N00b Questions You (Probably) Have But Were Afraid To Ask!

Topic 19135 | Page 8

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Pianoman's Comment
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Plan B says:

I'd like to ask for any advice or tips on a situation that almost turned catastrophic on me a few weeks ago.

I completely agree with Rainy. You handled it well but probably should have been parked.

As far as the braking, you just learned the hard way why we're taught not to use the engine brake in slick conditions. Contrary to what your trainer said, it is best to stick to the service brakes when dealing with low-traction situations. If you feel you have enough traction to use the engine brake, lightly apply the service brake along with it to help avoid a tractor jackknife (I learned this from G-town--gotta give credit where it's due). If you do experience a tractor jackknife, the quickest way out is to apply throttle. It will disengage the engine brake just like you did and force the drives to start turning again hopefully before it's too late.

It's good that you were aware of the possibility of heating up your brakes too much, but don't let that fear keep you from using your service brakes.

I ended up using a pattern of staying off the brake until 15 mph and then applying brake till under 10 mph, over and over again until I got down the hill. I was very concerned about the brakes heating up, but I made it.

This is exactly the right thing to do. The combination of the low speeds, cold weather, and braking technique should keep the brakes from heating up too much. I don't know why the other Prime truck's trailer brakes caught fire, but they must have either been out of adjustment or the driver wasn't using the technique you were.

Great job keeping your cool! You kept your head and stayed in control of the situation. Very impressive.

Rainy D.'s Comment
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