Is there any practical use for a trolley break?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Bazerk Wizz Bang!, May 2, 2011.

  1. Hoofbeats

    Hoofbeats Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Times have changed. Newer drivers don't even know why you didn't park next to a truck with straight pipes when it was raining.
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  3. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    When I pulled triples I used it in the winter a lot. Up in northern NV when the ice and snow was everywhere and I was stuck out in nowhere I'd have to make it to the next terminal to drop my last box. So going down the hills I'd pull the bar down to apply just about 3 to 6 psi to the set and that would keep then straight. Of course I'm only coming down around 15 mph but getting the job done. When I left that job and started hauling gasoline on a truck and trailer I would use the bar to check for air leaks during the pre-trip. The bar came in handy and I would much rather see it there than not.
    bottomdumpin Thanks this.
  4. Pmracing

    Pmracing Road Train Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Arlington Heights, IL
    I feel bad doing the mandatory city honk before baking, even in daytime. Not all truckers sleep at night.

  5. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

    Nov 9, 2017
    I’m as nocturnal as a bat. I will night drive as much as possible. Working graveyards right now. I love it. It’s peaceful quiet low stress time to be awake.
    x1Heavy and bottomdumpin Thank this.
  6. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Hell yes, it's very useful.

    There are threee scenarios in which I use the trolley.

    First one.

    Essentially a vertical view of the sky at a stop sign somewhere below your hood on a extreme mountain side road getting out of a hollow. Onto a divided highway. Your trailer is loaded and is hanging about 50+ feet below your tractor.

    Apply trolley full. Release. Add clutch at above torque RPM towards high horse and apply fuel like a boss towards redline in low just before that trailer brakes release all the way. You have a few heartbeats to get this set up without rolling backwards.

    DO NOT shift or reduce power until you have completed the pull out and turn onto the divided or other road from such a extreme grade.

    Second scenario.

    Your engine had developed a high Pyrometer during a bad pull for whatever reason, you pushed the engine manifold into the low 1500's. You have finally crossed the summit after biting your nails on the last mile upgrade waiting for that pyro to begin cooling. You are loaded to the max on this. (Remember I hauled containers approaching 150K back in the day gross for the rig from the 60's) It will do it for you.

    Then you notice as you passed the summit and begin downgrade that your jacobs braking system is not working full power and that your oil temp gauge has begun to climb and also lose psi on another gauge at the same time very slowly indicating a break down in viscosity as temperature rises along with your trans and both drive axle gauge temperatures. Then your coolant temp begins to rise shortly after.

    Since you were only able to apply a little over 200 horse with the Jacobs it's not working very well. You left the truck in the gear you had coming up or took another gear down if possible. Starting down you used the trolley gently to hold that speed in the far right lane, not touching your tractor.

    At this point within a mile or so your gauges should begin to cool. You might get your jacobs back. Might not. Anyway ride that trolley gently all the way down protecting your tractor brakes from being touched. Your application of the trolley should be below the compressor's ability to regenerate air pressure in both of your secondary and primary air. (At this time you are pretty much examining everything in the way of all the gauges on that dash, modern trucks do not have nothing like that) You are also eyeballing those trailer tandems for hazing. Early smoking. if you detect that, come off the trolley and stay off. Wait a minute or two for that hazing to maybe go away.

    If your speed approaches around 18 mph for 100K and beyond start using the tractor brakes. You are already going to run hot until the bottom but not yet in trouble. Your trolley has bought you a chance to get off that mountain.

    Also on the downgrade the inner tail lights light on that trolley, it tells all other truckers exactly what your intent and behavior in that cab is doing. And your wheels tell them how you are doing coming down.

    Third scenario

    Route 56 east of Fishertown PA, a mile and some change of a Ridge downgrade on ice. with a speed restriction of about 15 at the bottom featuring a sloped 220 degree curve back. You have two lanes to work with at the bottom.

    A very light application of that trolley, extremely precise and delicate touch. Applies the trailer brakes just so all the way down. It keeps it from slamming against the 5th wheel which will jackknife your tractor due to angles involved in forces within that 5th wheel especially if it has gotten sloppy and out of adjustment in them days.

    You are stretching out your trailer. And creating a solid 18 wheel unit that will not flex in the middle all the way down until you reach that set of curves at a safe speed. Since you are on ice, heat build up is immaterial as long you do not smoke, haze or slide. You are eyeballing your trailer wheels to make sure you are turning on all of them. They must rotate. If they start not rotating on at least one, ease off your trolley just a tiny bit and they should start rotating again before the rest of the tandem set begins to lockup and then slide.

    Scenario Four.

    This is on what I recall as US 309 south of Allentown. Im in a township with a red light in my face on ice. This time empty flatbed with a modern CL mack daycab from the mid 90's

    The grade at the light in which policeman is watching me across the intersection is steep enough to slide backwards at that particular day in that ice storm. With the brakes locked on all of the wheels. So...

    Trolley on, low gear at idle setting up the drive wheels to slowly rotate forward sitting still at that light.

    At green, off trolley, drive wheels begin to bite and pull forward having by now dug to pavement. Then catch your gears. Gently by floating quickly too. Always have power to the final drive until you summit that hill.
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