VIDEO: Ever Actually Seen a Semi Use a Runaway Truck Ramp?

Montana is famous for its majestic mountain ranges. You've probably also noticed the many runaway truck ramps that slice up steep grades alongside our freeways. But have you ever seen one being used? 

These brilliant engineering marvels, much like the tractor-trailers that they save from tragedy, are one of the features that make the American interstate system so much safer than roads in most other countries. 

The video below shows what happens when a skilled driver experiences a brake failure and expertly maneuvers his massive vehicle onto a runaway truck ramp on I-70 in Colorado. 

Runaway Truck Ramp

"Friday, April 26 2019, Jesse Terrell was driving westbound on I-70 towards Silverthorne. He saw smoke coming from this semi and knew its brakes were burning up. Due to the fact that between 24-36 hours before a similar occurrence had happened going east bound on I-70, Jesse picked up his phone to make the recording. Traffic was moving along at a clip of 60-65 mph on a steep grade. The truck had already passed the first of two runaway ramps.

"The smoke began to lessen, which told Jesse that they had just given out. 'I could see clearly that his right signal was on and the second of two runaway truck ramps was just ahead. I muttered to myself, "I really hope the driver takes this ramp." I noticed as well that once the brakes had given out, the speed of the semi increased significantly. I am incredibly thankful that this trucker had the wherewithal to utilize a runaway ramp for its intended purpose as this definitely saved lives unlike the tragic events from the day before where lives were lost. I hope this video can be utilized by trucking companies everywhere to show the value of keeping a cool head and utilizing the tools given for everyone’s safety.'"

Semi-truck loses breaks, takes runaway truck ramp like a pro!

Leave a Comment Here

Sara Walsh (not verified) , Sat, 03/19/2022 - 09:27
This is great, but then what? Can someone explain how a truck without brakes can stay on that incline, & how does it get back down under control? Or is it a different braking system? Thanks!
Anonymous (not verified) , Mon, 01/16/2023 - 10:31
The ramp is not paved, it is like a gravel pit. Designed to allow the truck to sink in up to the axel or higher, and come to a fairly quick stop. They have to be towed out by a wrecker - which they need anyway with failed breaks. At least that's how my dad explained it as a kid and what it looked like. Saw some in WV.
The dude (not verified) , Sun, 01/22/2023 - 10:54
there's gravel to sink it but as the brakes cool you have brakes to hold you
You never actually lose brakes when they heat up just the hot metal has no friction they will cool down in a few minutes drop the gear and let it ride he had the curve and grade but got scared hence smoking brakesn
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