Winter Driving Thread

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Turtle's Comment
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I use jake all the time, light to medium on slippery surfaces, full everywhere else. Without jake in rain trailer kicks into anti-lock and I can't stop. Basically I replace my break shoes when they start cracking from age. Light jake and light breaks is safer and works better than just breaks on the snow from my experience. I don't break on black ice, letting the engine do the work. Speed up up hill, roll slow down. Just play with it to get an idea what your truck can and can't do. PS: when 2 or 4 cylinders are used jaking, it works intermittent, kind of a jerky style, anti-lock like. Meaning it still has split second roll, lock, roll action. Do the math.

This is all horrible advice. The FMCSA , NTSB, and all other experts warn against the use of Jakes when conditions are slippery. Study after study has shown that Jake usage under slippery conditions will increase the likelihood of your drive axle losing traction, possibly throwing the tractor into a jackknife.

Without jake in rain trailer kicks into anti-lock and I can't stop.

Then you are clearly driving too fast for the conditions.

Basically I replace my break shoes when they start cracking from age.

So you're concerned more about saving your brake shoes than the danger of a jackknife?

Light jake and light breaks is safer and works better than just breaks on the snow

False. You're only telling yourself that. Slowing to a safe speed and using your service brakes properly is the safest way.

Do the math.

The math has already been done, over and over. You're simply ignoring it.

If you want to play with your life, that's your business. But don't get on a forum full of new drivers and advise them to do the same.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

I don't use jake brakes, I am not even sure what exactly it is. If I can control the truck with service brake and four modes of engine brake, why bother and look for something else? A Russian saying tells that "better is an enemy of good..."

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Exact numbers for temperature, weight, grade can be very misleading and offer a poor service. Correct speed and brake application will come with experience and time, but before that the best thing is to slow down, and then slow down some more.

This is exactly right. There is no exact formula or special sauce. Present conditions will dictate how you need to drive. That can change from one mile to the next. Acute awareness of the road under your tires is the most important thing.

Unfortunately, there really is no better answer than the old adage: just slow down.

Remember that when conditions are slippery, the rain/snow/ice will serve to help cool your brakes more so than in dry conditions. That isn't saying that you can barrel down a hill holding your brakes the whole way, because they will still heat up. Proper controlled braking is still the preferred method.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Jake brakes and engine brakes are the same thing.

Look, as someone gains experience they may experiment a little with engine braking during a light rain or something, depending on conditions. That's up to them. But we're talking winter conditions here, and it's just not advised.

Art M.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle, you may say anything about me being wrong, but the key word in my reply is "from my experience", just in case you've missed it. And there is plenty of it going across the country from Seattle twice a month with no "jackknife" till the date)

PS: about the break shoes wearing out.. if you read between the lines, I am stopping safely, slowly, keeping spare distance for an emergency in case it is needed. When going down the hill on the jake, it is as well in order to be able to stop on the spot in case of a let's say.. cat is suddenly crossing the road in an unspecified area,)

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Art M.'s Comment
member avatar

There is no "Edit" option here, so... forgot to mention, trailer locking up was mentioned when usually empty, breaks get wet, no stopping power, have to press harder, so there it is.. Me has a bit of a brain left to go too fast for the conditions, but I don't think anyone cares anyway))

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is an interesting question that someone considering a new career in trucking might want to know:

If a driver goes out with a trainer during summer months in an area that has snow in the winter, can said driver ask for additional training in the winter since that poses a whole host of issues not encountered in the winter? Obviously this could vary from one company to the next. What advice can experienced drivers provide to rookies who feel they need additional training for winter driving but happen to be with a company that doesn't provide it?

Kerry, any driver can request extra training for a specific purpose and some companies may provide it but my experience is that the companies have an attitude that almost says: “throw him in the lake and he’ll have to learn to swim”. They want you out of the nest hauling freight.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Besides the fact, that wet, rainy conditions, after driving far, and not using your brakes, unfortunately truck/trailer drum brakes don't have backing plates, like cars do. So, all that water gets in between your drums and shoes,soaking everything in there, making them less effective..... Requiring 4-5 possibly or more brake applications, to squeeze out, and kinda dry your shoes to safely slow/stop, hence further need to not be following too close to anything. It's not a fun feeling to hit your brakes, and feel NO initial effect on those first 1-2 applications....Everything comes down to use COMMON SENSE, something that is severely lacking on our roads, be it auto's or trucks...

Cracker Jacks, still giving out driver licenses, for prizes, in every box ???? rofl-1.gif

Was plenty of times, I had to remind myself to apply the brakes exiting the freeway, we don't have instant stopping power with water drenched brake systems. Another reason I would prefer to have disc brakes myself, over drums, but drum systems are cheaper to run.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Here is an interesting question that someone considering a new career in trucking might want to know:

If a driver goes out with a trainer during summer months in an area that has snow in the winter, can said driver ask for additional training in the winter since that poses a whole host of issues not encountered in the winter? Obviously this could vary from one company to the next. What advice can experienced drivers provide to rookies who feel they need additional training for winter driving but happen to be with a company that doesn't provide it?

double-quotes-end.png

Kerry, any driver can request extra training for a specific purpose and some companies may provide it but my experience is that the companies have an attitude that almost says: “throw him in the lake and he’ll have to learn to swim”. They want you out of the nest hauling freight.

So, is that to say all the talk of safety first is lip service. It kind of sounds like it from what you have commented here.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Kerry, safety is very real in the trucking industry. But there are practical limits on how much training companies can do. They put you through their training and then expect you to put on your big boy pants and learn certain things from experience. New drivers who can’t do that don’t last very long.

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