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Old 11-27-2007, 08:05 AM   #15
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I don't recall ever saying that Air Force One met Freightliner's "written requirements." I did say that it should as it meets Bendix, Spartan, and FMVSS 121's requirements. Freightliner has the right to "not recommend or approve" whatever they want to; however, they do not, under the above listed federal law, have to right to void the warranty unless it was found (and documented and explained in "understandable terms") to have caused a problem. That is the law: I didn't write it. I would recommend that everyone (especially those willing to argue it) read though both the Act and the law above just to be aware of their rights. If we don't know our rights, we can't defend them.

We realize that some people prefer a system that is self-contained in the towed vehicle. This is why we offer our newest braking system: the Stay-IN-Play DUO.

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Old 11-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #16
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Brent,

I don't believe that I ever said that your system complied with Freightliner's written requirements? What I did say was, that after all of your details and explanation of your position and system, you "still CANNOT say that you product meets the written requirements of Freightliner." I also completely agreed with you about the fact that under Federal law a warranty cannot be voided simply due to the addition of any accessory or non-factory part. And as far as reading the "law," as you put it, I believe that I have as much experience working with FMVSS and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 (as well as many others) as anyone here through a very long career working with many equipment manufacturers and almost all vehicle manufacturers.

Beyond any warranty issue with Freightliner, everyone should be concerned with the word LIABILITY! Should there ever be an accident that could be related to a mechanical failure, and it was discovered that someone had taken it upon themselves to go against the written policy of any manufacturer, it sure would seem to me that it would be very lonely standing out there on that limb! Here again, liability would have to be proven to relate to a component failure before liability could be assigned. However, I can assure you that any attorney worth their salt would muddy the waters and make an issue out of anyone going against a written policy such as this. Here again, my experience is that I have been involved in testifying in just such cases.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:32 PM   #17
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I can certainly understand Larry's point regarding liability. I know I wouldn't want to be the one swinging in the breeze by myself if something were to happen. I wonder if one company accepted the system, that it wouldn't set a presidence of safe engineering for all other similar air brake systems?
A very slippery slope we have here
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:14 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jestme13:
I wonder if one company accepted the system, that it wouldn't set a presidence of safe engineering for all other similar air brake systems? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We can only hope. In looking at other braking systems out there, it's no wonder why some chassis manufacturers are gun shy. One actually tells you to cut the treadle valve line and tee in! A pre-schooler could look at that and tell you 1. It will dramatically reduce rear-axle braking effort (air to rear brakes diverted causing fronts to work harder) and 2. If there were a failure there would be no rear brakes until the spring-brake kicked in. It's time for a wake-up call. Remember, there is a right and a wrong way to do everything. I have a feeling that the approval "snowball" is starting to form, and hopeful will result in safer braking systems all the way across the board.

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Old 11-27-2007, 04:29 PM   #19
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Steve,

Liability is the key issue. While I have no direct knowledge of Freightliner's reason for their position, I believe it is safe to say that liability is at the heart of the issue. As I stated earlier, I have worked with all the major vehicle/chassis manufacturers and I can assure you that in every decision they make, liability is a key element in the decision making process.

As for another manufacturer's acceptance of a system and setting a "precedence," I would not hang my hat on that one. It may well be that another manufacturer has indeed thought through the installation and approved a process for their product, but that in no way would subject Freightliner to their engineering and force acceptance. Does it help to get the process for approval rolling? Sure. But it does not force Freightliner to accept anything. That is exactly why Freightliner has placed its written position on this issue in multiple locations in documentation where owners are then responsible for their actions and on their own related to liability if there actions created problem.

Will this issue get resolved? Maybe or maybe not. Should it be able to be resolved? Sure. It just depends on how much effort is spent on satisfying Freightliner's requirements. Personally, I believe that Freightliner has done the right thing to take this position until they are satisfied that their systems are not somehow compromised.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:06 PM   #20
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Great debate we have here My thoughts regarding precedence was more with a legal liability if somethone should end up in court due to the unthinkable. A lawyer could argue " well brand X has approved and adopted the practice, why then is it not safe for Brand Y to adopot it " I could not see FCCC ever being forced into a decision based on someone elses decision. This law suit society is a real PITA !
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:28 AM   #21
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As others have posted, consider the US Gear system. I have used it for over 2 years. It works as advertised. Very simple to use. I would make the purchase again.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:00 PM   #22
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have used the us gear braking system since 1999 on 2 motorhomes and 2 toads with no problems. The people at us gear are very helpful if you ned questions answered.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:19 AM   #23
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Jerry, welcome to iRV2.

