Below are great tips for semi-truck drivers heading into the mountains this spring!
Even at the best of times, in the best conditions, driving a large truck requires a lot of skill and patience. When you have to navigate steep inclines and declines in mountainous terrain, it can make the job that much harder.
In the following article, we’ll look at some mountain driving tips for semi-truck drivers heading into the mountains this spring!
Semi-Truck Driving Tips for Navigating the Mountains Safely
- Always Pay Attention to the Grade – It’s easy to get overconfident. Even on level roads, it’s easy to get complacent. However, on steep grades, you must pay 100% attention. It’s important to know what grade is on the decline or incline and be prepared for any changes which occur or could occur during the trip. Judging the grade of a hill visually is never accurate, so always pay attention to warning signs.
- Slow and Steady – It’s an old saying, but ‘slow and steady wins the race’ couldn’t be more appropriate for driving a semi-truck in the mountains. You rarely hear about a semi-truck driver having an accident because they traveled too slowly up or down a mountain. Instead, take your time heading down steep declines, and you’ll arrive safely at the bottom.
- Pay Attention to Traction – Losing traction when climbing steep grades isn’t a nice feeling. However, it’s important not to panic, and you can regain traction by following some simple steps:
- Switch on the engine fan and watch the engine temperature.
- Use your diffs if the road ahead is slippery.
- Try not to get stuck in the tracks of the trucks ahead of you. Instead, make your own path.
- Maintain your revs and be consistent on the acceleration.
- Watch the Weather – If it’s snowing at the top of the mountain, and the signs say chains, then chain up at the bottom before you hit the snow. If it’s icy, wait for the sand to go down before you attempt the hill. Always pay attention to the weather; if there’s an easier alternative route, then take that instead.
- Never Tailgate – Trucks take a long time to stop. They’re large, heavy, and require a lot more distance. Avoid tailgating vehicles or trucks in front of you, and always expect the unexpected. Just because you’re paying attention doesn’t mean that other drivers are doing the same thing. Leave yourself plenty of room to straighten up if you get in trouble on a decline.
Heavy-Duty Towing Services
As a conscientious truck driver, you’re always doing your best to avoid accidents. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on everyone driving around you to be doing the same thing. However, if you’re paying attention, have left plenty of room on the road, and are prepared, you’ll be less likely to be involved in an accident and have more time and space to avoid one if it occurs.
If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, or your semi-truck requires assistance, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, to keep you moving and help get your AWD vehicle back on the road.