A Truck Driver’s Guide To Drive In The Mountains

A Truck Driver’s Guide To Drive In The Mountains

Truck driving is an art. Driving in the mountains has a special set of challenges. This article maps out some safety tips to keep in mind during mountain routes

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Most truck drivers find it very tricky to drive in the mountains. And rightfully so. A lot of truck driving schools hold special training sessions for truck drivers to teach them expert tips about driving in mountainous terrains.

Driving in the mountains can be a daunting task and requires a special skill set by the truck driver. This article points out some essential safety tips on how to drive in the mountains carefully.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Before embarking on mountainous routes, inspect your truck completely from tires to brakes to the fuel tank. Do not miss out on anything.

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Ensure that everything is in optimum condition and is working at full capacity.

A compromise you make while you are parked may cost you while you are on the road on a mountain, and that too with a ton or two of freight.

Go Slow

When traveling in the mountains, it is important to always keep an eye on your speedometer. Always keep in mind that speed thrills, but it kills.

Being a slow and cautious driver will do you no harm, but speeding your way down a hill can have disastrous outcomes.

Steer clear of speeding on level ground and grades. You may misjudge a grade by mere looking and speed down a hill. This can likely cause you to lose control over your truck and even get you into a fatal accident.

Chain Up

The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains. You may not suspect any bad weather ahead at the time you leave for your delivery in the mountains, but it is always best that you keep yourself prepared for any bad weather challenges.

Not only can foul weather push you back on your schedule, but it can also prove to be deadly for you on the road if you are not well equipped to handle it.

Pay close attention to the weather forecast before your onset for a mountain drive. Also, be very mindful of the road signs warning you to chain up. Do not take these signs for granted based on your judgment.

It is best to chain up before you make an ascend. That way, it will be easier for you to chain your tires while still being on level ground and save you any trouble while driving uphill.

Avoid Tailgating

Tailgating is a bad idea while driving in the mountains. Truck driving schools always advise having a safe distance between your truck and the vehicle in front of you.

This is especially important for mountainous terrains. It can prove to be beneficial for you in many situations.

If the vehicle ahead of you slams its breaks suddenly while traveling down a gradient, then you must have enough distance to safely slow down and stop your truck in time. Otherwise, a collision with the other vehicle may be inevitable.

If you have a trucker ahead of you, then keep in mind that they might not be following all the safe driving tips for mountain driving as keenly as you are. They might neglect some vital aspects of safe mountain driving and get themselves in trouble by not using the correct shifting and braking techniques.

This can cause them to slide out of control. If you do not have a guarded stretch of space between you and the other truck, you may become a part of a deadly road accident due to their negligence.

Be Mindful About The Incline

A grave mistake that most truck drivers make is misjudging the incline. It is easy to assume the grade based on your judgment, especially when you are in an area you are familiar with.

Pay special attention to the incline when you are about to make a descent. Make use of road signs to help you maintain the optimum speed while making a descent on a steep grade.

Whether you are climbing down or up a mountain, remember that it takes time. Therefore, do not rush and pick up speed towards the last part of a downhill journey. You may put yourself at risk by doing so if a surprise, like an isolated patch of ice, comes along your way.

Use Runaway Lanes

Be sure to use the runaway lanes when it becomes completely unavoidable. Do not let your brain fool you into believing otherwise. Runaway lanes are present for your safety and the safety of other traffic on the roads.

It becomes even more crucial to use them when you are on a mountain route. If you realize midway on your journey that your brakes have given up, then keep an eye out for the runaway lane.

They can help you safely bring your unstoppable truck to a gradual stop. This way, you and other drivers on the road can stay clear of any harm that an out-of-control big vehicle can cause.


Truck driving in the mountains is a serious task that can even put an experienced truck driver’s skills to the test.

Whether you are an expert or an amateur at driving big vehicles, you must develop the necessary skill set required to carefully make your way through difficult terrains.

Professional truck driving schools are the best source to get your truck driver training from. Once you are aware of the essential safety tips, you can build on them throughout your career based on your experiences.