To Jake break or Not

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by LabRat63, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. LabRat63

    LabRat63 Bobtail Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    My wife and I are owner op and we have a disagreement. Is it better to leave the engine brakes on all the time for safety or only on in hilly country to help brake and off on flat lands or mild slopes to promote better fuel economy.
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  3. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    I always left mine on most of the time. Never in a truck stop or customer. Or in low speed city traffic.
    BUMBACLADWAR, Tb0n3, Coffey and 2 others Thank this.
  4. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    Mine is on above 25mph. Unless posted.
  5. z32sean

    z32sean Light Load Member

    Aug 9, 2016
    Middle Tennessee
    Back when I did the shifting I only used the Jake when needed ( hated trying to grab a gear with the engine retarding) now that the truck does the shifting I can't use cruise with the Jake on. Doesn't answer your question but I feel better for getting off my chest
  6. Hulld

    Hulld Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Upstate NY
    Mines on 11 hrs a day ready for action unless it’s slippery then it’s a judgement call when I use it.
    Aamcotrans, Tb0n3, snowwy and 5 others Thank this.
  7. Gumper

    Gumper Road Train Member

    Jan 7, 2018
    Butte, MT
    Always use mine, but rarely in low range. Breaks wear out much faster than the jakes. If I’m on slick roads especially with empty I’ll run them on 1 instead of 3. That almost bit me once, so I’m a bit more cautious than I used to be.
  8. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    I coast a lot (in gear off throttle) mines off most of the time.
    PE_T and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  9. Chubby Fly

    Chubby Fly Medium Load Member

    Nov 25, 2019
    thats entirely up to you. Jake brakes werent designed strictly for safety. They save on brakes. Company drivers have to have their brakes done ALLLL the time becuase they too lazy to jake and down shift. As an owner operator, I jake all the time. I rarelt have to do brakes. Im the one that works on my truck too. So you decide what you want.
    Also, jakes have nothing to do with your fuel economy. They come on when you are off the fuel peddle
    BUMBACLADWAR, Tb0n3 and Cabinover101 Thank this.
  10. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Safety is a overused, worn out, road hard and put up wet word or concept. Toss it.

    What do you have left? A good Jacobs Braking system is every bit as vailible as a engine that will give you 2150 ungoverned at relined in top gear. A GOOD engine is a ASSET to trucking due to the weights involved.

    My Jacobs two switches are always on. Usually Cruise on and Jacobs stage three. (Maybe once or twice in my lifetime I mess with stage one or two which really does not help) All or nothing.

    I am the one who decides what the engine is to do in the realm of speed control and mountain driving which is the one thing I am very good at. I once was afraid deathly of mountains but now am considering myself a God when it comes to this sort of thing, any weather, any season it does not matter. Unless it is really bad then it's probably to take advantage of that safety thing by finding a safe spot with food, communications and fuel to park at for the duration.

    I refuse to drive a truck without a Jacobs. However I still remember what I will have to do if I lose the Jacobs at any time to a fuse short or some other issue too deep to deal with it while rolling down the mountain. That tractor trailer will be under control.

    There is no such thing as promote fuel economy. You have 335 gallons worth in two tanks out of 347 total volume and you should be able to use that fuel to get you 1650 minimum number miles before fueling again in the winter (At half tanks) due to a abundance of caution. I usually get 2100, but NOT always. I always have a plan to fuel after 1650 miles anywhere in the USA and or Canada.

    If you want fuel economy, buy one egg. Crusable. Put that egg between your foot and fuel pedal. Now we will see about that 10 miles per gallon, or even beyond. (Don't. This is strictly a hyperbole and I will not be responsible for the shorted Binary counting chip under the fuel pedal among other problems)

    The Jacobs situation depends on gravity and traction. If I can use it, it's coming on. If I don't need to use it? It will be a while. I am one of those old schooled trained drivers come down through all the gears when slowing from 70 to 2nd gear towards a light on a highway off ramp for example. It gets pretty busy in there. But since the 18 wheeler is by extension a aspect of my will and decision making, the actual doing is not a drain at all.
    BUMBACLADWAR Thanks this.
  11. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Mines off , i like to coast. If i need it i turn it on and then off.
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