There & Back

tamrock

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Yesterday I made a trip to the little town of Nucla, Colorado from Lafayette, Colorado where I live. I chose to do it all in one day, because the weather was going to be uneventful all day across the Rocky Mountains. It was a beautiful drive there and back. The drive almost takes me to Utah, as you for a can see the peaks of the LaSal mountains SW of Moab for a brief moment along Colorado Hwy 141. Nothing held me up the whole trip except the periodic traffic jams you might come across where free range cattle roam and into the twilight I go to make it home at 10:15pm.
 

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tamrock

tamrock

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What’s the steepest grade you drove on your trip? I went over Monteagle TN a couple weeks ago and there were 6% grades with runaway truck ramps.
On the way back east bound Vail pass I believe. Seems every vehicle I've ever driven going up works the hardest to get up to the top of that grade. The fully loaded big trucks will struggle hard also as they creep to the top at 30mph and slower.
 

pepperj

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On the way back east bound Vail pass I believe. Seems every vehicle I've ever driven going up works the hardest to get up to the top of that grade. The fully loaded big trucks will struggle hard also as they creep to the top at 30mph and slower.
Just looked that one up to see the steepest grades.
Vail is rated at 7
 

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tamrock

tamrock

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Beautiful country.
It is and it will always be I believe. Just won't ever be like it was 45 years ago when the states population was around 2 million. Today its 8 million soles. I heard that on a story on the radio I listened to about a reintroduction of wolves that is planed. Some believe because of this growth to the population in Colorado, it's not going to be good for the wolves and people. Colorado isn't like Wyoming and Montana where there is so much more open undeveloped acres.
 

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That Vail Pass that TR mentioned is about the steepest one those of us that live along the I-70 corridor have to deal with. First place to get shut down if it snows half an inch, too. We already have some wolves in Colorado, but the official reintroduction starts the first of the year. May be a problem for ranchers. That vote to reintroduce them was mostly carried by the Front Range, so maybe Denverites thought this would be an opportunity to get a selfie with a wolf pack, haha!
 

DizzyDigger

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That vote to reintroduce them was mostly carried by the Front Range, so maybe Denverites thought this would be an opportunity to get a selfie with a wolf pack, haha!

Could very well be that they'll wish they hadn't.

The steepness of a grade isn't always the concern. I'd much rather go down a short 10% grade than a several miles long 6%.
 

pepperj

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Did a fair amount of travelling around in the early 80's.

Boiled the brakes coming down a long steep road.
The /76 Thunderbird had some transmission issues and wouldn't down shift.
So it was stuck in drive, till I had no brakes.
The last mile was a sweaty armpit drive.
I was glad for a level straight piece of highway-sat there for a hour or so till things cooled down.

When I headed west the first winter storm was on the 1-70.
No heater core, still remember a cold drive to Utah.
 

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tamrock

tamrock

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That Vail Pass that TR mentioned is about the steepest one those of us that live along the I-70 corridor have to deal with. First place to get shut down if it snows half an inch, too. We already have some wolves in Colorado, but the official reintroduction starts the first of the year. May be a problem for ranchers. That vote to reintroduce them was mostly carried by the Front Range, so maybe Denverites thought this would be an opportunity to get a selfie with a wolf pack, haha!
That's it. The wolves have rights like everyone else.
 

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tamrock

tamrock

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Could very well be that they'll wish they hadn't.

The steepness of a grade isn't always the concern. I'd much rather go down a short 10% grade than a several miles long 6%.
The smell of burning brakes on the big trucks is pretty common on these hills.
 

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The smell of burning brakes on the big trucks is pretty common on these hills.

Yep..they got their own stink, and it's a lot worse when you smell it and realize it's because of the smoke rolling off your tandems (trailer axles) about 60' behind you.

Right speed, right gear, good jake brakes and it's not a problem.

Wrong speed, wrong gear where the RPM's are too low for the jakes to be efficient plus too much brake pedal trying to slow it down, and it won't be long before the BBQ starts.
sSig_aaarggh.gif


If they're starting to get hot, a good driver will mash what brakes are left, quickly lose enough speed to drop two to three gears, and then let the jakes take it the rest of the way down the hill.

In the old days, it was considered best to go down the hill in the same gear it took to get you up it. Today, with the higher horsepower engines you can climb the hill faster, but going down you'll need to go one or two gears lower.

Plus, every grade has it's own unique features.
 

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tamrock

tamrock

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Yep..they got their own stink, and it's a lot worse when you smell it and realize it's because of the smoke rolling off your tandems (trailer axles) about 60' behind you.

Right speed, right gear, good jake brakes and it's not a problem.

Wrong speed, wrong gear where the RPM's are too low for the jakes to be efficient plus too much brake pedal trying to slow it down, and it won't be long before the BBQ starts. View attachment 2118082

If they're starting to get hot, a good driver will mash what brakes are left, quickly lose enough speed to drop two to three gears, and then let the jakes take it the rest of the way down the hill.

In the old days, it was considered best to go down the hill in the same gear it took to get you up it. Today, with the higher horsepower engines you can climb the hill faster, but going down you'll need to go one or two gears lower.

Plus, every grade has it's own unique features.
I've seen that evolution over the years in otr trucking. A lot more power these days. I do miss the days of yacking on the CB. I took it out, because no one wants to engage in any chit chatting anymore since the mobile phone came along. Gosh 30 plus years ago, you'd buddy up with three or four drivers in conversation all the way from Pueblo to Albuquerque driving through the night.
 

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ArfieBoy

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Beautiful pictures. My wife, friends and I have ridden our motorcycles over many of the Colorado roads in past years and they are always beautiful scenes to see. Great times! Thanks for posting the photos.
 

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