First Big Hill!

Topic 14644 | Page 1

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FairyTales's Comment
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Whew! It might not seem big to some people, but for me, it was huge! I'm with my trainer, our first load is 78k lbs and we have to go up and down lookout mountain. 6%. Truck went 30-35 up and 40 down. haha I had white knuckles!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Well you're hear to tell us about it so you made it! Congrats! Just take those hills nice and easy.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
ChickieMonster's Comment
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Haha! You are in my hometown! And it was most likely Monteagle Mountain you went over. Were you on I-24?

I know the Smokey Mountains aren't anything like the Rockies but Monteagle has a reputation for being a nasty mountain for trucks. When you combine the grade with the sharp curves and possibly night and rain, it has taken its fair share of lives.

Good job on handling that beast!

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Kevin H.'s Comment
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So, as someone who never gets out of the northeast and only has to deal with some hills, I'm wondering how you did it (which gear you used, etc). I think I remember that you're supposed to use the same gear that you used to climb, or one lower? And you say 35-40 so I guess that's 8th? If ever come to a real big hill I'll have to pull over at the top and read the manual.

Pianoman's Comment
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So, as someone who never gets out of the northeast and only has to deal with some hills, I'm wondering how you did it (which gear you used, etc). I think I remember that you're supposed to use the same gear that you used to climb, or one lower? And you say 35-40 so I guess that's 8th? If ever come to a real big hill I'll have to pull over at the top and read the manual.

Well, ChickieMonster, FairyTales, and I (dang, I need to get myself a cooler name on here!) all use automatics, so the truck automatically downshifts for us when we apply the engine brake. It makes going down hills way less stressful since it never misses a gear, and if I start out in too high of a gear it's not hard at all to downshift to the proper gear even while going down the hill. I generally only touch the footbrake a couple of times while going down even the steepest grades. To answer to your question though...my truck is a 12-speed, and I generally use 11th on most grades below 6%, 10th on 6%, and 9th on the really steep ones. That's if I'm loaded heavy; I use higher gears if I'm empty or light. That also assumes I'm going around 50 or 60, which is the case for most grades. Many steep grades have a very low truck speed limit--40mph comes to mind on several.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

It's a lot easier in automatics like FairyTales and I drive. The truck selects the gear for you!

I've only encountered problems once where the truck was in the wrong gear but I have a manual shift button on my gear selector so i can manually upshift or downshift if I need too

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh, I see, you're a bunch of cheaters. ;) Just kidding of course, I've never driven an automatic but I think I'd like not having to deal with shifting. I still have problems downshifting to the lower gears, so when I pull in to a truck stop I dread having to go to 4th or 5th because I frequently grind them.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Hahaha!

I learned how to drive on a ten speed. I accomplished learning how to shift. But when I got into this automatic, that was it for me!! No clutch leg fatigue when stuck in traffic, no frantic shifting when some 4-wheeler does something stupid, and I think it makes it easier for a rookie to focus on safe driving and backing!

I'd like to get back in a manual someday, but for right now I'm perfectly happy with my automatic!

FairyTales's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, these automatics are AMAZING!!! The way I did it down the hill was, set my engine brake, make sure I don't go over 35 and head down the hill. I try not to let the engine shift to anything over 7th or 8th gear. I'm really excited to get my own truck. We are waiting here at the Wal-Mart DC in Florida. Then heading to St. Petersburg, FL to pick up another the to Nebraska! I'm kinda excited to see Nebraska!

FairyTales's Comment
member avatar

Oh! and My driver trainer had to call dispatch about something, but they asked how I was doing and he said "He doesn't need any training, just give him a truck and let him go, I hope all my students are this good." I just need to work on my backing, but he said that comes with time and practice. I still beat myself up about my backing.

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