Driving over mountains hard on truck?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Jdm5jdm5, Jan 24, 2022.

  1. Jdm5jdm5

    Jdm5jdm5 Light Load Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    Are driving over mountains, especially a long period of time, hard on a truck? And in what way
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  3. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Ascending a big mountain under a heavy load will put the engine to strain, but not to worry, diesel engines can handle it. Descending the mountain will be easier on the engine, but your brakes will be strained if you use them. ( It's possible to descend in the proper gear with a jake brake and never touch the brakes) Long periods of idling will put wear and tear on the engine. Service that beast regularly and drive properly for a long engine life.
  4. Siinman

    Siinman Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Kansas City, MO.
    If you have a nice truck that is spec'd for it and not overworked without proper maintenance it is not a big deal. A used up truck that is about to go belly up is not something I would want to use.
    ibcalm19 and Jdm5jdm5 Thank this.
  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    extended climbing gets the engine pretty hot. One thing truck makers do is put in a cooling system that is just big enough, very little "extra".
  6. noworrez

    noworrez Light Load Member

    Aug 6, 2020
    As a company driver doing all the mountains in the NW10 states, foot to the floor climbing. As a O/O when climbing I've found that pedal to floor doesn't do any good, and only causes more stress on the engine/turbo. Now I drive the boost guage. 80k, 6% grade 8th gear, 25 miles an hour, 1500 rpm and 30 psi boost she'll chug on up the hill. Kick the turbo to 45psi I can get more speed but at what cost and what, save a minute or two? The mountains are certainly harder than the flat lands but I can certainly do things to help minimize the stress caused.
  7. Mike250rs

    Mike250rs Heavy Load Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    It will be fine if you take care of the truck.

    Keep it in the sweet spot of the power band. You will not be the fastest uphill, but your truck will not be on the side puking its guts out.
  8. Val_Caldera

    Val_Caldera Heavy Load Member

    Apr 2, 2021
    Triad, NC
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
    God prefers Diesels and LameMule Thank this.
  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Just adding on to the above:

    A big power engine (550HP or stronger) matched to the proper gear will have the tendency to walk up most hills to the point to where you won’t notice most hills unless it’s an exceptionally long grade. The problem won’t be the engine, but the transmission and the rears. There’s a reason why owner op spec’d trucks will have a transmission temp gauge and 2 separate rear axle gauges…to help you to realize things are getting too hot BEFORE you cook them.
  10. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Ask yourself this would you want to be flogged up a mountain or someone to kick back and take it easy on you?.
    Same with idling it is extremely hard on an engine always has been.
    God prefers Diesels Thanks this.
  11. bonder45

    bonder45 Road Train Member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Williston, ND
    Bad drivers kill trucks, not mountains.
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