C.W. McCall’s “Wolf Creek Pass,” about a chicken-hauler losing his brakes on a steep incline, bellows from Tim’s stereo as he barrels down a mountain. It is just another day in paradise until he notices his brakes are not just spongy, but gone, in spite of the brake check he did that morning. He realizes McCall could be singing about him.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BRAKES FAIL ON A MOUNTAIN ROAD
1. Try to downshift. It probably won’t work, but it’s worth a try.
2. Steer around objects.
3. Blow your horn.
4. Flash your hazard lights.
5. Call for help on your CB.
6. Look for a runaway ramp, field or ditch.
7. Choose the path of most resistance, such as the shoulder of the road. Turning your truck upward into the embankment may be your only option.
REMEMBER: Brake failure is almost always the result of incorrect braking. If you need a refresher, check commercial driving study materials for proper downhill braking techniques. Be diligent about checking brakes during your daily pre-trip inspection.
Source: Darwin Burkholder, www.thebrakedoctor.com