2000 F350 - How to park for 30 seconds on an uphill slope?

When returning home I have to park for about 30 seconds to open a gate. I drive through the gate and have to park again to close the gate.

The slope of the driveway is about 10 percent uphill. My habit is to leave the (automatic transmission) truck in “drive” and apply the emergency brake. This is as opposed to putting it in “park” and applying the emergency brake. Everything is kind of loosey goosey on this truck and it “feels” less stressful to leave it in “drive”. When I put it in park there is inevitable backsliding and when i put it back in drive it feels like it puts stress on the transmission.

So, leave it in drive, or put it in park?

Put the transmission in park and apply the emergency/parking brake. Turn the steering wheel counter-clockwise so that the front wheels will be against the curb if anything goes wrong. The transmission was designed to take the stress of parking up or down a hill.

Never ever under any circumstances get out of the vehicle unless the transmission is in park. Ever. The park brake was not designed to hold the truck against the force of a running engine in gear.

Yes, apply both the parking brake and put the transmission in Park. Ford trucks have a reputation of slipping out of Park, if you use only that. A 10% grade is a significant one.

Your OWNER’S MANUAL will also tell you to do this.

If I pull up to the gate and take my foot off the gas, the truck will just sit there - forever. There is .0001% chance (it would seem) that the truck would go uphill if I don’t use the gas pedal. When it’s time to go uphill I have to apply a lot of gas - it’s not just a tap on the pedal, it’s moving 8000 lbs. from a dead stop up a hill.

So that leaves us with downhill, i.e. sliding backwards. You guys are saying that with the emergency brake on and the truck in drive it might slide backwards downhill? Can you say more about how that works?

Nope, they didn’t say that. We can’t decide whether you’re asking or trolling.

@icehorse…if the engine dies and the emergency brake is not fully adjusted…it could be enough to send your 8000 lbs rolling down your driveway into who knows what. Engines will die on occasion due to many factors. Why take a chance?

I’m not trolling, I just want to understand the answers. I don’t know much about automatic transmissions - this is the first automatic transmission vehicle I’ve owned in 30 years. So this answer is interesting… if the truck is in drive and the engine dies, is it as if the engine is disengaged from the transmission?


You asked for advice

You got good advice

Don’t overthink it, please

So understanding what’s going on is a bad thing? My impression was that anyone who’s on this forum is here voluntarily. Is that incorrect? Is it somehow inappropriate to ask questions to get a deeper understanding? That seems odd.


NOBODY will tell you it’s okay to get out of the vehicle with the engine running, the transmission is in drive, and the parking brake is set

I can’t figure your burning desire to understand the inner workings of an automatic transmission

I’m almost tempted to agree with @pleasedodgevan2

We’re telling you that something’s not a good idea

@Docknick and @missileman even told you why your procedure isn’t a good idea

Shouldn’t that be enough?

An automatic transmission that is not in “Park” will roll very easily when the engine is off. Now I realize that if you have to come to a stop on a hill at a traffic signal, you would leave your truck in drive with your foot on the brake. In this case, all 4 wheels would be locked. When you do this in your driveway to open the gate, the parking brake is only operating on the rear wheels.
As others have suggested, put the truck in “Park” and set the parking brake. I would go one additional step. I would carry a couple of blocks of wood in the truck. When you stop to open the gate, put a wood block behind the left rear wheel. After opening the gate and driving through the gate, again put the truck in “Park”, set the brake and thrown the other woodblock behind the left wheel. Retrieve the first wood block, close the gate, pick up the other woodblock and proceed. With the slope you have, this would be the safe way to handle opening and closing the gate.

Other than agreeing that you should never leave a vehicle running while in gear even if the park brake has been set; I might suggest an electric gate opener if that’s feasible.

Some operate off of 12 volt batteries which are recharged by a 110V transformer or a Solar cell if a power source is some distance away. The remote would come in pretty handy…

db4690 - If you read my posts carefully, you’ll see that I’m neither arguing or disagreeing. I’m trying to understand. What would be wrong with understanding a bit more about transmissions?

@icehorse…when the engine stops…the automatic transmission ceases to operate. It’s basically in neutral…not a good thing while parked uphill.

Put the truck in neutral, set the parking brake, take your foot off the brakes to test that the parking brake is set enough, then put the truck in park. When you get back in, put your foot on the brake, release the parking brake, and put the truck back in gear. This will minimize the stress on all the components, yet still be safe.

thank you missileman and oblivion

Fix the parking brake so it can hold the truck securely when it’s set. Then you can put it in park without any backsliding or “stressing” the transmission…

If you must pass through this gate often, I would reassess the need for having the gate, replace it with a cattle guard or install a remote operated gate opener…Dealing with a gate on a 10% grade on a regular basis is just not a good thing…


Perhaps an automotive textbook would explain the inner workings of an automatic transmission to your satisfaction

Unfortunately, it might contain way more information than you want

I have an older version of this very textbook


It’s very dangerous to get out of a vehicle with the engine running and the transmission in gear. No one here has any personal conflicts with you @icehorse. It’s just that your question has such a simple and unequivocal answer that requires no debate by any familiar with the mechanics of the situation. Thanks for dropping in. If you have other questions please ask. Try to stump us next time.