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How to descend a mountain pass with a loaded truck

Descending a mountain pass with a loaded truck is a difficult task faced by professional drivers. In addition, it becomes more complicated with low temperatures and snow on the road due to the loss of adhesion of the vehicle to the pavement. When descending a mountain pass, the front axle of the vehicle acquires much more weight than the rear axle, which is why we must take into account the position of our vehicle on downhill slopes at all times.

But what can we do to drive around a mountain pass correctly? Here are some tips:

  • Adapt your driving to the load of the vehicle, the state of the road and the weather.
  • Tyres with the right pressure and tread. All tyres must be identical in characteristics and tread to avoid dangerous situations such as spinning tops.
  • Constant speed. The descent from the mountain pass must be made at a constant speed for as long as possible. A good option is to select a sufficiently short gear so that the vehicle does not pick up speed downhill and we lose control over it.
  • Do not brake or accelerate too much. Braking and accelerating progressively and in advance is essential to prevent the front axle from acquiring much more grip than the rear one. Braking in a bend is a situation that increases the probability of overturning; however, following the precautions, braking during a bend will not be a problem because the vehicle will be within the margin of stability.
  • Use the service brake. If, due to traffic, it is necessary to brake in order to slow down, it is best to use the service brake as it acts on all the wheels of the vehicle. Slowing down could destabilise the vehicle.

When driving, remember to follow all these tips. Going down a mountain pass will then be a safer and easier task.