ExpressIFTA Blog

Monday, April 18, 2016

3 Tips to Save Your Life: Mountain Driving for Truckers

Every haul is different. We know that for sure! But whether you’re a rookie driver or a Sherpa in a big rig, we have some mountain driving tips for you.


Pre-Trip Inspections


Safety first, right? Every trucker knows you need to do your standard check before hitting the road, but it’s a good idea to focus on your trouble areas when you’re headed into the mountains.

Of course, if you are hauling in colder climates (or it’s the winter), make sure you winterize your vehicle. Trucks should be adapted for any condition—any mountain climb or descent will always have the capacity to be treacherous.

But when you’re inspecting your truck and you’re expecting extended mountain driving, you should really examine your brakes.

I mean, the last thing you want is for your brakes to disintegrate on your way down the mountain.

Best Braking Practices


The best braking is no braking! Well, we aren’t saying DON’T BRAKE. We are saying brake smart!

First, don’t use your brakes the whole way down. That is inefficient, and would be dangerous, obviously.

Instead, make sure you remain in a lower gear as you head down. Also, four-wheelers are sure to be mishandling the road—so keep an eye out for them!

And as far as braking, snub braking is your most effective braking method.

According to John C. Glennon, Jr., snub braking works best because:

“The amount of heat energy produced is dependent upon the weight of the truck and the amount of slowing desired… [The] heat energy will be distributed among all the brakes that are working. Again, assuming all other factors constant, the more brakes the system has working the cooler each brake will be.“


So make sure you are snub braking, so you don’t struggle with the environment.

Focus on Your Environment


You know those funny colorful displays on the side of the road? No, not the 24-hour mountain-side buffet billboard.

We’re talking about road signs! Your standard four-wheeler zooms past without glancing at them, we’re pretty sure.

But as a trucker, you need to read your signs!

The road signs will be your first inclination of the conditions you are entering. Sure, it may be as simple as “trucks in right lane only.”

But sometimes you may see a sign giving you the road grade. You DO NOT want to miss that sign!

Your fellow truckers will keep an eye and an ear out for you, so keep the CB radio on.

And finally, keep an eye out for the runaway truck emergency ramps! If all else fails, the emergency ramp will stop you.

While mountain navigating takes a lot of work, filing your IFTA return does not. Well, at least if you file with ExpressIFTA, it’s easy!

With the deadline approaching, our customer support experts are ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at (704)234-6005 or an email at Support@ExpressIFTA.com.

What are your mountain safety tips?



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