Mountain Snow Driving

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by runitaro, Aug 8, 2022.

  1. runitaro

    runitaro Bobtail Member

    Jul 23, 2022
    I’ve seen some other posts about this topic(sort of), but experienced truckers, what advice can you give(without trolling) on driving up/down grades in ice or snow? Let’s say you’re hauling heavy, also.
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  3. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    Slow and easy wind the race.
    if the sign says chain up, chain up.
    if it’s ice anymore I’m parked.
    I drove on that ice we had down here on 40 here last time just to make my delivery appointment, and their appreciation was to make me beat the ice snow off truck and trailer before unloading me cause I might have gotten their floor wet.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  4. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    The Sticks, Idaho
    Make your own tracks in snow, if possible... Rumble strips give awesome traction at slow speeds on an upgrade.
  5. Six9GS

    Six9GS Road Train Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Yuma, AZ
    Don't! Park at a truck stop and wait for the roads to be clear! That's what I do. I realize many, if not most, can't do that. But, one of the reasons I drive for Swift is because I can do that.
  6. supergreatguy

    supergreatguy Heavy Load Member

    Nov 26, 2020
    Rumble strips are your friend. Follow a nice looking O/O truck because they most likely DO NOT want to wreck, and if they do, do the opposite of what they do when they wreck. Really though, I don’t f+++ with the ice.
  7. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Maintaining traction is a bit of an art. You have to run the engine fast to keep it away from the torque. Unfortunately you’re probably driving something that is programmed in such a way that you’ll have to chain it to get it up things you should be able to drive it up barefoot. You’ve been sabotaged by the programming of the engine. The way to get up a slippery pitch is hit it in whatever gear you think your truck will pull up it in without a shift, right on the governor. If you’re going to spin it out chances are it will be when you try to shift it when the engine is running too slow. If it falls off the governor pulling on the way up shift it, instantly, and shove it right back against the governor. An engine that’s shutting its own fuel off isn’t going to spin the tires, you can drive up some pretty ugly stuff without so much as wiping your feet. If you’re in a fleet tractor it probably won’t let you drive it like that though. You can make a shift and rev it up like you should, only to watch the tach fall back almost to peak torque before it fuels itself up. All that does is blow the drives loose and send you looking for another gear. That goes on until you run out of gears to try and get pulled off the hill. They shouldn’t let accountants program truck engines. It’s all about keeping the amount of effort to the tires at minimum, climbing that means keeping the engine up in the horsepower and away from the torque. Descending it’s the same thing, in reverse. A Jake is a horsepower device, the faster the engine is running the more likely the brake will be to stall you out if the drives slide, or start you sliding with too much brake effort on the wheels. Down a stage on the brake, or up a gear and slow the engine down to get the effort off the wheels. Mostly it’s just knowing your truck and proper gear selection. I guess in its simplest horsepower will pull you up the hill. Torque will spin you out. See where your torque and horsepower peaks are and see how you can run your engine with respect to those under different load conditions. But like I said, if that engine has any kind of progressive shifting program in it you’re already doomed. Get used to dragging chains out.
  8. jethro712

    jethro712 Medium Load Member

    Aug 31, 2014
    i am not an ice man. was trained that if i cant maintain 45mph safely, park it. & also, if ya gotta chain, its too bad to drive.
    trust your gut.
    LtlAnonymous and Numb Thank this.
  9. Northern Nomad

    Northern Nomad Light Load Member

    Apr 1, 2020
    The frozen north
    Exactly. If everyone is in the right lane, get in the left, and vice versa, and try not to change lanes unless necessary. Try to keep a steady speed—find that gear that allow you to run at a “sweet spot,” keep shifting to a minimum. Following distance is your friend, avoid running in packs of other cars.
    It will all come with experience, and even then, you’ll still have a few pucker uppers every year. Most importantly, if you don’t feel safe, park as soon as safely possible, or don’t run at all until the weather clears.
    Blue jeans, LtlAnonymous and tarmadilo Thank this.
  10. Big Road Skateboard

    Big Road Skateboard Road Train Member

    May 2, 2021
    Good info here
    LtlAnonymous Thanks this.
  11. lester

    lester Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    NW, Iowa
    You can go a little to slow a million times, you can only go to fast once..
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