Chaining Up....

Topic 2989 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Today in class we were looking at different signs. One of the signs said chain up area. I asked if we were always required to chain up in that area. One of my classmates said, "They have big signs that flash yellow saying to chain up if it was required." So, you chain up when required. The instructor agreed. Then he said if we decided to drive for Roehl after school (technically Roehl and the school are separate), we would not have tire chains on our truck. Really? I don't understand. He said that Roehl company policy is that if the roads are bad enough to chain up then they are bad enough to stop driving until they improve. Wow! Roehl is really safety oriented. This is one of the reasons I chose Roehl. So far, everything I have seen from the company has made me think I made the correct decision. Stay safe out there!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Now just remember if you don't carry chains you will not be running west of Denver due to the chain laws Sept 1 through May 1. Between those two dates if you run the west it's mandatory you have to carry chains.

Now for those that have chains and don't want to chain up. Make sure you are watching the weather very closely because if they throw up chain restriction you WILL have to chain up because the chain stations or chain up areas have a 30 minute max parking time and if you are just sitting there you will get a $175.00 dollar parking ticket.

I agree that chains are to get you out of trouble. Not into it but if your in a chain station you are already in the middle of trouble and need the chains to move out of the area.

And yes they can legally make you chain up if your in a chain up area with a 30 minute parking limit.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Last week I was driving from Boise Idaho to Portland Oregon and had to chain up at the top of cabbage hill, and took them off at the bottom. The whole trip only 6 miles were required to chain up. Sometimes the chains required signs are up and you can see pavement. But yes here I'm required to have them on the truck this time of year.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I dont think Roehl runs much if at all put West which would explain the chain thing but even if its not snowing a cop can and will pull you over and write you a ticket out West if you have mo chains. In WA a cop pulled me over cause he didn't see mine (they are in a box under my catwalk). I actually had to get out and show him they were there or he was gonna write me a ticket.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

I don't know how other states handle it (except Nevada) but in California, CalTrans makes the decision and then they have a manned position (predetermined at different elevations) where you cannot proceed without chains. They used to have three varying requirements but have cut them down to two. In any case if there is a chain requirement in place, CalTrans will set up in Nevada at Gold Ranch and inspect all westbound trucks entering the state (Gold Ranch is just inside the Nevada border and offers the last place trucks can turn around easily before heading up the hill) The chain control can be as far down the hill as:

the 1st) the California/Nevada state border (if that is the case, Nevada will have yellow signs w/flashing yellow lights indicating a chain requirement and an area for a FEW trucks to pull over and chain just past the sign);

2nd) at the Boca exit (the third actual exit inside the California border, about 9 miles past the border, just below the CHP weigh station);

3rd) the old "Bug Station" area where the agricultural inspection station used to be (it is now right next to the weigh station at "Airport Flats"), this is just past the actual downtown (just past Hwy 89 South to Lake Tahoe) area of Truckee and where (on a clear day) you are looking west toward the actual Donner summit;

and 4th) DLI which stands for Donner Lake Interchange (an exit four miles short of the summit that gives autos access to the west end of Donner Lake without going all the way down the hill - eastbound; well westbound traffic can exit here as well which is where they will send you if you don't have chains - you have to turn around at any of these points if you don't have chains).

Here's what often happens. Since there are only four chain control points, you might have to chain up when it looks like there is no snow on the road, which is often the case. However, that doesn't mean there isn't lots of snow on the road between where they set up and the next higher location. Since there is such a huge amount of flatlanders who come up to ski and play in the snow, CalTrans will often throw on a chain control with minimal bad conditions in hopes of slowing people down a bit (30 MPH MAX in a chain control area - big fat EXPENSIVE ticket if they site you for speeding). Usually after there has been an accident. If there is a jackknife or truck accident they will throw the chain control on instantly. They will also not plow too aggressively if the snow is not too deep to try and give the chains something besides wet pavement to run on. If it is a good storm (I've seen 8 feet in 48 hours before) they will try to keep the road open but if the wind comes up and there is zero visibility, they'll shut the whole thing down. In 1968 it was closed for almost two weeks.

Now here's the thing. As you are approaching a chain control area you'll often see twenty-thirty trucks pulled over chaining up. Five miles short of the actual manned point. If you figure sometimes the road is just wet for another few miles PAST the chain control point, that's a lot of 5 MPH chugging to actually hit snow on the pavement. My advice is to get as close to the actual CalTrans control point as is possible before you pull over. It is a gamble as well that you'll find enough room as you get closer so you'll have to decide on your own. The 3rd point (old "Bug Station") or position has the most room for trucks and there is usually 30-40 trucks at that location. However, as they complete their installation, other trucks are pulling out and leaving all the time so you might just have to wait for a short period to find a spot. Keep OUT of the fast lane though, as you will have a CHP officer on the loud speaker telling you to move along (to where?? Off the exit and on your own now to figure what to do).

