As a team, we enjoy what the Sierra Nevada mountain range has to offer. It’s where we live, work, and play and we are proud to say so. But, we all know that living in an alpine area comes at a price, and that price is…. Snow travel!
With so many of our jobs having taken place in mountainous areas, many of which have extended into the winter months, Superintendent Keith Russell has developed a list of must-have items to keep in your car during winter travels to and from the jobsite.
It’s a given that if you have a 2-wheel-drive car, you should carry chains. In our area, chain controls are nothing out of the ordinary. They are there to keep you and those around you safe. But, did you know that you may even need chains if you have a 4-wheel-drive car? Depending on the severity of the road conditions, all vehicles (no exceptions) may have chain requirements. Check out the California Department of Transportation’s chain control descriptions for more info.
Change of Clothes
There may be times where you don’t want to risk battling the storm, or when your route home may be closed. It’s always a good idea to carry a change of clothes in case you decide to err on the side of caution and stay the night close to the jobsite. If you do decide to trek through the storm, don’t forget your gloves and/or boots in case you have to get out of your car to put on/take off chains.
After a long day of work, the last thing you’ll want is for your 30-minute commute home to turn into a 2-hour commute due to a storm. Make sure you keep your car equipped with snacks so that you keep yourself energized and alert.
There’s nothing worse than being on the side of the road… during a storm… in the dark! Make sure you equip your car with flares and/or flashlights in the case that you break down or need to pull over. This will not only protect you, but it will also protect those around you so that they can see you or can be alerted that you need help.
Always make sure that your fuel tank is full! Although you may think that you have enough gas to get you home from the jobsite, you’d be surprised how your mpg changes when you have chains on or are stuck in slow traffic during a storm.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry while traveling in the winter. Please be sure to drive safely and be aware of your surroundings at all times.