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Author Topic: Down-Hill Driving....Automatic  (Read 4719 times)
John316
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2009, 06:34:53 PM »

Jim, sorry I haven't looked at this thread sooner. Welcome aboard. Thanks for all of the great advice. It is great to get another old time trucker on here. It sounds like you have some pretty incredible experience. I might have missed it, but where are you in Saskatchewan? I have only been up to Saskatoon. Don't worry about NJT5573. We are usually nicer around here (unless we are talking about politics Grin).

We are going to be getting Jakes on our bus very soon. We have needed them very badly. It will be nice to get some more stopping power.

And while we are swapping millage stories, I don't have much of one. I have just been to all of the lower forty eight states, and eight Canadian provinces (that includes PEI, I am not sure it that qualifies)...

Prevost82, we were through your town last March. Nice area. Then we went all the way up the Fraser River valley, and that was without Jakes Shocked (we are trying to help the economic recovery, and are supporting the brake dealers Grin Cheesy Grin). That was the trip that we decided that Jakes would be very nice. BTW, you Canadians put your roads right through a mountain, we Americans go around the mountains Grin Grin Grin (I don't mean anything against you guys. We loved the whole trip, and want to go back next year.)

We also saw some of what the logging companies do up there. Pretty incredible. If the logging companies use jakes all the time, so will we. They have far more tough experience than I will ever have.

Thanks for the info guys.

God bless,

John 
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2009, 11:53:41 PM »

Im one of the inexperienced newbies that this thread referred to. I haven't driven anything larger then 27 feet with hydrolic brakes before. I think I am getting a bus within the next couple of weeks. It has air brakes and I have someone to teach me how to drive it. I think after reading this thread I want Jakes, but I cant afford them and I am going to go very slow down hills in low gear with everyone passing me. Thank you guys for this thread, it may save my children's lives some day!
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The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
Lin
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2009, 12:34:50 AM »

I think that no one can argue with the concept that the more slowing options that better.  It is also good advice to understand the function and maintenance of whatever equipment you have.  You can live without Jakes or retarders, but it is certainly better to have them.  Obviously though, having a retarder does not mean that you can ignore your brake system or should not know how to drive without the retarder.  I do not have any, but always consider installing one.  Right now, everyone passes me going up hill and everyone passes me on the way down.  Can't say I love it that way, but I can live with it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2009, 07:11:51 AM »

Welcome  Jim !  Yep I had one of those chauffeur licenses   I haven't heard that one for awhile you must be "old"

I have got lots of experience driving  Mount Blackstrap with my bus Smiley  Saskatchewan's highest mountain with its harrowing twisting turns.  (I think its the highest Smiley )

Welcome again
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Diesel_Gypsy
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2009, 09:32:35 AM »

Im one of the inexperienced newbies that this thread referred to. I haven't driven anything larger then 27 feet with hydrolic brakes before. I think I am getting a bus within the next couple of weeks. It has air brakes and I have someone to teach me how to drive it. I think after reading this thread I want Jakes, but I cant afford them and I am going to go very slow down hills in low gear with everyone passing me. Thank you guys for this thread, it may save my children's lives some day!

Happycamperbrat

You don't mention where you are from, but here in Canada you need to have an air brake endorsment on your license to be legal to drive with air brakes. I think that the US probably has something similar. But DON'T FRET, the air brake course is one of the best things that the government has come up with. It is a wealth of information on air braking systems and equipment. They provide a very good manual (at least here they do) and the test (yes, there is a test) is just a theory (paper) test.

Air brakes are VERY DIFFERENT from hydraulic brakes and a good understanding of them is essential to safe operation.

Glad to hear that you are "movin up". Busses are great fun, but I have to warn you about one thing. . . . .You won't ever be happy with a "sticks and staples" camper again! Grin

Happy Bussin'
Jim

P.S.  Truck salvage yards have lots of Jakes for Detroit Diesels at cheap prices
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Jim Luthje

1948 TDH3610 - 361 MH
1975 T6H4523N - C145

Baldwinton, Sk.
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2009, 10:40:04 AM »

John 316

Hi, I'm about two and a half hours north west of Saskatoon.

