This is my first diesel. I tried (just to get some experience) not using my engine brake while crossing East to West, Maryland and West Virginia on I68, 79 and 70. The road was dry and I was getting nailed by strong headwinds. Some of the decending grades were 7%. I followed the advice of choosing one gear lower than I went up the hill. I also follow the advice of stabbing the service brakes to slow the coach and not riding the brakes. This learning was on ten + decents (it seemed all I did that day was go up and down). Coach control was not as consistent as when using the engine brake. The coach did gain some speed, on its' own, but not much (maybe 8-10 mph). Stabbing of the service brakes was received well, by the coach, (not the wife) and I was comfortable with controling the coach using a lower gear and service brakes. At no time did the tranny up shift to a higher gear. My gear selection and speed, at the top of the hill, allowed me to keep the RPMs close to, but below the governed 2200 RPMs.
Your post causes me to think about something I had not considered.
If the tranny did up shift, could I control the coach?
The engine brake is my hill decending plan "A". It works outstandingly. Downshifting the tranny and stabbing the service brakes is my decending plan "B". I thought I had this covered. Guess I need to figure out a safe way to let the engine RPM get high enough so the tranny upshifts on its' own. Then stabbing the service brake may be a really big stab. This will de difficult since the wife hates it when I do these experiments. After 40 years, one would think she'd be used to living with an engineer.
If anyone would like to share their thoughts on hill decending using the lower tranny gear and service brake stabbing, I'd appreciate hearing what experience has taught you. Any other ideas on this will really be appreciated.
For me it is important to have more than knowledge. It is important to have some experience to understand how one could stay safe if the real situation happens.
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
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