proper use of divider lock, spike, engine brakes

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by mentality, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. mentality

    mentality Bobtail Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    guys i need help with winter driving, im currently driving a 06 internation 8 speed tractor with a 53 feet trailer, today it had snow and black ice on the road, so i put my power divider lock in which i suppose to have power in all four wheels then i put my engine brakes on when i try to stop all wheels locks up and i had to ran a red light, also is it better to use spike brakes than service brakes in icey conditions?
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  3. Scarecrow03

    Scarecrow03 Road Train Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    In Your Head
    I was always told to never use jakes on ice/snow. Engine brakes will just cause additional traction problems. Sometimes you'll slide on wet pavement with the jakes on. Also, I only use the power divider if I'm stuck in the snow or mud, not while moving down the road. You should never drive above 35mph with your power divider in. Heck, I never drive above 10 mph with it engaged. I may be mistaken here, but I've never lost control of my rig even during my first winter.

    I'm not sure what you mean by spike brakes vs. service brakes.

    All I can tell you is this:

    If it's icy on the roads, you better start braking about 3 times sooner than in normal conditions. I use what's known to me as the stab braking method. I hit the brakes, if the wheels lock, I let off, then brake again and repeat as necessary to get the bad boy shut down. I've never had to run a red light in any weather conditions.

    You've just gotta pay attention and use some common sense. I'm not trying to attack you here, just offering up sound advice. You have to be in control of your rig at ALL times in ALL conditions. If you can't because of adverse weather, then you better park that baby yesterday.
    BoyWander, Lady K and scottied67 Thank this.
  4. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

    Sep 15, 2007
    Detroit, Michigan
    Good advice to the poster above ^^.

    Also, check the thread on here about winter driving in iowa. Some gems there for advice, too.
  5. DanJ

    DanJ Light Load Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    There are 2 occasions I use the spike. When I pre-trip a trailer, I release the trailer spring (parking) brakes, and apply the spike to check brake adjustment. And when I pull on the trailer I've just hooked up to to make sure it's actually hooked up. There is no real reason to use it when driving. Maybe when you have a lot of time to slow down, like a long off-ramp or something. You don't use it in slippery conditions because you will have to apply too much pressure to actually slow you down, greatly increasing the chances of locking them up and causing the trailer to come around on you. No different really than using the handbrake in your car. Pull on that while driving on snow, and you usually find yourself doing donuts. Better to use the foot brake (service brakes).
    scottied67 Thanks this.
  6. Johnny99

    Johnny99 Johnny be Good

    Nov 24, 2007
    Big Sandy Tenn
    You don't want to use your engine brake on a slick road, especially on a downgrade. The tractor will be trying to slow you down but the trailer is rolling free trying to push you down the road. This can cause you to jacknife. Another thing that can cause problems is brakes out of adjustment {one wheel grabs before the others}. The power divider should only be used at low speeds when traction is a problem {hooking up, unhooking, getting rolling when your stuck, etc}. Leave the hand valve alone, its for emergencies, it can get you in trouble on a slick road.
  7. D16

    D16 Light Load Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Main cause of jacknifing is the BLOCKED TRAILER WHEELS.Truck driver have to know rule-BLOCKED WHEEL ALWAYS FASTER THEN ROLLING WHEEL! Be a twice cautious when you haul empty or light trailer.Some morons call hand trailer brakes -"company brakes":biggrin_25511:
    scottied67 Thanks this.
  8. palerdr

    palerdr Medium Load Member

    Nov 18, 2007
    wet roads. when you say spike, are you talking about the trolley brake? the lever that applies the trailer brakes? if that's what it is, it is not necessary or wise to use it while driving as it can easily apply uneven breaking and cause a jacknife. only use your power divider to get yourself moving from a stop in a slippery condition. once you get traction, stop the truck and disengage the power divider. slow down when driving in ice and snow and brake early enough to allow the truck to stop in time. look way ahead and anticipate your actions. watch out for the 4 wheelers who move in front of you just as the light turns yellow ( idiots ). increase your following distance !!!

  9. driverjoe

    driverjoe Light Load Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    1. I have always been taught never use the cruise or jake on bad roads. Only use those functions on dry road conditions. Jakes are the number one causes of jack knife trailers.
    2. The Power Divider Lock. Should only be used at low speeds and in low gears, normally for situations like dropping and hooking/ icy parking lots etc. I have used it going down the road empty while running through a foot of snow but ofcourse I was only running 25-35 mph max and for a short distance. You gotta remember to disengage the PDL or you could have broken axles, leaking seals or worse.
    3. There is some question about these newer generation trucks. I have heard that once the PDL is locked it overides the ABS system and the ATC which makes sense since when locked it locks the gearing between the first and second differentials into place creating a rigid power train system and more directed power. If this occurs the ATS and or ABS systems cannot apply/remover power to wheels independently to avoid spinning wheels.
    scottied67 Thanks this.
  10. lester

    lester Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    NW, Iowa
    ATC in trucks is the dumbest ####### thing i've ever seen, i ####### hate it!!! we have a t-2000 and its f^ckin worthless. Try driving up an icy street and what does the ####### thing do when a tire spins alilttle bit, applys brakes, so then your trying to get up a icy street with one tires barely spinning due to power being cut off and brakes being applied to another wheel. ####, #### #### ##### i hate that thing

  11. melpromud

    melpromud Medium Load Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    camden ny
    1 NEVER SPKE the trailer breaks !!!! Especially on slipery surfaces! Use service breaks ONLY! If you spike the trailer breaks the trailer will lock up and pass you as you jack knife into the ditch!
    2 The jake is what caused the drives to lock up not the power divider.
    3 you can use the jake if its slipery if your heavy and your paying attension! If you dont have a lot of experance use your service breaks only till you get some more time driving in bad weather. If its very ice dont use the Jake. Especially in lower gears as this make it have even more breaking power and is even more likely to lock up your drives.
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