Truck Driving Tips for Mountain Roads
Driving a big rig in the mountains can be challenging especially for newbie truckers. And if it happens in winter, it can be even more intimidating because you have to deal not only with elevation but the severe and unpredictable weather. It is extremely important to follow some basic safety rules, be extra cautious, and be properly prepared for different situations. There are several safety tips to keep in mind before and during your trip through the mountains.
Pay Attention To Your Grade
Even if you have a lot of trucking experience, don’t be overconfident when it comes to mountain driving. Always check road signs and don’t try to guess what the grade is. It will help you understand what speed your big rig should maintain while going up or down the mountain. So don’t rush and drive your truck slowly and carefully.
Prepare for the Weather
As before any trip, when going to the mountains it is important to plan your route and check the weather conditions. Especially considering the fact that the weather and road conditions in these areas are changing rapidly. A sudden change in altitude can cause mixed weather conditions. Also, don’t forget to check if there are chain up warnings before you start your trip.
Maintaining a slow and steady speed is the most important rule when we talk about driving a semi truck in the mountains. It seems to go without saying, but there are hundreds of accidents every year due to negligence. Always creep down the hill. Don’t think that you can pick up speed because you are nearing the end of the mountain. It can be too dangerous. Remember that it will be too difficult to regain control of your vehicle once it gets momentum descending a grade.
Check Your Brakes
Checking brakes is a part of pre-trip inspection before every ride, but you should double-check them to be sure they are working properly before driving through mountains. Overheating brakes is the main problem for truckers when driving through mountain passes. They can get hot enough to start a tire fire. So please, abide by the truck speed limits.
Leaving enough space between your truck and other vehicles is important on any road. But it is much more likely that something can go wrong in the mountains. The car or truck in front of you may stop short, lose control, or have to deal with ice on the road. And you need to have the room to be able to react. So please don’t tailgate on a grade.
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