The chain requirement differ based on how nasty the snow is (it is always slick - a lot slicker than truckers are used to where the snow is cold and dry - Sierra snow has a huge water content and does not offer good traction normally). The minimum requirements are single & single meaning you only need one set of chains on the outside tire on one driving axle and one set on the outside of one trailer axle. Just enough to offer some traction for pulling and stopping. In the case of medium requirement you might need a set of doubles (chains that fit over both wheels on one axle - inner and outer) along with singles still on the trailer. The worst case scenario is two double - both driving axles have a set of double chains on both side of the truck - but that means the road is going to be closed at any moment anyway. Lots of bucks tied up in doubles and if you need four set you have a small fortune invested. When pulling double trailers, they often let you stagger the single chains among the trailer axles - only putting them on one side of the trailer at a time, if you get what I mean.

West bound out of Sack-o-tomatoes (Sacramento) has a similar set up with the chain "check point" just east of Auburn and a few more places where they set up - I think six or seven total. In any case, going over the hill in a good sierra storm will grow hair on your chest and a set of big ones if you are not already so equipped. In all cases, stay on the track and out of the ditch because you'll be paying for the tow truck operator's kid's braces if you don't.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

And whatever you do, don't try to get around a chain control. If they catch you they will call a tow truck and tow you off the hill (like I said, VERY expensive) even if you have chains with you and then write you a hefty ticket besides (they might even take your first born, which may or may not be a drag). Take you time and watch out for the turkeys (local speak for the idiots who come up here). I always say, "Snow brings out the stupid in some drivers." just like "You can't cure stupid."

Stephen E. Birch

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

I am not sure how the policy works yet. Not even sure if we have chains on the trucks. Maybe they will let us have them just to get unstuck or something. I will be doing a lot of I - 70 runs because I am going flatbed. Monday, this gives me a lot of questions to bombard my instructor with!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I am not sure how the policy works yet. Not even sure if we have chains on the trucks. Maybe they will let us have them just to get unstuck or something. I will be doing a lot of I - 70 runs because I am going flatbed. Monday, this gives me a lot of questions to bombard my instructor with!

Won't be going along 70 west of Denver from Sept to May without chains even if its bright and sunny out.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I am not sure how the policy works yet. Not even sure if we have chains on the trucks. Maybe they will let us have them just to get unstuck or something. I will be doing a lot of I - 70 runs because I am going flatbed. Monday, this gives me a lot of questions to bombard my instructor with!

double-quotes-end.png

Won't be going along 70 west of Denver from Sept to May without chains even if its bright and sunny out.

That is true. Also remember one set is NOT enough. At least NOT in California. They sometimes have a check station set up to see if you have adequate chains.

Dave

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
That is true. Also remember one set is NOT enough. At least NOT in California. They sometimes have a check station set up to see if you have adequate chains.

They ALWAYS have a check point well ahead of the actual chain control point so that trucks without chain don't pile up and clog the highway waiting out the storm . . . no chains? Turn around and go back . . . also you have to - at a minimum - have a set of singles for the drive axle and a set of singles for the trailer . . . usually that will do but, like I said, it it gets too nasty you'll have to have doubles on one drive axle but singles are usually adequate for the trailer (one axle) . . . oh, I didn't mention in the post above that I was talking about I-80 between Reno and Sacramento . . . the other common place for "chains required" is the "Ridge Route" or I-5 between Bakersfield & L.A. which is lower than Donner by a couple of thousand feet but can get some decent snow fall in winter. Tehachapi (SR-58 between Bakersfield and Mojave) can also get some snow but not that often . . .

Note: If the Donner Summit is closed, the next route to the north is SR-70 which goes from Hallelujah Junction, 25 miles north of Reno on US-395, along the Feather river and down to Oroville where you can take SR-99 south and pick I-80 up again at Sacramento. This is a long ways out of your way and windy (as in lots of curves - not as in lots of wind) as heck but \when the Donner Summit is closed for a long time, it can be a viable alternate route. The only other ways over the Sierras are to go way around through Oregon or way down south to Tehachapi or further south to the I-15 between Las Vegas and San Bernardino . . .

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Safe Driving Tips Understanding The Laws
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More