Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chaining Up

On our way home to Bend for Thanksgiving, we had to do that dreaded thing that truckers dislike--chain up our tractor and trailer *sigh*.

We had just dropped our load at FedEx in Portland and were heading toward the pass for our three hour journey home to Bend. Unfortunately the recent snowfall had mucked up the roads enough that chains were required on all vehicles with a gross weight rating (GWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. Four-wheeler vehicles needed only to have traction tires, but without that they also needed to chain up. There was only but a few inches on the roads, but a few inches is enough to send you careening off the side of the mountain!

Thankfully, because the company we work for is just awesome and really takes care of both the drivers and the equipment, all of our chains worked perfectly! Last year, when we had to chain up our one time, even though we had 3 more chains than needed, half of them were broken or were so twisted we couldn't use them on either the tractor or the trailer! This time around, it was so easy! It took about an hour to put them on, and forty miles later we were finally able to safely remove them without fear of sliding off the road. It was a nice 30 degrees during the on-put, but had cooled down to 14 for take-off (extra bonus then that it only took 15 minutes!).

I suppose I can now say, "Bring on the snow!" Ben likes to drive in it more than I, but now that we've gone through chaining up a second time and everything is in working order, the ordeal it turned out to be a year ago just won't be the case this winter!

The passes that we have to look out for, that we drive the most frequently, are:

-Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 in Washington
-Siskiyou Summit on I-5 in southern Oregon/northern Californa
-Cabbage Hill on I-84 in Oregon
-Grapevine on I-5 north of Los Angeles, California

We do not drive these routes as often anymore, but they are high candidates for chaining up as their elevations are 7000+ feet:

-Continental Divide pass on I-90 in Butte, Montana
-Donner's Pass on I-80 just west of Reno, NV in California

Mother nature has been known to dump up to three feet of snow in a single storm on these passes. Three feet! You can make a lot of snowballs/men/angels with that!


Sandy said...

Three posts in 5 days?! I should have threatened to quit following your blog earlier! :) See you soon!

joew said...

Ha, you said BUTTE !!

joew said...

Ha, you said BUTTE !!