Jake's in the rain / wet road on steep grades

Topic 20443 | Page 1

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OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
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What's the best practise ( heavy and light loads ) for using Jake's on wet downgrades.. Like the long 5-6 degree western passes?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Well for light loads you don't have as much to worry about, of course. You could probably get down the passes with very little or no Jake brake and not worry about it. And of course the heavier loads are putting so much downforce on the tires that most of the time, especially in a straight line, you wouldn't have to worry too much about the tires breaking loose.

Generally speaking, what I used to do on dry roads is allow the Jakes to do pretty much all of the work themselves, with very little input from me on the foot pedal at all.

If the roads were wet I would still let the Jakes to quite a bit of the work, but I would go a little slower to back them off just a bit by using a slightly lower RPM range than I would on dry roads and use a little more foot pedal, especially in the curves. If it was a fairly tight curve I would never let the Jakes be on without using the foot pedal at the same time. I tried to make sure I was either on the foot pedal in the curves, or was coasting through the curves with no brakes at all if the situation allowed for it, but I tried to never use just the Jakes in a curve. And I tried never to get on the brakes part way through a curve. When you see a curve coming get on the brakes before you get to it and hold them soft and steady throughout the curve.

The other thing you want to try to avoid on wet roads is kicking the Jake on suddenly at higher RPM. You want to ease into it the same way you want to ease into the brakes using the foot pedal instead of instantly stabbing them with force. So if you have a multi-stage Jake, kick on the first stage, then the second, then the third. If you don't have multi-stage Jakes then make sure you kick them on when you're at a lower RPM and then let the RPM's build up until you need the foot pedal to slow you down again. You'll probably keep the Jakes engaged all the way down the hill and use the foot pedal when necessary to back down your speed a little bit.

Finally, on slick roads it's better to manually engage both of your drive axles if your truck has a setting for that. That way the Jakes aren't just slowing the truck with one drive axle, they're slowing it with both drive axles, so you have less chance of the tires breaking loose.

For anyone that has a Johnny bar in the truck, which is a way to activate only the trailer brakes, leave it alone. Don't try to get fancy or creative with that thing. You can break those trailer tires loose or build up too much heat in the trailer brakes quicker than you might imagine. Use a combination of the foot pedal and the Jakes.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
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Thanks Brett. All this stuff is starting to make perfect sense to me now...lol.

Errol V.'s Comment
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The engine retarders are often called "Jake Brakes", but they really are not brakes. The system actually controls the speed of the engine, and then the speed of your truck.

The retarder does take a load off the brake system. Now you can use your "real" brake to adjust the speed you are rolling at - to stay under 40mph, or to slow a bit behind a slower car or truck.

Unholychaos's Comment
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What's the best practise ( heavy and light loads ) for using Jake's on wet downgrades.. Like the long 5-6 degree western passes?

In my experience, which is not much so take it with a grain of salt, it's best to not use the Jakes at all in wet conditions. Safest bet is to slow down and keep the speed low and steady when going down a grade in during slick conditions. As long as you arrive alive, dispatchers and customers understand weather delays.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Pete B.'s Comment
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Generally speaking, what I used to do on dry roads is allow the Jakes to do pretty much all of the work themselves, with very little input from me on the foot pedal at all.

Yeah, I pretty much use the jakes all the time as well...and when my downshifting goes awry i usually realize I've left them on!

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