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Old 03-25-2002, 08:50 PM
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Default how to drive up and down the mountain..

need advice, how to drive thru the mountain. i never drove thru mountain. and i need your expert advice. please help me. i been driving for 12 yrs, but only in florida. i got now a 1999 t2000 with a 53ft reefer trailer, with 80,000 in load. i got my own truck and trailer, please dont tell me iam crazy, cause trucking is my love.. just need some good advice from you all expert out there.. thank you, may god be with you all...
Old 03-25-2002, 10:47 PM
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Default driving through the mountains...

The best advice is to go slow!! When going down hill don't smoke your brakes...
Old 03-25-2002, 11:24 PM
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Default down hill

Ever saw Black Dog, Just do not ride your brakes down the hill.
Old 03-26-2002, 01:17 AM
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Default Mountain driving

If you have a jake in the truck, use it instead of braking, unless you are on slick icy roads.. The way I use the jake is this.. Put the truck in a low gear, one that is low enough for the jake to offer significant braking.. say 2nd&direct, or 3rd & direct, depending on the grade. I let the truck build up speed to the safe maximum, about 30mph, flip on the jake till I drop 5mph, flip it off and build speed again.. This manner, if the jake fails, or the road is slick, you use the brakes in place of the jake, intermittantly. You are still in the proper gear to come off the mountain in a truck without jakes. Whe I drive this way, I never touch the brakes going down the hill, unless there is a hairpin turn or something that requires me to slow down even more to negotiate it.

Some guys run the jake constantly, and then still use the brakes to contol speed.. If one or the other fails in this situation, you will have a very good chance of going runaway.

I smell lots of burned brakes from trucks coming off Eisenhower Tunnel heading Westbound. While I worked for schwans over there in the last year, there were at least 3 trucks that hit the runaway truck ramp, with 1 making it all the way to the top of the lower ramp.

Also, in Winter, don't touch the jake. Carry chains for both tandems, and a set to throw on the trailer, for really bad conditions.
Old 03-26-2002, 01:22 AM
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Default Experts? =0)

Are you putting us on? I'm not a real *professional* driver and you've already gotten a few answers, but I'll throw my two cents worth in.

The going up part is easy. Gravity is going to keep you from making too many mistakes and you'll find your truck stops much faster going uphill -- thank you Isaac Newton.

You didn't say if you had a Jake brake in your truck, but if you do, you've got it made -- throw on the Jake and follow another truck at a safe distance of course... Piece of cake.

Short but steep downgrades are no problem unless there are a series of them like some on I 17 in AZ. Just slow a little and brake as you normally would.

If you don't have a Jake and the downgrade is over about a mile long, you are in a whole different ballgame. I don't have a Jake (Stupid!!!) and I can assure you that my "pucker factor" is high on long downgrades when I'll loaded heavy. I won't even go off the Grapevine anymore when I'm heavy -- I just hold up other trucks and brake jobs are expensive. The money I saved by getting a truck without a Jake was spent long ago on brake jobs. =0(

I can also tell you that it is incredibly easy to "smoke 'em" on long 6% downgrades even when you use "snub braking" and start down verrrry slowly. My advice is to read the info at the URL below and follow it. Forget the old "light steady pressure" technique.

Start off the hill *very* slowly (15-25 mph) and resist the urge to go "just a little faster" when everything seems to be going just fine. The difference is heat buildup between starting off at 25 MPH and say 40-45 MPH is phenomenal. Go too fast at the top and you'll be smoking those brakes in no time.

One last tip: should you smoke the brakes, ignore the CB idiots that will tell you "Just let it roll driver!" when you're a mile from the bottom. These are the jerks with Jakes and what they don't realize is that if you do stop snub braking, your truck is going to go from about 30MPH to 75+MPH in about a quarter mile. Then... you'll really have a hard time stopping it. Yikes!!!

Don't believe me? Try it WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE BOTTOM, traffic is clear and it is no more than a half mile to flat land. You'll be amazed. A good place to try this is NB on I 5 at the north end of the Grapevine. Everyone, including the CHP in the SB chickencoops, will be amazed and impressed. No, they won't chase you down because they know you'll be in Bakersfield when that baby slows down and they'd never catch you. =0)

Again, see the URL below.
Old 03-26-2002, 02:17 AM
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Default I agree with Ike

and I run Detroit to Miami and back two to three times each month. One additional suggestion that I might offer is to go down, at least one gear lower than you went up. I read somewhere that this was general "rule of thumb" on 4% or less grades.

5% to 7% grades, at least two gears lower.

Hope this helps.
Old 03-26-2002, 09:18 AM
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Default mountain driving

First off welcome to the fun of putting on chains, if you can wait when the chain up lights are on go to sleep and wait. As for going down hill put the Jake on and use a low gear like everyone else has said but use it even if there is snow on the road as long as the road has been sanded just listen to your engine if it goes quiet your wheels are slipping and you need to get off the Jake when the roads are very slippery don't go down or stay in a very low gear. If you start to slip going up start dropping gears you want to be in one that will have you in the high rpms away from the torque of that gear
I've driven most of my life up here in Canada in both the military and as a civilian doing it this way on our bad roads and I am still alive
Old 03-27-2002, 01:45 AM
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Default Hey!

I don't worry about no stinkin' mountains! Just put it in Georgia overdrive and hang on!

On the serious side, however, you have gotten some good advice in the posts before mine.
Old 03-29-2002, 11:03 PM
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Default mountains

Well, the above advise was very good, take it slow and use your jake! You didnt mention if you were going across I70, snow! or CA, like the grapevine, I have smelled alot of brakes there! I was going to point out running across I-40 is easier in a lower powered rig than I-70, expect ice in the desert in the winter, no kidding. New Mexico and Arizona checks your permits closely. Dont worry about the CA inspection station, just make sure your weight is correct as your tires must be 40' or less apart, that means you can not slide the rear tandem all of the way back in CA. You will have coops on the side of the mountain, do not turn on yout 4 ways going up the hills in CA, and expect a lot of desert, take plenty to drink.

Old 03-31-2002, 10:08 PM
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Default Newbie Advice but it works

Only been driving for 9 months now.but almost the whole time have been in the it northwest or southwest or that god awful west virginia.

anyways i just drop to a low gear (usually 7th) and ride the it right or wrong it works.hardly have to touch the brakes.

though my first time down the cabbage i did smoke them.i did the ole "lite steady pressure" well in my opinion that theory just ****s.oh yeah of course this is all based on weather permitting.

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