Driving Truck Through Donner's Pass

Topic 8225 | Page 2

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Errol V.'s Comment
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Thank you, Jopa, for the inch by inch walk through of Donner. This is the kind of thing that could be in the TT Wiki "Tough Mountain Passes".

By the way, here in Memphis, where there are no mountains, they don't cover this: Just what do you check in the brake check area at the top of the hill? Pre-trip air pressure check again? Brake operation? Pad thickness?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Thank you, Jopa, for the inch by inch walk through of Donner. This is the kind of thing that could be in the TT Wiki "Tough Mountain Passes".

Wow. That's a great idea! We might just do that!

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Jopa, for the inch by inch walk through of Donner. This is the kind of thing that could be in the TT Wiki "Tough Mountain Passes".

By the way, here in Memphis, where there are no mountains, they don't cover this: Just what do you check in the brake check area at the top of the hill? Pre-trip air pressure check again? Brake operation? Pad thickness?

Well, it's getting down & dirty but you want to grab a flashlight and get down and look at how your brake lining looks from the same perspective as a DOT guy would ... has a shoe been hung up for a while and has worn down where it is not even and maybe close to going metal-to-metal? are all of the shoes real close to being under spec (less than 1/4" thick of braking material)? Since most guys have a good feel for how their TRACTOR brakes are performing, how about that D&H trailer you just picked up full of beer? Has anyone done an inspection on THOSE brakes lately? Are there any small air leaks that you are not aware of? Are there any slack adjusters that have been struck accidentally somehow and are dangling (not likely), are there obvious cracks in a brake drum or brake lining component? - those kinds of things ... you're not going to do any kind of diagnoses of the whole system on the side of the road BUT you might see some hazard that tells you NOT to head down that hill until you call someone for a vital "repair" ...

.. a quick anecdote ... back in the late 70's I was driving local construction 10-wheeler for my brother-in-law who had a paving company ... I started down a local residential hill that lead to a blind intersection where the cross traffic would NOT have seen me coming were I to come barreling into the intersection ... I had 15 ton of HOT asphalt in the back and was trying to keep my speed down to 25-30- MPH max - this is mountain country, ya know? So immediately I knew I was in trouble because, even with full peddle pressure, I was accelerating ... as I approached the intersection ( a full mile down the hill) I was doing 45 MPH and no sign of slowing down ... the opposing traffic (crossing from the side) could not see me and the other side (my side) of the "tee" intersection was all trees ... my last option was to crank the wheel left onto a small cul-du-sac just short of the intersection - which I did ... I almost pulled it off, making the corner on all outside tires (right side - the left side were all in the air) and was just about to let out a big "whew" of relief when the whole thing rolled onto the right side, spilling 15 ton of hot asphalt into the vacant lot (full of trees) and I skidded between them ... I smacked the windscreen with my head (good thing it was my head or I might have been injured) and banged around pretty good in the cab - no harm, no foul (well, the TRUCK looked like crap but that was all) ... the CHP investigated the accident ... the cause? The "s" cam bushing was worn on both rear brake locations and the extra play was making my efforts to apply proper braking pressure only half effective ... in other word I was never getting more than 50 % braking at any time ... fine on flat ground but could have been fatal on a hill ... those people on the cross street never knew I was there - lucky them ...

... Too wordy? Hey, you should see me in person - I LOVE to talk ...

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Jopa

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DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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