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Old 12-04-2004, 03:32 AM   #1
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how to you guys tow down steep hills?
one guy i was with shifted his truck in "2nd" gear all the way down to prevent the need to use the breaks.

the motor seemed to be hi on the rpm's


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Old 12-04-2004, 03:32 AM   #2
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how to you guys tow down steep hills?
one guy i was with shifted his truck in "2nd" gear all the way down to prevent the need to use the breaks.

the motor seemed to be hi on the rpm's


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Old 12-04-2004, 04:32 AM   #3
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I have a automatic and will downshift but will keep the speed down so I don't overrev the engine. I use the brakes sparingly as needed to keep the RPM's down.

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Old 12-04-2004, 04:42 AM   #4
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thnks...i have a diesel also
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Old 12-04-2004, 05:26 AM   #5
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Tell us what you are towing & tow rig, engine, tranny etc. so we have a better idea what you can do to improve your braking if needed. There are things you can change to improve braking such as exhaust brake, locking TC,etc. Doug is absolutly correct about gearing down to control speed. If you need to use 1St. gear, so be it. If you overheat the brakes you can loose the whole thing to say nothing about endangering others.

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Old 12-04-2004, 05:44 AM   #6
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I have the Ford V-10 gasser. Gear down in 2nd hitting the brake to keep revs down.

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Old 12-04-2004, 07:26 AM   #7
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:07 AM   #8
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Hello Any This is what I was taught in driving school. Gear down and then control your speed with braking. When your speed builds up get on the brakes aggressively enough to slow down about 10 mph. Then get off the brakes until the speed builds up again. If you ride the brakes as some do if the brakes are slightly out of adjustment only a couple brakes could do it all and overheat. By slowing down you brake hard enough to use all the brakes. I watch my rpms also to not overspeed and damage the engine.
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Old 12-04-2004, 05:34 PM   #9
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i have a 2500 Chevy Duramax, Allison and on steep hills it holds back just fine. It will downshift if needed to hold the speed down. Great tranny, just hope it stays great.
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:59 AM   #10
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Dagwood has hit it right on the head. His solution is straight from the commercial truck book and I have used this method myself. While descending go slow enough to control your braking when needed. Forget about the guy that just blew by you at 60 mph. He can't stop in an emergency if needed. I had a lot of people go by me on a mt grade but I felt safte. I would hit the brakes hard then let up so they would cool down as i coasted some more. When the speed built back up about 10 mph or so I hit them again. This keeps your brakes cool and doesn't overheat them like riding the brakes all the way down will.

Also, an exhaust brake on a diesel helps a lot.

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Old 12-05-2004, 03:34 AM   #11
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Prior planning may be as important as the techniques used during the decent. I was stunned several years ago when I learned the annual NYS vehicle inspections require only one wheel to be pulled for brake inspection and that for the most part it was and eye-ball of the pads, drums and/or disks on both the truck and trailer. Since then I pay an extra few bucks to have all the wheels pulled and a complete inspection of all components including repacking the bearings every other year or 10,000 miles.
Within the fist few miles of towing, each day, go through the trailer bake test and set up as described in your brake control manual.
At the first sign of those big orange signs with flashing lights and % marks I get her slowed down in the right lane, 50 mph is fast enough for me, shift down and use Dagwood's method of maintaining speed, up to 60 then back to 50 with firm, smooth application of brakes with foot off pedal in-between. Although I have never been in the situation, I would not be too proud to get the four-ways on below 45 mph if deemed prudent.
To all the vehicles passing at high speed, the start of a smile at the corners of you mouth will do, you can as you pass them buried up to their axils in sand at one of the emergency shoots. Also, keep an eye on the rear view if a big rig is closing fast with head lights flashing keep out of his way and you'll get to twice.

Can someone overdrive experience expand on it's use in these situations?
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Old 12-05-2004, 04:46 AM   #12
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Well said, Mike....

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Old 12-05-2004, 08:55 AM   #13
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I also agree with Mike, Down shift to a lower gear or 2 , to help maintain your speed without over heating the breaks. As far as using my overdrive, as soon as I down shift its not being used. Cruise control wont help keep you slowed to either. take it slow and if the trailer starts to squirm, hit the manual stop on the controller and get it back in line. Don't panic and slam on the breaks.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:58 PM   #14
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Use the same gear that [or a lower gear than] you would use for going up the same hill. Here's what my PA Commercial Driver's Manual states: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Be in the right gear before starting down the grade. Shift the transmissionto a low gear before starting down the grade. Do not try to downshift after your speed has already built up. You will not be able to shift into a lower gear. You may not even be able to get back into any gear and all engine braking effect will be lost. Forcing an automatic transmission into a lower gear at high speed could damage the trasmission and also lead to loss of all engine braking effect.

With older trucks, a rule for choosing gears is to use the same gear going down a hill that you would need to climb the hill. However, new trucks have low frictions parts and streamlined shapes for fuel economy. They may also have more powerful engines. This means they can go up hills in higher gears and have less friction and air drag to hold them back going down hills. For that reason, drivers of modern trucks may have to use lower gears going down a hill than would be required to go up the hill. You should know what is right for your vehicle. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Remember that your RVs handle much in the same way that commercial vehicles do. For that reason, it is a good idea to go to your local BMV and request a Commercial Driver's Manual. These are FREE in PA, and I would speculate that other states are too.


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