Mountain driving can be hazardous for anyone, whether you have experience with it or not. But the dangers are exacerbated for truck drivers, as the significantly greater weight and wider turning radius of the vehicle can make for much greater challenges in mountainous terrain.
No matter how much experience you have as a truck driver, it is important for you to make every effort you can to ensure your safety when you’re out driving on mountain roads. Here are some tips you should be sure to follow:
- Inspect before you leave: Before you head out on any trip (but especially before you drive in the mountains), you should make sure your truck is in pristine condition. Check all your tires, brakes and fluids, and check the vehicle for leaks or signs of wear in other places. Even if you don’t think you’ll use your tire chains on your trip, it’s still a good chance to inspect those as well, just in case, and to even have an extra set along for the ride with you.
- Stock up on gas: Depending on the weather or other factors on the roads, you might not get through the mountains as quickly as you expect, or as fast as Google Maps tells you that you should. In some areas, you might go 100 miles or more without finding a gas station, and even if you do find one, the prices could be elevated by a couple dollars a gallon. Even if you still have a reasonable amount of gas left, make sure you stop and fill up your tank completely just before you head into a particularly mountainous stretch of road.
- Take advantage of rest areas: When you’re near the top of the mountains and are getting ready to head back down, take advantage of rest areas or other places you can stop and check all the vital components of your vehicle again. Pay special attention to the brakes, as you’re probably going to be relying on them a lot as you head down the mountain.
- Take your time: Even the most experienced truckers will go below the speed limit to ensure their safety and the safety of everyone else sharing the road with them. Let other drivers pass you when it is safe to do so—there’s no rush, and the most important thing is that everyone remains safe on roads that can otherwise become quite treacherous in the right circumstances.
- Use your brakes and gears wisely: When heading down the hill, a good rule of thumb is to be one gear lower than the one you drove up the mountains in. Brake and downshift before the downgrade starts happening—many people suddenly realize halfway down a downgrade that they’re going too fast, and this can cause you to put an undue amount of pressure on the brakes.
For more safety tips for mountain driving, contact a mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ at Maclin Truck & Trailer today.
Categorised in: Mobile Mechanic
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