What are these "retarders" and how do

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by nwcountry, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Curly88

    Curly88 Light Load Member

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    Rexford Mt
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    I drive a 93 Pete with a jake brake and a brake saver (engine retarder). I don't quite understand how the brake saver works mechanically but it does awesome coming down the mountain with a load of logs. Between the two it's not a problem coming down 10% grades.
    From day one when I started driving school in 2011 I was told to not use engine brakes in inclement weather but with a little experimenting I've discovered that engine brakes work a lot better in snow and rain than using your brakes. Right now I'm coming down off the mountain on muddy roads and if used my brakes I'd be sliding all over the place. Same thing last winter, 50% of the time I was on snow covered roads and relyed on my engine brakes way more than my wheel brakes.
    I've never understood the reason for not using engine brakes on slick roads. Mine are always on high, you just have to be careful on corners and listen to your engine, if your drives brakes loose you will instantly hear it from the engine.
     
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  3. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

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    We drive on ice all winter and the jakes stays on all the time, will they bust loose at times, yes especially if you try to go to slow down a grade, but you have no choice but use them.
    If you can't mash the fuel pedal and spin the tires, no way can the jakes slip a wheel.
     
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  4. BR-549

    BR-549 Bobtail Member

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    Aug 17, 2019
    Thailand x Louisiana
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    This was pretty cool to watch straight outta school. Their website has a pdf you can download that discusses components of the system as well.



     
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  5. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Brakesaver retarder is basically a torque converter between the crankshaft and flywheel. Engine oil is fed into the turbine housing when activated. The turbine cuts the oil and creates a drag on the crankshaft (and driveline while moving in gear). The more oil fed to the housing, the more brake effect produced. The big drawback with the Brakesaver is heat. Any time you "cut" oil, it produces heat. So a CAT with a Brakesaver has a larger engine oil cooler to help keep the oil temps down.
     
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  6. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

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    Not to mention about 3 more gallons of oil too.
    The old guy that speced my truck out, speced pretty much perfect for the haul road, except since he was pulling tanker and paid by weight he did not spec a retarder, the only thing else that he did that I would not have done was addexd
     
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  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Plus most Brakesavers seem to leak.
     
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  8. WildTiger1990

    WildTiger1990 Heavy Load Member

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    This video was made right for you ^_^
     
  9. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

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    They are not hard to keep maintained to where they don't leak. Many trucks run them here and when you go north, especially if you go through the gate, you will have zero leaks, more especially if you are hauling to anywhere exxon has anything to do with it. you can not even have a dab of grease on a grease cert. And yes they get under and inspect every truck.
     
  10. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Vegas/Jersey
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    You misunderstood me. Trucks hook and unhook all day long. When I spoke, I was talking about a truck that is assigned a trailer or trailers that stay connected with the power unit. When they stay connected the mechanic can adjust the brakes as a set and make sure the brakes all work the same. When you drop the trailer and pick up another one the brakes are not the same or they are not as good as the truck that stays connected.
     
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  11. FlaSwampRat

    FlaSwampRat Road Train Member

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    Valrico FL
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    I could probably be classified as a retarder. Hang around me long enough and I'm bound to drag your iq down.
     
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