Have you ever been to a large ski resort up in the mountains and wonder how everything is being heated? The backbone of heat for ski resorts is Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as Propane. Propane is vital for keeping the lodges heated and the lifts running. Now you may ask yourself “how does the propane get to the resort?” Odds are it was trucked in by one of the many brave drivers that delivers propane to the mountainous regions during the peak winter season (Nov. – Mar.)
It is vital for LPG drivers to be both safe and diligent when delivering LPG in the winter. The amount of available CDL A drivers has not yet caught up to the demand since the start of COVID-19. When entire towns rely on having adequate amounts of LPG to heat their homes it becomes critical to actively monitor tank levels to ensure LPG levels don’t run out. The few drivers that are still running LPG during season are being worked that much harder. With limited drivers available it becomes imperative that we put the best people on the job.
How to Drive Safely in the Mountains
1. Pay Close Attention to Your Grade
Paying attention to the mountain grade when driving through the mountains is very important. A driver must make proper use of engine breaking to ensure that the breaks aren’t being overused. Improper usage of the tractor brakes may cause them to give out during your trip. If this happens shift to lower gears to slow your tractor/trailer down and look for runaway ramps.
2. Maintain Appropriate Speed for Driving Conditions
Always remember that traffic speeds are different for tractor/trailers hauling upwards of 80,000lbs. You do not have the quick stopping ability that smaller vehicles do. It is important to know when and where to utilize proper speeds and when to slow down well below the speed limit. The speed limit is the maximum speed you are legally allowed to travel on the road, not the recommended speed. Keep that in mind.
3. Watch the Weather
Keeping up to date on the latest weather reports is a must when driving a tractor through the mountains. There are many different ways to keep up with current weather patterns in your area; radio, weather apps, news, NPR, etc. It is very easy for drivers to stay informed 24/7 due to the technological advancements with smart phones and the internet. And remember it is always better to play it safe and miss a delivery appointment than to risk your life getting the load there on time!
4. Have Chains on Hand at All Times
Having tire chains on your tractor when driving through the mountains is a necessity. However, you must know how to put them on properly and quickly. Never dismiss a chain up station that is blinking and instructing drivers to chain up. It should only take about 10-15min to chain up properly. Never risk putting your safety in jeopardy by dismissing a chain up station when driving in poor weather. Be smart and be prepared for anything!
Don’t be in a hurry and chain up. If you are wondering if you should chain up or not, put them on. - Roy Bise, LPG Driver
5. Investigate Highways Prior to Delivery
Lots of delivery locations are blind driveways that stick out around bends on mountain highways. Occasionally you will have part of your trailer sticking out into oncoming traffic when trying get into the gate and offload the product. Knowing the best time to deliver to each location dependent on traffic conditions is very important to making a safe and efficient delivery. Also, it is best to know which direction to approach the delivery tank.
Here at LGT Transport we have the best of the best hauling Propane through the mountains of California and Nevada. If you're interested in driving with us please call (402) 763-9653 or fill out the application online here: https://www.lgttransport.com/company/driving-careers#OpenDrivingPositions.