Jake Brakes In The Rain

Topic 12261 | Page 1

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Lusherra J.'s Comment
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Is it OK to use Jake brakes in the rain

G-Town's Comment
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Is it OK to use Jake brakes in the rain

Not a good idea.

Pat M.'s Comment
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I sure wish you guys would give reasons for your answers. Just saying not a good idea could apply to getting in a truck in the first place. I use the jake all the time in the rain and even on snow and ice. It's not that you cannot use it, it is that you need to know how to use it.

Would I suggest that a new driver use the jakes the same that I do. NO I don't. Pulling the heavy loads that I do, I need to use the jakes but carefully. For instance, I start slowing down WAAAYYY sooner than normal but not 5 miles back. The jake is set on the lowest setting and the RPMs are lower when I allow it to activate.

So is it ok to use the jakes in the rain, I would say yes it is once you know your truck and the effect the jake has on the truck.

Can this be dangerous? Yes it can. Especially for people that panic easily. Am I endangering myself and others? Not in the slightest way. But, it does take a level of confidence and some common sense driving. They also say not to shift on a hill and I do it all the time. I understand the reason they say that but I have also learned through experience, and I want to stress experience, that it is completely safe to do.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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I sure wish you guys would give reasons for your answers. Just saying not a good idea could apply to getting in a truck in the first place. I use the jake all the time in the rain and even on snow and ice. It's not that you cannot use it, it is that you need to know how to use it.

Would I suggest that a new driver use the jakes the same that I do. NO I don't. Pulling the heavy loads that I do, I need to use the jakes but carefully. For instance, I start slowing down WAAAYYY sooner than normal but not 5 miles back. The jake is set on the lowest setting and the RPMs are lower when I allow it to activate.

So is it ok to use the jakes in the rain, I would say yes it is once you know your truck and the effect the jake has on the truck.

Can this be dangerous? Yes it can. Especially for people that panic easily. Am I endangering myself and others? Not in the slightest way. But, it does take a level of confidence and some common sense driving. They also say not to shift on a hill and I do it all the time. I understand the reason they say that but I have also learned through experience, and I want to stress experience, that it is completely safe to do.

Sorry...didn't have time to give a concise answer, thanks.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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First of all I agree that as a rookie you should be very careful about using the Jake brakes unless the road is dry. But if you're going to use Jake brakes and the road surface isn't dry then you should turn the power down on them just a bit and reduce engine RPM a bit as Pat had mentioned.

The most important thing to do though if you're using them on wet or snowy roads is to make sure you use them in conjunction with the foot pedal. The problem with Jake brakes is that they're only using your tractor drive tires to slow the vehicle. Too much braking force on a set of wheels can lock them up. If you lock up the drive tires your tractor is going to want to jackknife.

The foot brake will apply force to all sets of axles, thereby distributing the braking force more evenly against all of your axles. That's why it's safer on slick roads.

So say you know a good downgrade is coming and the road is wet. You might normally run the downgrade using nothing but your Jakes when the road is dry, putting it in 8th gear and letting the RPM's run up to 1,500. But now that the road is wet you don't want that much braking force generated by the Jake brake alone so you might still go down the hill in 8th gear but you're going to bump the power of the Jake down to medium or low instead of keeping them on high and use your foot pedal to make up for the lower power of the Jake. Or you might go down in 7th gear instead of 8th with the Jakes at a lower setting and using your foot brake to help out.

Regardless of your technique, the idea is to use less braking power from the Jake brakes and more from the foot pedal as road conditions deteriorate.

Pat M.'s Comment
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I knew Brett would be able to type it out better than I could... I know what I mean but my fingers can not put it down on the keyboard.... LOL

Thanks Brett.

Matt M.'s Comment
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To add to the above, I would only jake in slick conditions on a straightaway, in the curves you are much more likely to run into unrecoverable problems if the trailer starts pushing you around.

Matt M.'s Comment
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Also, philosophically I look at things like this in the following manner:

If something went wrong and I got into a wreck, and I'm not following company directive, what will happen to me?

Prime tells me not to use cruise control in the rain, so I don't. There are certainly loads and light rain it would be perfectly safe to do so; however, if something bad did happen, it's on me. Prime will see that I was using cruise control, know that it was wet conditions, and I'm going to be fired. What if I killed someone? I would likely go to prison.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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These guys are veterans, I'm a rookie. A rookie that (long story) wound up driving four different FL Cascadias in one week and found them all to be completely different. The gear shifts were wider or narrower, the steering tighter or looser, the clutch deeper or more shallow. And something I wasn't expecting.... the jakes are different.

In my first trainer's truck, if the cruise control was set and I hit the jake, it came on right away.. it was obvious and i could feel it. In my second trainer's truck, I hit the jake on cruise and nothing happened. The light was on, and I asked, "What happened? Where's the jake?" The trainer told me it was on. THIS freaked me out and I slowed it down a great deal cause it was not working. I even told her to take it into the shop and have it looked at. I realized after watching my trainer her next shift that her jake does not activate until you are going 10 mph above the cruise setting. Translation: I set it at 63 mph, and jake would not kick on until we were flying at 73 mph--- downhill, cause otherwise I wouldn't need it, right?

So to deal with this, I either decelerate the cruise control so it activates earlier, or i just turn the cruise off and turn on the jake. Perhaps this the wrong thing to do.... but I'm not flying anywhere at that speed LOL.

I use the jake in the rain, but I feel comfortable driving in the rain and snow--- I just slow way down when I have to. The ice, I was told never to use the jake on ice so I don't.

I think having more car drive time makes a difference as well as where you normally drive. (going to show my age now) I got my auto license 25 years ago, and live in the Northeast where we are used to flooding and snow. We even have a few mountains here and there. One person in my class only had his license for one year. Another had a license for five years, but never had to drive. Their city was a commuter type and he only used the license for identification. Someone else grew up down south and never even saw snow, let alone drove in it. All of our experiences will affect how we drive and how long it takes for us to learn.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
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To add to the above, I would only jake in slick conditions on a straightaway, in the curves you are much more likely to run into unrecoverable problems if the trailer starts pushing you around.

Remember, Jakes slow the drive wheels only. That's the "front" wheels for the trailer. In slick conditions, if the front part wants to slow down but the back part doesn't get the news, the possibility of a jackknife goes up whether you're on straight or curved roads.

It's a judgement call,

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