As a truck driver, you might have to drive in a wide variety of places on your hauls. If there’s one area that can prove to be tricky, it’s mountain driving. With their narrow lanes and varying angles, it can be a bit of a challenge. However, there are some ways you can make these areas a bit more manageable…
Mountain Driving: Keeping Control
Watch the grade
One of the key rules of mountain driving is to pay attention to the grade of the mountain. The grade is just another way to refer to the mountain’s slope. The grade can let you know just how steep you can expect the mountain to be, and prepare accordingly.
Most mountain roads will have their grades posted along side them. These signs will also let you know what kind of speed you should stay at while going downhill. However, if you aren’t sure of what a mountain’s grade is, don’t try and guess it. Instead, play it safe and take it slow, even if it looks like you don’t have to.
Keep your traction
Proper traction is another important part of mountain driving. Going uphill or downhill can cause your truck to struggle in keeping its grip on the road. This only becomes harder if the road is wet or slippery due to rain, snow, or ice, which can be pretty common in mountain areas. Therefore, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure you have enough traction.
Remember that simply trying to gun the engine won’t gain you more grip. Instead, you’ll just cause it to overheat, and potentially break. Turn your engine fan on, and slowly keep applying speed while making sure to watch your temperature. If you’re driving up a snowy or icy road, then you might want to consider making use of tire chains.
Watch your distance
Mountain driving is also tricky due to the lack of space you have. Most of these roads tend to be very narrow, which can make it tricky if there are other drivers on the road. As a result, it’s important to give the other cars around you as much room as you can.