Hot Brakes | Tips & Resources
Prepare for the Trip
- Check brake function and adjustment before descending.
- Maintain a low speed in low gear, and use flashers to warn other vehicles of your reduced speed.
- Do not ride the truck’s brakes; this will cause overheating and possible loss of brake system.
- Consider Jake Brakes (engine compression brakes) to control the speed of a heavy truck, but the best practice is to use low gears to avoid overheating brakes.
- Keep brakes cool by pulling into brake check stations, or onto the shoulder of the road, if you can locate a safe spot.
Use Runaway Truck Ramps
- Maneuver the truck into the far right lane before approaching ramp.
- As the truck approaches the runaway ramp, steer straight and try to keep the wheels aligned.
- Stay in the center of the ramp to avoid rolling over.
- Once the truck is stopped, call 911 to report, even if there are no injures.
- There is not a fee, penalty or fine for using runaway truck ramps.
Know Before You Go
- Know the road
- Take the time to familiarize yourself with mountain passes
- Obey the speed limit
- Anticipate curves
- Know how far you’ll travel
- Identify public-access roads
- Find brake and chain-up stations on COtrip
- Inspect your brakes at the summit before descending.
- Locate runaway truck ramps on COtrip