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Old 05-30-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
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A tragic accident proves again aux brake a must

This just happened an hour ago

Runaway trailer kills 7 in N.Y.

A minivan carrying two families was hit by a runaway trailer hauling crushed cars in upstate New York, killing four young children and three adults in their early 20s, authorities said Thursday.
Cortland County Coroner Whitney Meeker told The Associated Press that all seven victims, including four children under 10, were local residents. They were killed and a man was injured when their van was hit by a trailer that broke away from a truck on Route 13 around 6 p.m. Wednesday in the rural town of Truxton, about 25 miles south of Syracuse.

Runaway trailer kills 7 in N.Y., including 4 kids - CBS News
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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All trailers have air brakes they work when air is released from the system. So it seems they should of worked here. This may have been the weight and inertia doing what it does. Some trailers are loaded to 45000 Lbs or more. I am sure what ever they find that trucking company or owner is in deep deep dodo
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecfd67 View Post
All trailers have air brakes they work when air is released from the system. So it seems they should of worked here. This may have been the weight and inertia doing what it does. Some trailers are loaded to 45000 Lbs or more. I am sure what ever they find that trucking company or owner is in deep deep dodo
In our Spartan Chassis owner's class they said the aux brakes will not lock up wheels. Keep in mind that they are generally only on 1 axle for the tractor and each trailer. A fully loaded MH at 40K# or more will take a lot of time to stop as would a fully loaded trailer. However, I would think that the fully loaded trailer would probably stop faster since the front of it would also be digging into the ground/road surface too.

Sad story.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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This is a 18 wheeler trailer that got free. These trailers all have air brakes that automatically lock up if air is lost. As with any large vehicle they do not stop immediately, depending on the load and speed.

This example has absolutely nothing to do RV toad brakes. If a toad brakes free the auxiliary brakes will not stop the toad. It would need an additional brake away braking system. This is one very good reason that toads are required to have safety chains or cables.

In this tragic situation it sounds like the trailer broke free and immediately crossed the center line and hit the mini van. No auxiliary brakes would have stopped it in time. More important in this example is why the 5th wheel locking mechanism did not or was not locked???
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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As stated, air brakes do not lock up. Even in your MH if you are traveling at 45 mph and pull the emergency yellow plunger it will be several car lengths before you come to a stop. You can stop you motorhome faster by applying heavy pressure on the brake pedal than the emergency brake. Same with the trailers with air brakes - just comes to a stop. No screeching of tires, no head jerks, just slowly stops.

Try it. Just make sure everything is secure in your motorhome, jump up to 45 mph and pull the emergency brake. All you will have to do is steer to a safe stop.

If you ever attend the Freightliner Course at Gaffney, it is demonstrated in their bus by Mike Cody.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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What about the RV's that have rear discs? And why isn't the tag brakes on the parking brake?
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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The coupling device on an 18 wheeler (fifth wheel) is a very strong well engineered device that rarely failsafter years of service and gazillion miles. Thousands of them on the road every day. Most of them are self adjusting to keep the jaws snug around the trailer bull pin. I don't know all the details of how this combination came apart but I know for a fact that if the bull pin is not fully seated in jaws of the fifth wheel the trailer can oftem still be pulled a short distance but not for long. If the driver did not check to see if the release lever is behind the manual lock this type of terrible event could happen.

I think the 5ers have a smaller version of what 18 wheelers use to pull the trailer.

What a terrible event.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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What about the RV's that have rear discs? And why isn't the tag brakes on the parking brake?
My coach has disk brakes on the drive axle and the same system works on them.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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As stated, air brakes do not lock up. Even in your MH if you are traveling at 45 mph and pull the emergency yellow plunger it will be several car lengths before you come to a stop. You can stop you motorhome faster by applying heavy pressure on the brake pedal than the emergency brake. Same with the trailers with air brakes - just comes to a stop. No screeching of tires, no head jerks, just slowly stops.
Had a car pull in front of me and immediately hit the brake and make a right turn. My coach WILL lock up the rear wheels until the anti-lock system takes over, but even then the tires will squeel. Been there, done that. Didn't like it.

Also, if you pull the yellow plunger, it only works on the rear wheels. The front wheels are free-wheeling....at least on my coach. The plunger is a parking brake, like the emergency brake on your car or truck, that only works with the rear wheels.
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