Life and Family

Driving is something we all take seriously! In this section we will bring you useful information about trucks and trucking that is geared to making your job easier and more rewarding. We're going to be assembling a panel of experts who can answer your driving-related questions – from spec'ing to maintenance.

Soot 'N Stuff
PC-10 oils have their work cut out for them for '07; Will extra filters help?

Power Me Up
Add an inverter to the truck and enjoy those creature comforts.

Dry Me a River
Air dryers are smaller and more efficient than ever, and they're very application-specific.

Issues on the Roll:

Let’s Just Do It
The problem with spring-priority brake systems should never have been allowed to happen. We certainly don’t need more dithering in finding the fix.

Favorite Truckstops

We'd like to hear about the roadside haven that welcomes you best, serves the finest coffee or maybe pampers your truck. Tell us about your favorite Canadian truckstop and you could win a highwaySTAR hat and be entered in the big year-end draw for highwaySTAR jackets, free meals and much more!

and don't forget your email address:

In the Magazine

You'll find these and other stories in the highwaySTAR print magazine this month. Available at your favourite truckstop.

  • New HOS regs and team drivers
  • An Alberta driverýs antique Kenworth collection
  • Trucks that can back up themselves

Questions & Answers

When running on snow-covered roads is it better to run at a higher or lower rpm to avoid the drives kicking out?

Snow covered isn't too bad as long as it's not slippery or slick. The danger in having the drives kick out from under you is highest on icy or slick pavement -- even wet roads can pose a problem under certain circumstances.

This issue here is torque. Torques is what turns the wheels, and today's engines produce their maximum torque at low rpm, usually in the 1100-1300 rpm range. You want to avoid running your engine in that high torque output range when ever the roads are slippery. So, depending on how bad it is, you'd want to run at 1600-1700 at cruise speed, and if you're crawling up a slippery hill, keep the engine revs right up there, say 1900-2000. It's not great on fuel, but you lessen the risk of breaking traction.

And don't forget the engine brake. On slick roads, many engine brakes will stop the wheels dead and kill your traction. If that happens, you won't be able to restart fast enough to prevent a jackknife. The best you could hope for is to kick the clutch in REALLY quickly and hope you can recover.

It's best not to use the engine brake at all on slippery pavement.

Jim Park

Got a tough question?
Pass it along and we'll find the answer for you:

Your email address:

Cat Scale

CAT Scale