You mentioned log haulers and Jake brakes. I used to haul logs into Grande Prairie AB. We ran basically highway type trucks, but hauling on private roads, we weren't limited on load. So we typically tried to stay between 175,000 and 200,000 lbs. This was on 5 axles (basic 18 wheeler). We had 12 ft wide bunks on the truck and the wood was all loaded butt end ahead so we would usually be about 16 ft high. The logs were all tree length so the whole load was over 100 ft long. I wish I could have seen some of the people's faces when I met them at night on the road and I flipped on my backup lights to light up the load of logs. The brake lights always came on pretty fast when they saw that wide load. Bear in mind those logging roads were often very narrow.

Anyway, back to brakes. . . Those log roads were often about 18 to 25% grades, sometimes more. And they dragged snow across them to fill in the holes to make a road, so on a warm day it got so slick that I've had the truck start sliding off the road when I was parked on a bit of a slope! We had big air gauges for application pressure mounted right on top of the dash. The normal procedure when coming up to a steep hill was to gear down and throw on the Jake, Pull the retarder lever back all the way, use the trailer spike to apply about 60 lbs of air to the trailer, and use the foot pedal to apply about 30 lbs of air to the tractor brakes. Then suck in your breath and roll over the top and hope that you weren't too brave by not putting on any "jewelery"! Set up like this, the first wheels to start "kicking out" would be the drives. If this happened, (and it did lots!) I would immediately release the tractor service brakes. If this didn't help enough, I would also release the retarder. All of this usually meant picking up another gear because the speed would be climbing too fast for the engine. Then I'd try to get things under control again by applying brakes again til it would start kicking again and we go through the whole procedure again. The scariest thing is when you run out of gears and you have to kick it into "Mexican" and rely only on your air brakes to slow the thing down. Shocked
That's when you tell yourself that "chains are good, chains are your friend, next time PUT ON THE JEWELERY!" (but where are the bragging rights in that?)

I miss those days, driving skills stayed pretty polished back then. . .

Anyway, Ive bored you long enough for now

Later
Jim
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Jim Luthje

1948 TDH3610 - 361 MH
1975 T6H4523N - C145

Baldwinton, Sk.
cody
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« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2009, 10:57:02 AM »

http://www.thedieselgypsy.com/
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Diesel_Gypsy
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« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2009, 11:23:18 AM »

Cody

Wow, what a great site. It's funny that I'd never heard of him before.

Thanks for the link

later. . .
Jim
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Jim Luthje

1948 TDH3610 - 361 MH
1975 T6H4523N - C145

Baldwinton, Sk.
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« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2009, 11:26:45 AM »

Jim, I thought you might find that interesting.  One our busnuts here dug it up and we thought it was interesting.
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John316
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« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2009, 11:55:35 AM »

Jim,

Thanks for the post. That was great. Logging truck drivers are some that I have always admired. Driving those rigs takes such skill, thought, and plain guts. I have seen some of those logging roads, and they are incredible. Thanks for the advice. I for one will heed it.

That is interesting that you used to truck into Grand Prairie. We were up in Cleardale AB (north) a while ago. We ended up getting a ride Grand Prairie for bus parts. All the way up there we had a broken stud Sad. It couldn't have been a worse time. Anyways we were blessed to be able to use a logging company's fully equipped garage, to fix the bus in. I will spare you all of the details Grin.

God bless,

John
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2009, 02:15:00 PM »

Hi! I live in California and plan on being a fair weather driver Smiley As far as the air brake certification, yes they have it here but it only applies to commercial drivers not to motorhomes that just happened to be a bus once upon a time. I dont know about other states or countries though....
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The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
johns4104s
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« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2009, 05:44:29 AM »



Well I know 5000 plus 4104,s and thousands of 4106,s were built and on the road without Jakes, Talk about experience, those greyhound drives sure had experience. I wonder how they handled it in the Canadian and US terrain. I talked to lots of them who drove on ice etc. Never heard one comment on how there would of liked to have jakes. I guess with a full load of passengers they didn't drive like a bat out of hell on the grades.

John
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2009, 06:56:10 AM »

This thread seems to have drifted a long way from the OP question.  Its not about whether or not you can get downhill without Jakes because obviously you can.  Otherwise the bottom of every mountain pass would be littered with the remains of countless non-Jaked equipment that failed to make it down the pass.  The OP wanted to know how to get downhill WITH Jakes safely.  My advice is start slow and figure out what % of grade in what gear and at what speed your Jakes can handle with your coach loaded the way you load it.  Then stay under that speed on that grade.  That way you will arrive at the bottom of the hill with cool brakes ready to make a panic stop when the proverbial little girl with a kitten steps off the curb in front of you.

For us that magic speed is 50 MPH in 9th gear on a 6% grade.  YMMV.
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