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Old 06-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Earl E View Post
x2. No, don't use the trailer brakes to slow down the truck--that will burn them out real fast. If you are riding the brakes you are going downhill way too fast or in the wrong gear. There are many passes in the West--and I've been over most of them--when I went downhill even slower than I crept up them. When I had a 1/2 ton pulling a smaller trailer than you, I went down in 1st many times. I hate those cars pilling up behind me so I pulled over a lot, but I went down slow.
Or you have too light a vehicle for the weight you're towing.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:12 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
That stab breaking is a relic from the past. Extreme heating and cooling of the brakes by stabbing makes no sense, but some want to believe they can outsmart simple physics.

You need to learn to operate your transmission. Find the gear that will hold the desired speed while keeping the brake usage to a minimum. If your tow vehicle cannot control the the trailer, you need more truck.

The drum brakes on trailers are pathetic and will fade much quicker than the tow vehicle brakes. Over-using these brakes will only cause problems.
Actually stabbing the brakes is still taught in RV driving classes and published in modern magazines plus in truck driving courses.
I guess if that's outmoded no one seems to know it.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:45 PM   #45
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I live in Santa Fe, NM and have been driving mountain roads since I started driving. I first learned to drive in the mountains. Presently I tow a 32ft 14k lb 5th with a RAM 3500 turbo diesel. I also upgraded my trailer brakes from electric drum to EoH disk brakes. I'll never tow a large trailer with drum brakes again! A long shot from a half ton PU. But I use my gears first, then the engine's exhaust brake, and last option are the regular brakes. I make it over many passes without ever touching the regular brakes. If the truck/trailer brakes are needed I use them before starting into a turn so that my slowest speed is at the start of the turn and allow the truck's speed to increase some in the turn. You have much better steering control while *accelerating not while braking. I can always drop into lower range and then I have to apply power to just go downhill.

What others have said about about your weight and allowed weights for the truck are very important and must be heeded for safety. Yes the rule of thumb is use the same gear going down as used going up. Frequently, I'll use one gear lower going downhill. If I'm stacking up traffic I pull over where its safe and let them pass in safety.

The I-40 pull west out-of Albuquerque is long and may take sometime in a lower gear.

In mountain driving always be safe first and enjoy the views.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:26 PM   #46
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I live in Santa Fe, NM and have been driving mountain roads since I started driving. I first learned to drive in the mountains.
Do you know anything about the drive from Albuquerque ->Farmington ->Cortez ->Monument Valley ->Page ->Grand Canyon -> Phoenix -> Tucson ->Carlsbad?

Looks like that stretch from Farmington across the Colorado Plateau to Page is pretty desolate.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:43 PM   #47
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All the talk about too light truck for the trailer but bottom line, no matter what size truck you are driving you could still ind yourself in this same situation.
I have driven oversized 18 wheeler loads over the Rockies, specifically Loveland Pass (load was too big to fit through Eisenhower Tunnel) one thing I learned, whatever ever gear you go up the hill in, go down in the same gear or one lower. Don't worry about the hundred honking horns behind you.
You can go down the hill too slow a thousand times, but you will only go down too fast once.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:51 PM   #48
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There are many areas out here in the southwest some people call desolate, I consider those areas to be interesting and relaxing to drive. Just know where the next fuel stop is and what your mileage range is. Hey, that's just my perspective on our open spaces. There are many long sections in that route you won't have to fight city traffic.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #49
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Actually stabbing the brakes is still taught in RV driving classes and published in modern magazines plus in truck driving courses.
I guess if that's outmoded no one seems to know it.
Old habits and customs die hard. Think about it, though. Is it easier to heat steel by using friction, or cool it with convection using ambient air?

The answer seems clear to me.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:02 PM   #50
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Living in Phoenix you get to know all about mountain driving. I pull a 6500 lb tt with a half ton Tundra. Been all through the western and central US with my setup. No problems. Take your time, start on top of steep grades at lower speeds and lower gears. If you start accelerating, slow down and possibly select a lower gear if needed. Going uphill, find the gear that will keep you chugging along and downshift if you are getting too slow. You will find the right comfortable speed.
Do not be afraid to use high rpm's if needed. Your truck will be fine as long as you are not in the red. Do not let the cars, trucks, etc. passing you up affect your comfort level. Slow and steady!
Also, your Ram is a similar setup to my Tundra. It will do fine.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:16 PM   #51
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I think all of this is a judgement call that is learned with time and experience. The important thing is to approach it in a conservative manner. If you start down a gear that is too low you can always shift up or the other way 'round. The important thing is to do the next downshift before the vehicle gains too much speed and/or the brakes get hot. I'm reminded again of the song "Wolf Creek Pass". When you hit the brake and it feels like stepping on a plum, you may have a problem.

I grew up on a farm in the hilly Eastern panhandle of WV. There were several old one and a half ton flatbed trucks from the '40s that had no brakes at all and were only used on the farm to haul hay or to get pulpwood out of the woods. The only way to slow them down was through the unsynchronized gearbox using engine compression. It was very important to be in the right gear before starting down a hill. That is what I learned to drive with and somehow I survived. It has served me well.

The whole point is to be careful and not to rely on brakes alone.

Just my 2c.

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Old 06-03-2016, 05:36 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
There are many areas out here in the southwest some people call desolate, I consider those areas to be interesting and relaxing to drive. Just know where the next fuel stop is and what your mileage range is. Hey, that's just my perspective on our open spaces. There are many long sections in that route you won't have to fight city traffic.
Oh, I don't mean that in a critical way. I just mean sparsely populated, really long way between fuel stops, etc. If i wanted Manhatten and the density of the Eastern seaboard, i wouldn't be going to the Southwest. I apologize if my question came across the wrong way.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:23 AM   #53
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A man is driving his new convertible on a mountain road. Another convertible comes in the opposite direction. The woman driving looks at him and shouts "Pig!". Being a quick thinker, he shouts back "Cow!". He smugly continues around the curve and runs into a pig in the middle of the road.

If your visibility is limited around the curve, would you be able to stop if an animal or boulder or stopped vehicle suddenly entered your field of view? If the answer is a definite No, then you are going too fast. What is the potential outcome? Some crumpled metal and you sitting in the ditch, or a Thelma and Louise moment? We passed such an event last year above Santa Fe. Mountain road, curve, black ice, no guard rail, driver possibly showing off for his date. It made the driving experience much more real.

Sure, you may hold up traffic for a few minutes, but when you all get to the bottom of the hill uneventfully, all is immediately forgotten and everybody gets on with their day.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:44 PM   #54
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A man is driving his new convertible on a mountain road. Another convertible comes in the opposite direction. The woman driving looks at him and shouts "Pig!". Being a quick thinker, he shouts back "Cow!". He smugly continues around the curve and runs into a pig in the middle of the road.
LOL, There is an "accident" in front of our S&B about every 2-3 days. Hill and then a major intersection. Traffic stops for the traffic light and the chuckle head who is in a hurry slams on his/her brakes and skids into the stopped cars....
AL
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:43 PM   #55
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LOL, There is an "accident" in front of our S&B about every 2-3 days. Hill and then a major intersection. Traffic stops for the traffic light and the chuckle head who is in a hurry slams on his/her brakes and skids into the stopped cars....
AL

These days they're probably looking down at their phone texting or updating social media. As long as you look up every four or five seconds it's okay right?
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:03 PM   #56
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I don't think this is true. Basically the same amount of heat will be generated with the "stab" braking technique as any other braking technique, because the brakes will have worked just as hard to slow the vehicle down as if they had been steadily used to maintain the same general speed.

What I mean is that if the vehicle starts at the top of the grade at 25 MPH, and finishes the grade at 25 MPH, and only the brakes are used to slow the vehicle, either technique will result in the same amount of heat in the braking system by the time you reach the bottom.

This is why only very light braking, or preferably none at all, is much better than any kind of firm braking technique, as it is far easier to generate heat through friction than it is for air to remove it.

I drove truck for a few years, and my technique was to use the gear that held the truck back (using engine brakes) without any brake use at all in case I needed to make an emergency stop. I still believe this is the very best plan. If that means the gas engine pickup descends a hill in first gear, than that is the plan I would go with.

I'm more than happy to be proven wrong on this issue.
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
I have tried to make this point many times, good luck getting the point across. How folks can believe that extreme heating and cooling is somehow better than moderate heating is beyond me.
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Actually stabbing the brakes is still taught in RV driving classes and published in modern magazines plus in truck driving courses.
I guess if that's outmoded no one seems to know it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
Old habits and customs die hard. Think about it, though. Is it easier to heat steel by using friction, or cool it with convection using ambient air?

The answer seems clear to me.
For your reading pleasure..........

Downhill Braking

downhill braking,truck accidents,air brakes,runaway accidents


Times change........methods change.....information improves
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