If you’ve ever driven down a steep hill, you’ve probably noticed the seemingly endless off-ramps that lead nowhere. For heavy-duty trucks, the truck escape ramps you’re looking at are the only thing that may avoid a catastrophic accident.
They are used when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle and presents a threat to others on the road. But what causes a runaway vehicle in the first place, and why do we need ramps like this? Let’s investigate further.
Why might Trucks Lose Control?
Because full-load trucks are heavier, they have a greater amount of momentum. When a vehicle is moving downhill, it tends to pick up speed much more quickly. Trained truck drivers use a low gear to counteract this increase in speed by producing greater resistance.
If the vehicle is traveling too quickly as it begins to descend, the problem arises. Once it gets to that point, it will only accelerate faster and faster until it reaches dangerous speeds. Because the truck needs more power to climb hills, it must slow down rapidly once at the top before starting the descent.
In the event that a truck is traveling too quickly, the driver may attempt to apply the brakes. However, the brakes will no longer work after the car reaches a certain speed. Even if the truck driver panics and hits the brakes, their trailer will continue to go ahead, which might cause their vehicle to “jackknife” and perhaps flip over as a result of this.
Accidents involving a runaway truck usually result in catastrophic damage since the truck is traveling at high speed and could hit other cars.
What is Runaway Track Ramp?
To go from one place to another, semi-truck drivers must navigate various kinds of terrain. No matter where they work, professional drivers are routinely confronted with hazardous conditions, including subzero temperatures and ice-covered roads.
Truck escape ramps are designated emergency spots that employ sand, gravel, or wire netting to rapidly decelerate a heavy-duty truck if the brakes fail. For the most part, these ramps appear to be an exit ramp off the highway that leads to a dead end.
To counteract the downward force, some models make use of gravity by rapidly propelling the vehicle up a high slope. Generally, truck escape ramps are located in regions where the truck’s brakes are often used.
How is Runaway Track Ramp Used?
Ramps provide a practical answer to the problem of runaway vehicles. Some U.S. highways, particularly those with steep inclines, include a ramp designed specifically to slow down trucks.
The most frequent type of runaway truck ramp is a large pile of sand or gravel that is very steep. In addition to creating a lot of friction, these ramps are steep enough that the truck won’t accidentally move forward and climb the ramp.
When heading downhill, drivers should be extra alert for approaching trucks, even though runaway trucks are extremely unusual.
These are some points to consider if you get in such a situation:
1- Stay Calm:
Assuming you’re not reading this post while going downhill without brakes, the first thing to do is keep your calm. It’s a lot easier said than done, but keeping your cool is important if you want to keep the other drivers on the road safe.
To avoid jackknifing or flipping your vehicle, you may want to jerk the wheel to the side of the road as quickly as possible. Remain calm and take a look at everything.
2- Use the Jake Brake (Engine Brake):
In the event that you are unable to utilize the service brakes, you will need to activate your jake brake. This will help avoid dangerously high speeds, and it will also make it easier to go around slower traffic if necessary, providing you with vital time to locate your truck’s emergency escape ramps.
3- Align with the Ramp:
Locate the truck escape ramp and center your truck to the best of your abilities. In order to avoid slamming into the sand slope, you must maintain the wheel as stable and level as possible.
4- Once Stopped, Seek Help:
Are you transporting something flammable? What’s the status of your situation? Are you injured in any way? Make sure you’re in good health before making a move.
Some drivers may be pushed into a state of shock by situations like these. Unless you’re in immediate danger of fire from your truck, stay motionless and wait for help to come if you’re hurt.
These are some tips for you if you find yourself in a similar situation one day. Truck ramps could be very helpful in these situations and could save many people’s lives on the road, including the truck driver.
This video shows these truck ramps usage in action: