braking on big mountains...

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by elharrison, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. red_eye

    red_eye Medium Load Member

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    LMAO.. hey.. I have.. Was pulling containers to chicago.. left excel and got about half mile down the road. an seen the trailer brakes smoking.. lol.. guess I had bumped it.. most of the time.. you could yank the Jbar down all the way on them containers an still not activate the trailer brakes.. lol.. always had to adjust them.. or get red flaged in the port pullin MT out.. an wait in service line for 2 hours.. just for couple crank on the slacks... lol
     
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  3. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Whatever works for you. It doesn't work for me with real heavy loads on with a long downgrade. So I stick with applying the brakes to slow the truck down 10mph slower than I plan to go down and let it drift back up to that speed, unless I have a good engine brake.

    My first experience with heavy loads was with a rented Ryder tractor with no engine brake and loaded up with specialized construction equipment weighing over 110,000lbs gross. I had to move that equipment all over the states but mostly from MD to UT.

    Then when I was hauling gasoline we were loaded up to 105,000lbs but we drove really nice trucks. The engine brake worked very nice but still stayed around 25mph going down a 6% grade but hardly touched the brakes. So the object of applying brakes is to not smoke the brakes so you can stop any time when going down. You do that and you won't have any problems.
     
  4. Kansas

    Kansas Road Train Member

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    I have spent many a sat afternoon adjusting manual slack adjusters. That used to be my thing, every Saturday... But, that's if ya always pull the same trailer. Some of these guys have a different trailer every day. Makes it a bit more difficult.

    I really like the 5 and 5 theory you just described. That's the way I have always done it. Quickly back down, let her coast back up, and then back down. Of course none of that will help ya if you're in the wrong gear. Gear selection is absolutely critical too.

    Bar none the worst thing you can do to yourself is think "naw I don't need to check them, that's what the shop is for" BS, you just killed your self and don't even know it yet. Truth is some steering wheel holder had that trailer just before you, and they smoked those brakes just a few days before got it.
     
  5. primexample

    primexample Light Load Member

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    May 16, 2009
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    MOUNTAIN GRADES WITHOUT A JAKE BRAKE: Stevens Transport through out training, and your first 6 months solo you will not have a jake brake. We were taught,THE OLD FASHION WAY and trained with no jake brake,and to use the 10 point rule. which means with our KW T2000 ten speed truck (10 minus the percent of the grade should equal the gear to be in). say 10-6% grade=4th or 5th gear around 2100 rpms and light steady pressure (7-10lbs) all the way down the grade. worked fine for me the first 6 months solo after training with no jake all over the country never had any problems.I wasnt about to try it any other way.Yes you are going a little slow, but whos in a big hurry to get down a 6% grade with 80,000 lbs.At least this way you can easly tell if your brakes are fading away and you should be able to pull over, and stop. I am sure this way is a good way to break in inexpierenced drivers, and to respect steep mountain grades without getting in a hurry.but as soon as some drivers go solo they start letting other drivers drive the truck for them like come on Stevens you can go down faster than that man. One day i was in the safety office, and a fresh solo driver called in to report he had to take an emergency runaway ramp when the safety director asked him what if he was ok and did anyone get hurt, and he said no one was hurt.Then he asked whats you wieght. he was nearly grosses out, then what gear and method he used when desending that grade. He said 7th gear and useing 5-5 method he was terminated, after getting back to the yard.You must be in the right gear an at the right rpm to use your engines governor.One trainee said his trainer showed him how to do all his major mountains in 9th gear. OMG! I called him and his trainer a dam fool, and told him he needs to tell that to the safety director so he can get retrained the right way. I just hope he was jokeing. fanning your brakes with air aint gonna keep them cool but will make them hotter just like starting up a fireplace the more air the hotter she gets.but by keeping them closed the little heat generated dissapates throughout the hub assembly.Why let your truck speed up to find out your brakes are fading out that 5 mph may not let you pull over to stop.but whatever works for ya stick with it.I know ther are different ways to descend grades i just dont like fanning brakes heat: is a form of energy which can not created nor destroyed only moved away.it flows from warmer to cooler.the greater the temperture difference the faster it will flow. Alway check your brakes before you get to brake check area, and at the brake check area on top of the grade most of the time there is no turning back at the brake check area, and roadside rescue can cost a lot of downtime, and money. you can go down lots of times too slow, but maybe only once too fast.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  6. phroziac

    phroziac Road Train Member

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    were you southbound on i-55? did you go through the weigh station smoking the brakes? did you wait until it almost caught on fire to stop? are you female?

    cause i think i watched you do that.
     
  7. primexample

    primexample Light Load Member

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    I have been trained I dont need to listen to other people.If, and when i need more info. I know where to find it. whats so hard about driving a truck. come on man. you shouldnt of bit fish.
     
  8. primexample

    primexample Light Load Member

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    yea go on down the road with overheated brakes. 2 million unsafe mile driver.Your job is to protect the motoring public. but i guess waiting on the side to let them cool will mess up your next million miles.and your giving advice.
     
  9. rockee

    rockee Road Train Member

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    That says alot..........
     
  10. red_eye

    red_eye Medium Load Member

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    Nope on all... left excel in parkersburg wv.. was still on rt68..lol...I had only went about 1/2 mile..but it did give me the habit of pushing up on the trolley..
    But I know where you are talking about.. we pulled a lot of containers to Chicago rail yards..
    But I did drop a container on 90 one time.. king pin plate was rusted thru..
    Took out 5 pieces of guard rail and 4 head light pole.. I can tell you.. guard rail is 1000 a section.. 4 head light pole is 25000...
    My company could have fired my butt.. but the IL dot declared it non preventable ..even though really it should have been my fault.. but I always checked the top side of king pin plate after that.. those thing rust from the top side down... the pin was still locked in the 5th wheel..
     
  11. red_eye

    red_eye Medium Load Member

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    I know some of you dont agree with his post..or method.. but it is the same way I was taught.. fanning the brakes causes fires..it lets air to the shoes..just like blowing air on hot coals.. but I do recommend using what works for you.. so if snubbing works for you.. use it..I know I will get flamed "no pun interned" for this.. :)
     
    primexample Thanks this.
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