Abandoned cars are piled up on the median of I-285 in Atlanta after a recent winter snow storm slammed the city. By Rebekah Metzle/U.S. News
MARLTON, NJ -- Winter Storm Pax (Latin for peace?) is punishing Atlanta and making its way up the coast with all sorts of dire projections of snow, ice, rain and the all-purpose “wintry mix” that will make life miserable for East Coast operators for the next few days.
Obviously this winter has pummeled the East Coast from Florida to New England with record snows and artic air. So who best to go for advice on how to deal with winter storms than our friends north of the border-Canada.
Related article: Winter Weather Flight Fiasco Disrupts Travel
“Basking in the sun down there?” quipped Phil Bozzelli, owner of Corporate Livery Toronto, which has suffered through its share of sub-zero temperatures this year. “Toronto is very good about removing snow so the roads are plowed quickly, but when the weather is bad, we’ll use our SUVs and we also put snow tires on our vehicles,” he said. Bozzelli suggested that operators who use rear-wheel drive sedans during snow place sand bags in the trunk to provide better traction, top-off fluids and keep the gas tanks full to prevention moisture and condensation from building up in the tank.
Regarding driving in the snow, “Everybody seems to forget how to drive during the first snowstorm, but after that they adjust. Just tell drivers to take extra time and drive slow.
Joanna Fridinger, president of Baltimore-based The Limo Lady offers this sage advice to her fellow operators as she prepares for Pax to move up the cost today—already causing numerous cancellations at regional airports. “ We have a rule of thumb when bad weather hits to make sure we send our clients a copy of our weather policy so they are aware what to expect. “We remind clients that weather can force us to cancel trips, and that they are responsible for checking flight cancellations and delays and notifying us,” she explained. Fridinger also said that she won’t use stretches in snow or ice because when empty they tend to fish tail, and opts for the safer SUVs.
“It’s also important to make sure your fleet is prepared,” she added. “Fluids, batteries and tires need to be checked for winter weather, and that’s something I do in the fall before the snow comes.
Art Miesemer, vice president of operations at Rockville, MD-based RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, fresh from a company storm operations meeting said “We’re getting a lot of practice at this in the Washington area this year, but we’re prepared as best we can.” Miesemer said the company will use all of its SUVs and rented an additional nine SUVs to handle clients as well as to pick up employees if needed. The company is located next to a hotel, and he said they rented a couple of rooms for extra dispatchers to set up operations.
Regarding driving in the snow or ice, Miesemer said they tend to use their most experienced drivers for the SUVs because they have the experience and are more cautious.
“You don’t want some cowboy out there in bad conditions,” he advised.
Editor’s Note: Jeff Greene, owner of Greene Classic Limousines based in Atlanta ( Where Pax is being called a catastrophic storm causing major power outages) attempted to speak with LCT today but said in an email that he is “manning the phones while his dispatcher is taking a nap.”
We wish you and tyour staff well, Jeff.
— Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor