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Old 03-28-2012, 07:57 PM   #15
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I was a long haul driver a few years back and when I went over the rockies I used the next lowest gear not to red line and i pumped the breaks as I went down went very well and used the jake never had a brake fire like I saw all the time at the bottom of the grape vine in cal try to remover to adjust your breaks before going down the mtn. They have pullovers at the top of the mtn. To adjust your breaks before you go down. Pull over and ask a driver how to adjust your break he will be very happy to help. I hope this helps you and be safe and have fun. David

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Old 03-28-2012, 07:59 PM   #16
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Sorry ps that is if you have air brakes

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:30 PM   #17
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Thats not only if you have air brakes, Its manditory in most places are far as I know to do a brake check and with regular brakes as well if your trailer is over 4600Kg / 10,400lbs. this is the same brake check you should be doing pre trip.
08 F350 King Ranch hauling a 09 28' Jazz 5th wheel.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Funfor4 View Post
What's everyone think? Everyday use, not just hills
What kind of vehicle are we talking about?
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DriVer
What kind of vehicle are we talking about?
97 goergie boy pursuit. 32'. Nothing too big. I'm also talking coming to a red light or stop sign. The guy I bought it from recommend doing that
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #20
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Funny - the OP said everyday use, not just hills. I think only one person paid attention to that.

For the most part, we don't even use engine braking while racing. Wrong tool for the job. The purpose of downshifting is to be at the proper place in the power band when you ask for horsepower. The brakes are already powerful enough to slide the tires. Applying additional retardation with the engine provides no additional benefit.

If you have a manual transmission, if you don't heel and toe you are putting a lot of stress on the synchros. If you heel and toe, there's a non zero probability that you will select 1st instead of 3rd, or 2nd instead of 4th, and in that case the rev limiter will not save you from bent valves, shredded timing belts, and rods in the oil pan.

If you have an automatic (that's not a PDK), the guys that designed it have a much better idea of what's good for the engine and gearbox than the driver.

In non-hill use, the only place where downshifting has a place is practicing for your track day or canyon running. If the brakes are not up to the task, it's cheaper to buy a set of calipers and rotors than a re-build.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gfs1943 View Post
In most of the flatlands/rolling hills, brakes are for stopping. Downshifting and the exhaust brake are for slowing down -- or preventing speed from getting too high to start with. Like randyranger and scenic route stated, in the mountains it's a different story.
Ditto x 2. However, after 100,000 miles on my Cat 330 with Exhaust brake usage anytime I did hills, etc I still must have heated up my rotors enough to crack one a little too much for a good clean up when turned. (There was a trip when my exhaust brake did not activate due to a bad $6.00 relay.) Must have been that time. I replaced the rotors for $ 200 each and new pads. Invoice still came to $100 per year for the 9 years I have owned the Rig. I don't worry about the Allison Transmission. Down shift to avoid brake failure. You will be replacing much more than a transmission if that happens.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:52 PM   #22
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I think there's too many variables here to come up with a generic answer? I think it's pretty obvious a 30K lb rig is going to demand a different driving style than one half that weight? Exhaust brake vs. none? Then you bring on varying conditions? How can you answer this question with all these variables?

I think if I were in a gasser and needed to stop quickly for whatever reason, assuming I had the presence of mind to do it, I would downshift AND climb into the brakes. Same scenario in a DP, assuming the exhaust brake were turned on, it would downshift by itself when I need to stop short, allowing me to pay attention to what's going on with the brakes.

Coasting up to a light, I've been watching/playing, I might not use either the trans or the brakes?

The only generic answer I can come up with is that after driving the coach for a few thousand miles, IT will tell you what it likes....
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:05 PM   #23
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Hi, I agree with the post about downshifting at the top of the hill and let the tranny hold you back with a little braking. I went down 10% grades in second gear towing a Honda on a dolly with electric brakes and didn't have any heating of brakes or smell. I also believe to go up the hill in the same gear you came down it.
One thing I will say is that if the RPM's get to high on an Alison tranny it will upshift by it self. Also if you say are in 2nd and try to put it in first it won't go but stay in second. That Alison is one smart transmission.
In conclusion always downshift at the top of the hill and gently tap the brakes if you need them

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Old 07-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #24
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Typically brakes for normal driving, and Jake compression and down gears for hills.

If in stop and go traffic on the highway, where speeds do not climb above say 40-45MPH, I will use low Jake, which drops the trans into 4th. Provides another option to just take the foot off of the fuel pedal to keep up/down with the flow of traffic.

Best to all, be safe, have fun,

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