Advice for mountain/snow trucking

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by paryki, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. paryki

    paryki Light Load Member

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    Hello drivers,

    Newer driver here. Headed from nearby in Louisville, KY to near Baltimore, MD. I've been advised to take I64 to I81 instead of I64 to I79 to I68. Thoughts?

    Also, I'm 30,000 pounds. In a 10 speed. Take the hills down in 7th or 8th gear and don't apply any brake pressure?

    Advice would be awesome!

    Thanks :)
     
  2. KeithT1967

    KeithT1967 Road Train Member

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    One reason to take 64/81 even though its about 40 miles longer. 68 is a pain on the best day thanks to Cumberland, MD sitting in the middle of it. With snow and ice added to the mix I'd much prefer being on 64 and 81.
     
  3. crxdc

    crxdc Medium Load Member

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    While I roll a 9 speed I will say that It is always better to be in to low a gear going to slow then to high and end up a mangled mess at the bottom of a mountain. With the Ice and snow do NOT use your jakes keep your speed down and easy does it. I had a super trucker pass me on cabbage a few weeks ago and Low and behold he jackknifed at the bottom. Better to slow I say.
     
  4. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

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    The part about not using your jakes is bad advice. Going down a mountain you should almost always use them. Your service brakes can easily overheat - which is why you have a jake brake in the first place. Just have to be careful, listen to the engine, if the jakes are strong enough to slow your wheels faster than your speed, use brakes and use a slower speed and try medium setting for engine brakes ... but never try to go down a mountain totally relying on the middle pedal just because the weather is less than perfect.
     
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  5. milkman83

    milkman83 Light Load Member

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    You'll see plenty of hills going either route. I'm partial to staying on I64, just because I like the Blue Ridge more than the Cumberland mountains. As far as what gear is proper, slower is better, and use the engine brake liberally given a good road surface. The steepest grade you're likely to see will be at the New River gorge in WV; just take it nice and slow. Have a safe trip.
     
  6. SmokeytheBerge

    SmokeytheBerge Bobtail Member

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    Be sure to carry enough speed into the hill. Drive carefully, but not timidly, there is a huge difference; respect the weather and road conditions, but don't be afraid of them. Don't be afraid to kick the jakes to a lower setting, and like gokiddogo said, listen to the truck. She'll tell you whats going on.
     
  7. crxdc

    crxdc Medium Load Member

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    While I may be new to driving a rig I can tell you that any driver worth a #### will tell you that jakes on ice or snow is a no no. Also when you learn to drive a mountain with a truck with no jake in my opinion you are a better driver for it.
     
  8. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

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    That is a bogus argument anymore. Yes, back in the day it was valid, but tell me just how many trucks on the road today don't have them. Kinda the same as why they let students use the calculator on their math tests.

    Like I said before, you still have to use them as your primary way to hold your speed going down the mountain. What are you going to do if you have a situation where you actually have to stop while going down the hill? That will be a great time to discover ... you can't.

    Did they really teach you in school not to use your jakes if the weather isn't perfect?? What is your thinking behind not using it?
     
  9. crxdc

    crxdc Medium Load Member

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    When using the jake on ice or slick surfaces the trailer is known to try and meet you or beat you down. The owners manual and all the manufacturers say the same. If you are in a low enough gear you will be able to stop with out the jake. But hey its up to you how you drive I prefer to be safe and over safe on mountains. All those super truckers spedding down will eventually ditch it or come really close and decide to slow down.
     
  10. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

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    Ok. Be safe with your brakes on fire. Good to know you are learning from the owners manual.
     
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