. If you plan on keeping your engine running to keep the car warm, then a blocked exhaust pipe can become a hazard. Carbon monoxide could build up in the car, so use a stick to dig out the snow.
Every so often you may want to work to remove the snow from around your vehicle. This will keep you warm and serve to make your exit speedier once conditions ease. You can ease up the snow around your wheels by turning on the engine and rocking and rolling your wheels. You may not have enough traction to pull away, but you will keep the snow from completely blocking your path.
Do not allow anyone to assist by pushing you from behind. This can cause serious injury, as the movement of the vehicle will be unpredictable, and they will have limited grip on the road. Worse still, your vehicle could easily roll back.
If you can escape to a local house or establishment, then do so as early as possible. If not, then you should notify the authorities of your position using your mobile phone. You should keep your mobile charged by periodically switching on your car engine.
Finally, hang something from your car that is bright and easily seen from a distance. A bright red scarf would work as a useful beacon for those coming to dig you out.
Transcool Systems specialise in providing bespoke mechanical and electrical solutions for a wide range of unique problems, overcoming onsite restrictions and limitations to achieve our goals. If you have any questions about our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, or phone us on +44 (0)1903 733911.