Stab breaking or continuous light pressure

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by carsonallen1977, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. carsonallen1977

    carsonallen1977 Bobtail Member

    Aug 27, 2012
    When driving down hill in bad weather, with or without chains, which breaking method do you prefer?

    Thank You


    NWMAXI Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    light pressure to keep it under control i wouldn't say continuous as that would heat up the brakes... i think stab breaking could cause some big issues
    carsonallen1977 Thanks this.
  3. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ask my GPS...
    Plan A is to be geared down enough that my jakes can handle it without braking at all. Plan B is light continuous brake pressure, followed by a re-evaluation of why I didn't get in the right gear for plan A.
  4. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    I find it safer to not drive in such weather.

    If I know I will have to chain, I will find somewhere to stop before I have to chain and wait it out.

    If it's not chaining weather, but just rain or something, I apply the brakes just enough to get my speed down to a safe level.
    If I need to apply the brakes more than once every 30 seconds I'll brake down enough to grab the next higher gear, so the engine brake can take more of the heat.

    And like Ironpony said, I should have anticipated the hill prior to going down - and already be in the correct gear to let the jakes do the work.

    But Plan C is to get your speed down enough to allow a downshift.
    This crap about never downshifting while going downhill is just that - crap.
    Just, do it before your brakes are nearly aflame.
    nicholas_jordan Thanks this.
  5. nicholas_jordan

    nicholas_jordan Medium Load Member

    Mar 31, 2012
    temple texas
    you break at the coffee shop, seriously ~ the "experienced snow & ice driver" is the one who wont drive in snow and ice - jaculum prudenia ( jackals beware )
  6. otherhalftw

    otherhalftw Insignificant Otter

    Nov 18, 2008 discovery foothills
    I hope you meant next lower gear!

    Another rookie that fears before trying, and following bad advice...this used to be a "profession" that required a "driver" to be a driver not a sit and waiter!
  7. Frenzy

    Frenzy Medium Load Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    There are all kinds of bad weather, when you get down to it, there are fewer accidents on mountain passes when the weather is bad. That may seem a little counter intuitive but the worst accidents I've seen have been in good weather. No one expects a "Spanish Inquisition".

    However, I have really strong opinions about continuous light pressure as a means of down hill control.

    There are two reasons:

    The first is that for an inexperienced driver the slow loss of braking ability due to heat build up may not be noticed until it is too late. The drums heat up, it takes a little more pressure to hold the same speed, the drums heat up even more, less braking ability and every truck following is wondering if it's their brakes. Light pressure has a way of slowly changing to heavy pressure.

    The second is that when you stab or snub brake, and things go wrong, you have an immediate awareness of it. It gives you an opportunity before reaching a point of no return to adjust.

    Here are my two tips about going downhill, regardless of weather:

    1. go no faster than you want your accident to occur at.

    2. leave enough space and time for the fool in front of you to complete his accident that you will have to drive around or thru. If Bozo wipes out because he hit a patch of black ice, do not think that hitting your brakes on the same stretch of road won't have the same effect.

    It's a good time to asking those kinds of questions. In about two weeks I will be rehanging my chain hangers, counting bungee cords and inspecting my chains and chaining equipment. Real truckers know how to throw the iron on, and when not to.
  8. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    Lower, higher... it all depends on how you define it.

    The lower the number, the higher the ratio.
  9. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ask my GPS...
    If they have to "brake" that much, they were in the wrong gear in the first place - no amount of "stab braking" is probably going to help.
  10. snowman01

    snowman01 Road Train Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    North Carolina
    I prefer slow
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