Taking A Chance On The Highway

Mar 22, 2002
Got a blue Dodge Dakota 4X4 we bought new. Nice truck, though with the addition of the grill guard the balance was changed for the negative. I know a hundred pounds doesn't seem like much, but it's on the end and the ride did alter. Took five years to pay for this truck.

Never too good in snow. Dodge sells them with fat wheels and tires. The wife took it off the highway last year and smashed into a pole after finding black ice, and yesterday on the same highway I almost lost it. The baby and I were driving down a hill and the truck started fishtailing. The road had some light water and ice on it. Not much. I'm still not sure why it happened.
I was thinking; "Darn; I'm not going to be able to keep this on the road. We're going to crash. I hope the little guy is alright."

He was strapped in his chair. He knew something was up. I could tell. I mean, I didn't see his eyes in the rear view mirror, he didn't say much, if anything, but I know he was aware. Call it animal awareness if that is unsatisfactory to you, because I'd swear we were in it together.

So everytime it fished one way I'd correct, and it would fish the other, and I'd correct. I was in the middle of the road by now and if Montana Highways weren't so less traveled could've had a head on collision. We slowed down and I pulled to the side of the road onto the grass. I figured there had to be a flat tire. There wasn't.

I didn't appreciate almost dying for no real reason, not that I could have nor would have argued the point even if One were available to take complaints. But it was very strange. Ordinary day; almost dead. That's how it happens, too, I've noticed. Very rarely does one die while punching the keyboard, birthing the Great American Novel, or swinging steel as Mongol Hordes pour over the ridge. I think Death comes a 'callin more often as you're chewing that grilled cheese sandwich, watching the News on TV, or feeding the chickens in the yard before the sunrise.

I was driving too damn fast, (and yes, for this I used the D word) and for now on, that's out. There's no reason to throw all the Grace that's been laid at my temple by a stupid, innattentive driving incident. The Rocky Mountain West is a hard course. You can die on these roads, and it might take a while to find you.

Be careful out there.

Jan 9, 2006
I'm glad you guys are ok, munk.
Kids are amazingly aware, and yet, clueless before they trip over thin air.
Or at least my son is, anyway.

Nov 15, 2000
Glad you're both ok! That's an awful, sick in the pit of your stomach feeling when your vehicle starts to get away from you.

I have slowed down my driving alot in the past 6 months. It's just not worth it. I finally realized that I'll get there exactly when I'm supposed to: if I'm late either I caused it or it was supposed to happen, if I have no set time to be somewhere, then heck what's the point in worrying? let alone driving too fast to get somewhere when there's no deadline to begin with.

I found that when my perpetual dissatisfaction with the present moment began to dissappear, my urge to speed began to lessen. I now ask myself "what's wrong with right now?" whenever I feel stressed and feel the need to get somewhere quicker.


Oct 19, 2005
Glad to hear everything was OK Munk. Could have been bad. I've got a chruning desire to move farther south since the accident (I'm on the north side of the city). My 42 mile commute with the great Atlanta drivers is worrysome where it didn't use to be. I've slowed down a lot, and have also stopped with the agressive driving. I don't want to miss out on Hannah's life just so I can get to the daycare a few minutes earlier. You sound calm about it. My dad remembers us screaming before the accident. I just don't remember that at all. I remember making eye contact with him, we knew it was coming, but I don't remember screaming.
Sep 2, 2004
Glad you're okay. NOthing you can do about glare ice, unless you've got studded tires or chains on. Four wheel drive don't help you stop :(
Adding 100 pounds to the front of a pickup, does make it even worse than ever for handling, though. My pickup (even with limited slip in the rear) is useless in two wheel drive. I don't like putting stuff in the back for weight, that can just become a missile, either.

I did see one guy that took a big honking slab of cheap sheet metal and bolted it directly into his bead. He could take it out in summer to lighten it up and is was secure. Also, it didn't have much practical impact on the usability of the bed, since it was only an inch or so thick.
Oct 25, 2004
Back when I had a truck, I used to shovel some of the snow covering the driveway into the bed. Free ballast, not a missile hazard, and it removes itself when the time comes.

Howard Wallace

Feb 23, 1999
I few decades ago when I was going to college in Eastern Washington, I drove out in the morning, nice and easy down a hill. I was only going about 20 mph on a straight section of road, no braking, when my vehicle went out of control on the invisible ice, and I was going down the hill sideways as gravity directed. I made a resolution as I was sliding out of control that I would drive with studded tires in the winter. I was able to regain control of the vehicle without hitting anything and I've kept that resolution. I always remember that feeling of being out of control and knowing it was too late to do much about it.
Nov 3, 1998
One of several reasons I knew I had to move from Waynesboro to Augusta was my procrastination, coupled with a fast car and time deadlines, was going to kill me.

Glad you're okay, munk.

Aug 23, 2004
Glad you're safe, Munk. Don't even think about shuffling off this mortal coil yet! Maybe try some weight (sandbags) in the truck bed to even it out?

Aug 26, 2005
You know Munk I think it was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote " There is nothing so obvious as something pointed out to you " By this I mean I think you hit the nail on the head your ownself and were just pointing it out or you were on your way to that conclusion . I wonder what would happen to handling characteristics with a hundred pounds counterbalancing that front end weight . Maybe just between the wheel wells and secured . A hundred pounds wouldn,t do much as far as traction is concerned . It may make a difference in trim . I,m wondering if the front end dives at all .

Aside from your safety I am a romantic as far as pick-ups are concerned . I don,t always need their utility . I do always need their toughness as well as the rough and ready attitude they posess . I mean when I scratched the all steel black bumber on the chevy I got the B:B:Q: paint out and five seconds later I had a beer in my hand and couldn,t care less . If my dinky Hyundai Elantra gets the tiniest scratch on its plastic butt I want to have a coniption fit .


ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb
Feb 28, 2003
eeek - that's scarifying, glad you're okay.

look into dedicated snow tires for that thing? www.tirerack.com - they're TOTALLY worth it. they won't let you out perform snowmobiles or anything but that slight edge in keeping control ... priceless.