We have been busy since the early morning hours of Dec. 22, when Calgarians woke to a massive snowfall that had dumped from 20 to 40 centimetres of the white stuff all over the city. Thousands were unable to leave their homes, and of the few who were able to get out and on the road, many ended up getting stuck at least once on the way to their destination.
As much as we have enjoyed clearing our fellow Calgarians’ residential and commercial properties through our snow removal services to bring things slightly back to normal, even we have to admit that we’re getting a little tired of the state of our streets. We’ve been digging out vehicles just as much as we have been shoveling sidewalks, pathways, driveways, and parking lots. The weather has been nice and warm, slowly melting the accumulation, leaving a soupy mess on thousands of residential streets that may not see a snowplow at all this year.
We’re lucky to have a fleet of vehicles capable of handling weather like this, one that consists of trucks and snowplows built for getting to the residential and commercial properties we serve before anyone else. But, we know we’re in the minority. In all reality, unless you have a 4×4 with high clearance, you’re going to have trouble getting through the kind of snow we’ve been dealing with.
How to get your car out of the snow
All drivers should know of a few tried-and-true tricks to help you get your car out of the snow, even when it may seem you are hopelessly stuck. Snow and ice prevents tires from touching the pavement and getting the traction they need to propel your vehicle forward. Our first tip is to ensure you have good winter tires with plenty of tread on them. Winter tires are essential because they push snow and ice away from your vehicle, and maintain their accelerating, braking, and handling levels in cold temperatures. Due to their superior performance, they can also help you save on fuel.
During the snowy months, always carry a foldable shovel (our favourite tool), boots, and good gloves in your vehicle. A bag of de-icing agent is also a good idea. This will keep you prepared at all times to simply hop out and start digging. Clear the snow away from around each of your tires as well as underneath. In most cases, shoveling will free a vehicle, but it does take a bit of time. While shoveling around your car, it’s also very important to clear out the exhaust pipe. If it is blocked with snow and ice, carbon monoxide has nowhere to go and will back up into the vehicle, which is very dangerous.
When trying to get your car out of the snow, avoid spinning your tires. Spinning them just creates the perfect pocket for your tires to settle in to for good. Go easy on the accelerator, and try turning your wheels from right to left to find a new spot for your tires to gain some traction. You can also try “rocking” your vehicle back and forth in a straight line by switching quickly from forward to reverse to create enough of a path to get yourself out. Be very careful when doing this, however – it’s easy to burn out your vehicle’s transmission and cause expensive damage.
Roadside assistance will pay itself off
Getting stuck is scary, especially if you are alone. In places like Calgary, where pretty much anything can happen, we think a membership with a roadside assistance service is pretty much mandatory. Roadside assistance services have the necessary equipment to get your car out of the snow and should prioritize drivers whose vehicles are in dangerous positions.
A good roadside assistance service is available to its members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to helping you get your car out of the snow, they can provide emergency tows, battery boosts, fuel delivery, flat tire changes, locksmith services, and a safe ride home. Some also provide mobile battery replacements and mobile tire changes.
Vehicle emergency kits
All drivers should stock up a vehicle emergency kit just in case you get badly stuck, can’t get yourself out, and have to wait some time for assistance. The Canadian government’s Get Prepared website provides guidance for a number of different emergency situations, and suggests keeping the following in your vehicle’s emergency kit:
- Windshield washing fluid
- A de-icing agent
- Jumper cables
- Tow rope
- Fire extinguisher
- Flares or warning lights
- First-aid kit
- Ice scraper and snowbrush
- Candle in a deep can
- Extra warm clothes
Snow removal services from Mirage Landscaping
Mirage Landscaping provides snow removal services for residential and commercial clients who rely on our professionalism and expertise to ensure Calgary’s snow removal bylaws are adhered to and that their properties are safe for all visitors to come and visit. We look forward to the challenge presented by every snowstorm as we hustle to clear your sidewalks, pathways, driveways, and parking lots as quickly as possible.
We have over three decades of experience clearing snow in Calgary’s southeast communities, where we both live and work. We are pleased to serve the areas of:
Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park.