Always check your vehicle before heading out in bad weather

Always check your vehicle before heading out in bad weather

How to prepare your vehicle during the winter gritting season

Friday 13 September, 2019

Clearway Gritting has just celebrated 15 years of providing winter gritting maintenance so our teams know how to prepare for bad weather. Read our article to help you prepare your vehicle when snow and ice are forecast.

Check your car is ready for bad weather and make sure you wear warm clothes in case of a breakdown. If you make a few checks now your vehicle will be prepared for snow and ice.

Winter checks to prepare your vehicle for snow and ice

The RAC recommends the following winter checks. They use an acronym ‘FORCES’ so you remember what to do.

  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Rubber
  • Coolant
  • Electrics
  • Screenwash


If you are stuck in heavy traffic you will use more fuel. If roads are blocked because of snow and ice you might be unable to get to a local garage so make sure you always set off with plenty of fuel.


Check your oil level and top-up your vehicle if required. You can find the oil cap in your car by using the oil can symbol.  Remember to only put in the correct amount and don’t overfill it.


Tyres with good tread and those at the recommended pressure will help you drive better in the ice and snow.  You can check your tyre tread using a tyre gauge. The RAC recommends you check tyres every fortnight and use a minimum tread depth of 3mm on icy or wet roads.


Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze and it helps keep your car engine remain cool. When your car engine is cool check the coolant level and top-up if necessary. 


Replace bulbs and fuses so all your lights and indicators work optimally in winter weather. According to the RAC battery problems are the main reason for call-outs in bad weather.

Screen wash

Make sure you use proper anti-freeze screen wash as it is most effective in very cold weather and avoids the risk of your windscreen freezing up. Effective screen wash will keep your windscreen free of grit, dirt and ice caused by road gritting and salting.

Andrew Sherriff, Director, Clearway Gritting, St Albans, Hertfordshire said:

‘It is really important that anyone who goes driving on the roads in bad weather prepares adequately for the conditions. If you use this simple guide it will hopefully prevent you breaking down in snow and ice. Our winter gritting teams are always fully prepared when they go out gritting private roads, retails parks, industrial parks and supermarkets as we are aware how dangerous conditions can be. All our winter gritting vehicles are checked before they leave the depots. As we use roadworthy modern machines they very rarely have problems but we do regularly check our 36 spreaders and 74 snow ploughs. Unfortunately when we are driving to our clients we do come across people who have broken down and are waiting in their vehicle for assistance, so we recommend you always prepare for bad weather.’

Andrew Sherriff, Director, Clearway Gritting, St Albans, Hertfordshire continued:

‘If you have a private business and you do not have a winter gritting contractor we recommend that you organise a winter gritting contract so your colleagues and customers can get to your offices in bad weather.  Clearway Gritting based in St Albans provides winter gritting in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. Clearway Gritting has the largest centralised winter gritting and snow clearance fleet in the south east of England. If you would like to discuss your winter gritting maintenance requirements with a member of our winter gritting team please contact our St Albans office on 01727 851837.’

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Car Park Gritting

Preventative and reactive car park gritting services to the private and public sectors in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, London and the South East. Our car park gritting vehicles are always prepared and ready to provide service at very short notice, often within 1 hour of an initial request.

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Gritting Quote

Contact our services team for a competitive Winter & Snow Clearance contract quote.