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In winter months, tow business warns of misusing runaway truck ramps

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(KTVL/Mike Marut)

Along the higher elevations of Interstate 5, drives may notice the runaway truck ramps filled with gravel and/or cinder - that's what they're there for: trucks that cannot stop.

The ramps get the most use during the summer months when trucks' brakes overheat and can't stop trucks going down the mountains. During the winter, the brakes are already cooler than the summer months so they don't heat up as quickly.

While winter may be the time of year with the least runaway trucks, the owner of the Ashland Towing & Repair comapny says the runaway ramps still get some use because some drivers don't realize they are there.

"That's where they take the chains off. and when it's covered they have no idea," Mike Early said. "They think they're pulling over to pull their chains off and then they're stuck."

Early says the ramps start at a depth of one foot of material and then slowly increases to a depth to six feet.