Mountain driving is tricky at the best of times. What ever type of vehicle you are driving take this with you for help.
Introducing the Mountain Directory Ebooks!
There are many aftermarket devices that can help heavy vehicles in the mountains. Some will help by increasing horsepower for the climbs. These include turbos and exhaust systems. Other devices, such as engine braking systems can help during the descents. Some products, like gear splitters and auxiliary transmissions can help during the climbs and the descents. Many of these products also improve fuel economy (while delivering more horsepower) and reduce wear and tear on the drive train.
The main ingredients involved in overheated brakes are the length of the grade, the steepness of the grade, and the speed and weight of the vehicle. Reducing any of these will improve the chances of getting down the mountain without overheating the brakes. Most of the time, the only one the driver can change is speed. Reducing speed may keep you alive. Remember the old phrase, “You can go down a mountain a thousand times too slowly, but only once too fast.”
In most cases the passes and hills are described as descents. In other words, a pass will be described from the summit down in one direction and then from the summit down in the other direction.
This directory does not claim to include every steep grade. In fact, because of the enormous area we have tried to cover, we can guarantee that we have probably missed some. Sometimes the percentages quoted are estimates and many times they are based on road signs or information provided by highway departments.
There is an enormous variety in vehicles and equipment. A hill that is very difficult for one vehicle may be no problem at all for a similar vehicle that is equipped differently. Driver judgment is critical in deciding which hills should be avoided.
The purpose of this book is not to discourage drivers from going where they please. It is only to inform them of the conditions they may encounter and to encourage them to make sure their equipment is in good repair. Brakes must be in good working order and properly adjusted and the engine and transmission should be used to slow the vehicle whenever possible, thus saving the brakes and keeping them cool enough to retain their stopping power. The engine’s cooling system should be in good repair to prevent overheating during the climbs. Turning off the air conditioner during climbs may help, and if necessary, turning on the heater will help dissipate heat from the engine.
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