Thread: Jake Brakes

  1. #1
    Joey Guest

    Question Jake Brakes

    I wondering about departments SOGS on the use of Jake Brakes. We recently got a ladder truck equip with a Jake Brake. Our policy is not to use it at all.

  2. #2
    resqcapt Guest

    Thumbs up

    Since 1993 all of our engines, ladders, and rescue truck have come equipped with jake brakes. This system has worked so well for us, we retrofitted the remaining fleet with them.

    The jake brake has greatly increased the life of our brakes. I don't have exact figures, but I believe it has lengthened the life by at least 50-60%. Our Engineers swear by them and would fight to the bloody end to keep them.

    While I'm sure the jake brake may not be the best system out there, it's the only one I have experience with. I highly recommend you become familiar with it's operation and use it to it's fullest extent.

    Stay safe, and stay low,

  3. #3
    F02 Guest


    Dry roads use it.Wet or slick roads don't.

  4. #4
    Drive P17B Guest

    Thumbs up

    Jake Brakes are the way to go. Use them when its dry out. I love mine on my 97 E-One Pumper, it went out for awhile and you could sure tell that the brakes heated up much faster.
    I remember driving the older pumpers without them and in city traffic my brakes would fade and even go away completely. That's a bad feeling.
    We did have an issue with ours in being that the ones on the pumper are exhaust brakes. The ones we had were to strong and I think it was causing some of the motor failures. We have since had them replaced and they work fine but have less of a braking effect.

  5. #5
    jrj918 Guest


    jake brakes work great on dry roads but on wet roads switch them to low or turn them off

  6. #6
    Firstin88 Guest

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    Well Joey, I think the best thing to do is get a qualified person to come out to your department and give you some training on how to use the Jake Brake. It is a great addition to your apparatus.
    When and if you get the training or just start using it you will never go back.

    Stay Safe and God Bless


  7. #7
    Ladder66 Guest


    We have a three position Jake Brake on our 75' LTI ladder truck - low, medium, high. On dry roads its kept in the high position. On wet, snow covered, or icy roads it's completely off. We've never used it in the other positions.

    Keep in mind, that although this device will help to slow your apparatus faster over a shorter distance (and help to save your brakes), it does not mean that you can drive faster and stop faster.

    Keep it safe!

  8. #8
    330-JCFD Guest


    Joey, I think that you should consult NFPA on this issue. You will find that an auxillary braking system is recommended on apparatus. The Jake Brake serves as this auxillary brake. My department has several diffent types of auxillary brake systems on our different apparatus. We use the Jake Brake on those that are equipped unless it is wet or slick. The other systems include transmission retarders and exhaust retarders. Both of these systems also work very well. We also discontinue these devices when the roadway is wet or slick.

    The wear on your brakes will decrease if you employ the Jake. I also have to wonder if you could be found negligent for not using these devices if you were to be involved in an accident.

    We have two Pierce Quantum chassis (one pumper and one 105' aerial) that are almost impossible to stop even at low speeds without the use of the Jake. I have left the Jake on the low setting on wet roads and have had no with these apparatus.

    Consult the manufacture. Do your own test and make your own decision. I think you will use the Jake from then on.

    If you know anyone that is an over-the-road truck driver talk to them about Jake Brakes. The truck drivers I know would not drive without one.

    Be safe and remember to consider yourself before you critize others.

  9. #9
    Brian Pratt Guest

    Thumbs up

    FO2 has it in a nutshell... dry-yes, wet-no

    Stay safe

  10. #10
    Bob Snyder Guest

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    Dry Roads -- High
    Wet Roads -- Low (some prefer Off)
    Snow/Sleet/Ice/Mud -- Absolutely Never

    The gains in brake life and control make Jake Brakes well worth the money.

  11. #11
    JBROWNL8 Guest


    We recieved a new 99 Lance 2000 last July with a Jake. At first the truck had little trouble stopping, heated the brakes really good. So we came up with a idea to program the transmission to downshift to 2nd gear. Its the same concept like the exhaust brake that Jacobs puts on the Series 40 engines for Detroit. It downshift's so it can keep the RPM's up so it can get the retarding action.

    Since we have the Series 60 with a Jake and the tranny d/s to 2nd gear (it will not go from 5th straight to 2nd, it will go when it wants to go). The braking action is unbelievable. It will bring the truck to a near stop. Sometime we hardly have to use the brake.

    If you have a Jake and an electronic tranny, you can feel whats it like by doing manually. Let off the accelerator and press the button to 2nd gear and hang on.


    You can program the tranny to do this and when you press the accelerator its goes back to normal cycle.

  12. #12
    cmiller Guest


    Just thought I'd let u know, NFPA states engines over 300 hp must have some type of redarder (Jake brake, exhaust brake, or driveline retarder). Wish we had them on all our apparatus. (just the opinion of a professional truck driver and a volunteer apparatus operator, and you know what they say about opinions.)

  13. #13
    Spirk Guest

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    Don't be afraid of your Jake Brake! Remember, YOU are in control of the apparatus not the apparatus in control of you. Training with the Jake is essential to get "The Feel" of how it functions. If it used properly you will benefit greatly from it. We have them on our three engines and would not live without them! It's quite hilly in Vermont and the jake brake offers increased control of the apparatus. Of course as others before me have said: Dry roads "ON" Slippery roads "OFF"

    Train with it and be safe!!

  14. #14
    tmr91 Guest


    Everyne has already said it. Jake Brakes are the way to go. Just make sure you undertand how they work and how much it effects you braking.
    And again:
    Dry roads - on/high
    Wet roads - off

    Keep it safe.

  15. #15
    raricciuti Guest


    Jake brakes are a good way to go - saves on brake wear & tear and fading. They work without the operator stepping on another pedal (like some older Allison transmission retarders), don't try to kill the electrical system like some of the electrical retarders, activate the brake lights automatically, and can be turned to low or off when conditions warrant (low or off when it's wet, OFF when it's snowy or icy). Out last three pieces have them, and the one we're spec'ing out now will too.

    R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  16. #16
    Quint1Medic Guest


    The best part of having jake brakes is hearing the car alarms going off behind you

  17. #17
    Tim Schaffner Guest


    Jake Brakes are Great!!! The only thing thats better is a Tranny retarder (Allison).
    I've used them for years. The thing to remember about them is,that they only provide about 25% of total brake force that is needed to stop a vehicle. As far as road conditions go, Dry/on Other/off if your unit has ABS brakes the control unit for your brakes will cut off the jake if the wheels slip, they have to be tied togather.
    As far as having one to strong, thats almost impossible because they are all set at one rate unless it was not properly installed from new. If your Dept. spent the money on it, then use it!!! unless they may have an ordinace prohibiting them. I've been selling and installing them for 15 years.

  18. #18
    swunder1 Guest

    Thumbs up

    NFPA 1901 1999 edition does state that if your unit is 36,000 lb or over it will have a secondary braking device. Jake Brakes are a excellent secondary device.

    [This message has been edited by swunder1 (edited March 04, 2000).]

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