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Let's Ride The Grapevine!


OMG.  Let me tell you about the time I had to drive my tractor trailer through Grapevine, CA.  First of all, I had never heard of such a place.  After I experienced the ride through Grapevine, I never forgot it. It's located in San Joaquin Valley, CA.  It is 1,499 feet above sea level.  Interstate 5 will take you through Grapevine Canyon which goes up to the Tejon Pass.  That pass separates the Tehachapi Mountains and the Emigdio Mountains. It's called Grapevine because the original road (U.S. Route 99) went through the canyon and passed through wild grapes that still grow along that road today.

Before U.S. Route 99 was widened, it was known for the numerous accidents that occurred along the route.  Trucks can only drive 35 MPH there.  As you can see from the pics, there are numerous runaway truck ramps every mile and a half for obvious reasons. You will only see runaway truck ramps when there is a danger of a tractor trailer's brakes failing.   A quick note about tractor trailer brakes.  A tractor has three bakes: a foot pedal brake, a Jake Brake (engine retarder), and a trailer brake.  If you ride your foot pedal brake, the brakes will get too hot and literally catch on fire.  If you don't use the Jake Brake quick enough, you may not get your speed down enough to slow down or stop.  If the trailer brake fails, then the only way to stop the tractor trailer is to go off into a runaway truck ramp because at that point your tractor trailer is running away and you're an out of control killing machine.  Let's take an exhilarating ride through Grapevine Canyon through these pics from my tractor trailer.  Buckle up Buttercup!

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