As you have noted, there are several choices in supplemental braking, and satisfied users of them.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:04 PM   #24
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I have personally been installing M&G towbrake system's on towed vehicles for 15 years.I have had ZERO problem's with hooking into the air brake system on ANY coach.The way in which we install the coach portion of the towbrake in no way affect's the integrity or operation of the coach's braking system.Freightliner cannot void your warranty because you have installed a tow brake.You just need to be smart about who you let repair your coach,dont let Hack's repair it because the price is cheap.There is a right way & wrong way to do everything,Freightliner is just grouping all of it together!
A bigger issue is to have no towed braking system at all.Then the lawyer's will have a feild day knowing you could have stopped quicker,but you were not totally legal.
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #25
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Well, I guess I see a couple of other things as being important... That the person selling and installing the device knowing full well that Freightliner not only does not endorse the process, but clearly states their opinion saying it should not be done, have lots of insurance and a good legal staff should there be an accident. Additionally, if I were a customer and someone suggested and sold the installation to me knowing full well the installation was in direct conflict with Freightliner's written policy, and didn't advise me of such, I would see them in court on that issue alone when I found out. You owe your customers full disclosure (and you better be doing that in writing). I believe without that, a first year law student could take this on and win it hands down. With full disclosure, If a customer then decides to take the risk/responsibility, the liability is then theirs.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:04 AM   #26
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This has been an interesting discussion and I wonder how many of us do things everyday that is not in "accordance" with our motor home or engine manufacturer's recommendations. I know I use an anti-gel additive in my CAT engine but I also know that CAT does not recommend use of anti-gel additives.

As for tow brakes, I had the opportunity to do a great deal of research on the subject prior to purchasing my motor home. I have concerns with many of them but decided that SMI's Air Force One was the best for my Freightliner chassis motor home and towed vehicle. I don't know about the other brake manufacturers and their relationships with chassis manufacturers, but I feel better about SMI knowing that they are working with the chassis manufacturers and trying to resolve their uncertainties. The fact that they've been successful with some of them tells me they are doing things correctly. If you have questions and concerns about any of the systems, call the manufacturer and ask questions - the harder the question the better.

As another point to ponder, do any of the auto manufacturers support the use of any of the auxilary braking systems we use?
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:33 AM   #27
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 06 Tradewinds:
Well, I guess I see a couple of other things as being important... That the person selling and installing the device knowing full well that Freightliner not only does not endorse the process, but clearly states their opinion saying it should not be done, have lots of insurance and a good legal staff should there be an accident. Additionally, if I were a customer and someone suggested and sold the installation to me knowing full well the installation was in direct conflict with Freightliner's written policy, and didn't advise me of such, I would see them in court on that issue alone when I found out. You owe your customers full disclosure (and you better be doing that in writing). I believe without that, a first year law student could take this on and win it hands down. With full disclosure, If a customer then decides to take the risk/responsibility, the liability is then theirs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Like I said previously,I have never heard of a failure,nor had a failure.So Litigation is a moot point.All of those companies write up things like that to protect THEMSELVES in the case of an accident,It's not for you.It is also written by a team of Lawyers,who cover everybase so they can save Freightliner's behind,again not YOurs! We deal with the Freightliner issue everytime we hookup a tow brake.Then we walk the customer under his or her coach(in our highly sophisticated 6 foot under coach bunker)and show them the common sense way that we install the coach portion of the tow braking system.Then they can choose to have it done or not.As I said before we have had ZERO failure's & we are ASE ceritified in air brake repair....I wonder if the Freightliner Lawyer's are certified??
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:37 AM   #28
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I believe that you have missed the entier point. I don't believe that anyone is questioning any particular brake product, only the FACT that the one in question requires that the system on the coach be used for an air supply and that being at odds with Freightliner's written policy. As as for relationships between brake manufacturers and Freightliner, here again, that is not an issue. Freightlienr has had NOTHING to say about any particular manufacturer, just that they do not endorse any system tht requires invading their air supply system.
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