Driving on mountain roads can be a challenge for any driver, but it’s an especially critical skill for any commercial driver to master. If you aren’t cautious and alert at all times while you’re driving under these conditions, you run the risk of getting into an accident. Here are some things that all CDL drivers should know about mountain driving.
Pick an appropriate speed.
The steepness of a mountain road affects the speed of your vehicle, so it’s important to drive with that in mind. You should also take the size and weight of your vehicle into account, including the cargo you’re carrying. Always obey the speed limit, and slow down when you’re driving in difficult conditions such as snow-covered roads.
Use a lower gear.
You’ll want to shift into a lower gear as soon as you’re driving on a mountain road. You will need to make sure that you do this before your speed increases, or you could end up causing damage to your transmission system. In most cases, you’ll want to use a lower gear in driving downhill than you would in driving uphill. Older trucks, however, may be safe using the same gear.
Don’t overuse the brakes.
When you’re driving downhill on a mountain road, you’ll be using your brakes to keep your vehicle from speeding. However, you should make sure that you’re not relying too much on your brakes—overusing them in stressful conditions can cause them to be less effective, which can leave you and your truck more vulnerable to an accident.
Have you always dreamed of becoming a truck driver? If so, your journey begins with enrolling in Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss. Our eight-week CDL training program will fully prepare you for the challenges of the road. Are you ready to learn more about our courses? Call us at (877) 206-8344 with your questions!