Monthly Safety Article April 2018…
Spring safety topics.
Topic 1: Getting ready for spring!
With the long warm winter finally behind us and the high-country roads starting to be cleared, Jeep Wrangler owners can finally begin to think about spring driving. There’s nothing better than getting behind the wheel of your custom Jeep Wrangler with the top down and the feeling of that first cool spring breeze on your face. Below are some thing to think about before really jumping into the season.
While it hasn’t been a terrible winter with lots a snow or mud you should take a day to go over your rig, either by yourself of as a group. I ALWAYS start by giving my Wrangler a good washing top, bottom, front, back, and UNDERNEATH. Luckily, we don’t have winter roads like I grew up on in New England but by giving your jeep a good under carriage wash you will be able to see any erosion or wear of any parts. Get up under there with a hose and bucket and give it a good look. Some things to look for would be any bolts that have come loose or maybe some wires that may be hanging low. This is also a good time to look over all your lights and make sure they are operating as they should. Check your tires also for any major aging or unusual ware and tare and either get a replacement or get your tires aligned.
After a good washing and inspection, you may find you need some new parts (we always do) It’s routine in the spring to replace your windshield wiper blades with a new working set. Check your rear plastic windows and splash guards to see if they need to be replaced and check if there are any other performance parts and suspension setups that you forgot to switch. I like to (at least once) use a nice cleaner on my soft top windows, this cleans them really well and the polish can extend the life of the windows, so they don’t dry and crack or split. Don’t forget to grease those U-joints if you have greaseable ones. This goes for any moving part also, make sure they move and work as they should. Unlike the movie Captain Ron, if any thing goes wrong you want it to happen as close to home as possible and not out on the trails.
Next part you should give some attention to is your top. You might be switching a hard top for your soft top for the summer or maybe you rock a soft top all winter, before you drop that top make sure the material has no holes or rips in it. Make sure none of the moving parts are getting caught up on anything it shouldn’t and that the top goes up and down as it should.
The last part of your spring inspection should be of all your safety equipment. Make sure that you first aid kit is stocked and that everything is up to date and replace any items that seem affected by outside elements. Next give a look at any tow straps you use to insure there has been no damage to them, and while at it look at any D-rings to insure they are not compromised. Take some time also to make sure your CB radio is calibrated correctly and is in good working order. Use a SWR meter to tune your antenna, this meter will ensure optimal performance for your radio and alert you if you have any issues with grounding or faulty parts.
That is your spring safety report for you Creeper Jeepers.
Now for some Spring safety tips for us as we start to venture out into the wild.
Now I am not terrible fond of spring or fall since mother nature can never seem to keep its mind straight, so here are some things to think about.
Doing anything in the spring in the high-country could mean you run into some leftover snow maybe not this year BUT you can assume at some point your spring trip will be wet and or muddy. Spring weather is fickle. The day may start out clear and sunny and before you know it, snow is falling. Be sure to pack extra layers of clothing, including socks. If you are camping in a tent, make sure you are well above any river or creek high water mark. It’s all fun and games till you get washed away and we have to come fish you out like a prized marlin. Also remember that cotton kills, cotton is a great fabric, but it robs the body of heat when wet so make sure you wear synthetic clothes appropriate to the spot and conditions you will encounter.
A lot of times we pass people in our jeeps and don’t give it a second thought, BUT this is something that you should try and change for a few reasons. For one it gives you a good situational awareness of who is on the trail with you that day and directions they are heading, this could be a big help if someone goes missing or gets lost. If you see someone who looks in over their head, who is obviously exhausted, or who is setting up camp in an obvious flood zone when thunderstorms are in the forecast, politely suggest they take a rest, share some of your water, or find a safer place to camp. You don’t have to be a know it all to help someone out. I’m pretty sure I saved a guy from a bad day when I saw him hiking with no water in the opposite direction of where he thought he needed to go. It’s little things that can make a huge difference.
Being a life guard once I can’t emphasize enough about learning basic first aid. You don’t have to take a first aid course (although I highly recommend it & CPR) you can easily these days go online and learn how to treat many on the injuries that you will encounter out on the trails. Knowing what to do and not to panic in a situation can make a big difference, the fist thing you should know is your ABC of fist aid, Airway, breathing, circulation, this is what you check for first when helping someone who is unconscious. That is your free tip of the day.
Just as we know that drinking and wheeling does not mix neither do drinking and cliffs. Think before you drink and be aware of your surroundings. If you are camping in a area with lose terrain use a buddy system if one person should need to leave camp for any reason epically the bathroom or make sure you do your business with in a ear shot of camp incase anything should happen.
Make sure you have sunscreen a hat, sunglasses and drink plenty of water as the months get warmer. If you are camping it is always a good idea to plan to give yourself 2 hours of daylight to set up your camp.
Most importantly pay attention to local regulations with a STRONG focus on campfires this year.
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