Mountain Driving Scares The #### Out Of Me

Topic 11518 | Page 1

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Shiva's Comment
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We just got a pre plan and if my trainer accepts, we're going to California. The mountains scare me to death. I don't want to go. I hope he denies it or they give us a load in the Midwest or southeast

Old School's Comment
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Best Answer!

The Shiva, I looked back over my first response to you and it may have sounded a little crass - if so, I apologize. Sometimes I jump in here to the forum after working hard for a nice sixteen hour day, and I may not always be in the best humor at that point in my day - I always try to be helpful, but occasionally I'll slip up a little. I understand about fears, and it is uncanny how one thing will frighten one person while the same issue doesn't bother another person - fears are just like that. If you are afraid of spiders, it doesn't make you any less of a person to the man whose only fear is alligators. Face those fears head on and you will be the better for it. I agree with everyone, you will be back in here one day telling other newbies how to descend those mountains one day, and the great thing about you is that you will have a real empathy for those who are sweating bullets over this issue.

Here's a couple of links to some older threads that just might help you see some of the positive things about travelling in the mountains. I thought you and some of the others following this thread might enjoy them.

Both of these threads were written after picking up some copper from some of the mines I used to pick up at during my first flat-bed job.

Copper mine trip number one

Copper mine trip number two

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

The Shiva, man you sure do back down easy!

Remember, this is why you are with a trainer. This is the time you want to be exposed to new and challenging things. If you're too scared to try to ride the bike with training wheels on it what in the world are ya going to do when they're gone?

Ok, forgive me, but this career will not allow you to stay in the comfort zone of your own choosing. Everyday is a new challenge and a new experience. It's a never ending journey in the exploration of pushing all your limits.

There is nothing to fear about those mountains. A smart truck driver allows the truck to do all the work, and beside an occasional and brief small amount of pressure on the brake pedal from you, it will. It's not like your foot on the brakes is holding back all those downward forces of gravity. The truck is designed to do it all. Slow and easy in the proper gear with that Jake doing its thing, and it's a walk in the park.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

We just got a pre plan and if my trainer excepts, we're going to California. The mountains scare me too death. I don't want to go. I hope he denies it or they give us a load in the Midwest or southeast

You'll do mountains eventually, whether he accepts this load or not. Look at it this way, you want to get as much experience as possible while you still have a seasoned driver there to help you out and give you advice. Whether it's snow/ice, nasty construction zones, tough backing or mountains. These are all situations you'll face eventually and right now's the perfect time to tackle them!

When I was in training, my first day out I drove up I-5 from Lathrop, CA to Eugene, OR. Going through Shasta and Mt. Ashland, I was scared to death and whiteknuckled the steering wheel the entire time. Then we started to go up Grant's Pass, through Roseburg and all that. I remember asking my trainer "How many damn mountains does this state have?" I even stalled the truck because I could not get my downshifting together on the upgrades.

Don't worry about it, honestly. It will be scary at first, but it's okay to be a little apprehensive and nervous. In just a little while (shorter than you think) you will look back and wonder what you were so freaked out over. Take a deep breath, try not to sweat it too much, and most importantly stay safe! You'll be fine.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The Shiva, man you sure do back down easy!

Remember, this is why you are with a trainer. This is the time you want to be exposed to new and challenging things. If you're too scared to try to ride the bike with training wheels on it what in the world are ya going to do when they're gone?

Ok, forgive me, but this career will not allow you to stay in the comfort zone of your own choosing. Everyday is a new challenge and a new experience. It's a never ending journey in the exploration of pushing all your limits.

There is nothing to fear about those mountains. A smart truck driver allows the truck to do all the work, and beside an occasional and brief small amount of pressure on the brake pedal from you, it will. It's not like your foot on the brakes is holding back all those downward forces of gravity. The truck is designed to do it all. Slow and easy in the proper gear with that Jake doing its thing, and it's a walk in the park.

Totally 100 percent agree. Mountain driving is challenging and I prefer it over driving on flat, featureless terrain. The US has many mountain ranges, you will need to become a skilled mountain driver if you are going to flourish in the trucking business.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

A mountain is not inherently dangerous its the guy driving the truck that makes a mountain danger's . I highly doubt that your trainer is going to just let you drive through them without explaining how to or what to do. I will give you an example of how I do it. Cabbage hill in Oregon there is a list of recommended speeds for going down the hill. Let's say the speed is 35 mph if you wight 60k. In my truck I have 13 gears. 35 mph is 6 high, so I will take either 6 low or 5 high, to take hill i turn my Jake brakes on and slow down to 30 to 25 mph, get my truck in the gear I choose either 6 low or 5 high all before the down grade. Then I let the truck do all the work from this point on and use my brakes as spearingly as posible. When using the brakes apply firm steady pressure to slow down to 5 to 10 mph below the speed you want. Don't ride your brakes and don't have try to shift going down the hill. Hope that help man

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jerry Escondido's Comment
member avatar

We just got a pre plan and if my trainer excepts, we're going to California. The mountains scare me too death. I don't want to go. I hope he denies it or they give us a load in the Midwest or southeast

The Shiva, You can always look at it this way:

1.) Your trainer has most likely traveled these mountains and has a good idea on how to approach them.

2.) Take the knowledge they are willing to impart to you and stick it in your own knowledge bank. We all have one.

3.) You'll have to do this alone someday. Do it now while you have an experienced driver seated next to you.

4.) This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER OF ALL :

"Your Trainer, no doubt, loves life and wants to make it back home in one piece someday". I don't believe he/she will allow you to take on something they do not feel you are ready for.

Remember, you signed up for this "E" ticket ride all on your own. Thousands, if not millions, have come this way before you, all the way back to the days of the covered wagon. Just think, if nobody dared to cross the mountains, California would be east of the Rocky Mountains and we would have no West Coast.

Go for it, Trucker

Covered Wagon:

A flatbed with specially fitted side plates and curved ribs supporting a tarp covering, commonly referred to as a "side kit". Named for the resemblance to horse-drawn covered wagons.

Justin (Jakebrake)'s Comment
member avatar

Don't want to sound mean here but you really have no choice if you want to drive truck you have to know how to drive mountains if you refuse to do them ever you might as well hand in your cdl because you won't make it in this industry without that knowledge, the best thing you can do is take this challenge head on and push through it and you'll be ok. Ask your trainer to teach you your recovery gears and you'll be all right. Take a deep breath i know what your feeling I work in Utah and live in Colorado but I'm originally from Missouri and look at me I'm still alive and I've drove through some pretty steep stuff with 13% grades I always remember it this way what ever gear I climbed it in I drop 2 gears down from that when loaded and kick the jakes on high and let her roll. It'll be nerve wrecking at first but in the end you'll be proud of yourself so knuckle up driver and go for it.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Slow and easy Shiva. Even once you've done it and your confidence goes up, you're never entirely comfortable because you have to respect the terrain. You've been given tons of great advice already, I'll just pile on to the statement OS made initially about letting the truck do the majority of the work.

Second Chance's Comment
member avatar

I am glad you posted this. Wonderful advice I needed to hear as well!

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

The Shiva, man you sure do back down easy!

Remember, this is why you are with a trainer. This is the time you want to be exposed to new and challenging things. If you're too scared to try to ride the bike with training wheels on it what in the world are ya going to do when they're gone?

Ok, forgive me, but this career will not allow you to stay in the comfort zone of your own choosing. Everyday is a new challenge and a new experience. It's a never ending journey in the exploration of pushing all your limits.

There is nothing to fear about those mountains. A smart truck driver allows the truck to do all the work, and beside an occasional and brief small amount of pressure on the brake pedal from you, it will. It's not like your foot on the brakes is holding back all those downward forces of gravity. The truck is designed to do it all. Slow and easy in the proper gear with that Jake doing its thing, and it's a walk in the park.

I'm not quitting, but the mountains are scary to me. I went up and down the 3 sisters, and that big one in Tennessee. It's that big one on the way to Los Angeles that really scares me. But I will be in a low gear, using the Jake brake and stabbing the brakes. My trainer just told me I'm gonna drive down that mountain to get it over with.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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