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  1. #1
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    Default engine brakes and ice???

    Maybe someone could please enlighten me?? I am from a dept. in southern NM, and we have very limited experience driving on ice in emergency apparatus. I have read in other forums that you do not want to use the engine brake when driving on ice, but I do not understand why. I thought that the engine brake just released engine compression, I did not know it had anything to do with locking of the brakes. Could someone explain this to me a little better...please???


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    I have never heard of this. I thought that was one selling point of the thing was to slow the engine down so you save brakes.

    Never heard of any semi truck that went off the road because he used his jake brake. No experience with it personally but in 15 years in the fire service, heard nothing.

    keep your head down and your powder dry.
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  3. #3
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    The engine retarder brake slows the vehicle by altering the operation of the engine exhaust valves so that the engine acts as a power absorbing air compressor. This does not activate the brakes but it does apply slowing or retarding action to the wheels through the drive shaft. This can cause a loss of traction on slippery and icy roads. It would be similar to driving a car on icy roads at 60 mph and dropping it into first gear. Most newer engine brakes are designed to cut out at a certain rpm to avoid stalling the engine but by the time the engine brake cuts out you may already be sideways.
    Sometimes, in order to make an operation idiot proof, you must remove the idiot!

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Think about it this way...

    Your going 40mph and the road is slippery. You apply any kind of wheel-slowing force, the momentum of the truck will just drag the wheels on the slick surface. This puts you into a skid. The same thing would happen by applying brake pressure but not enough to lock them. It will still drag the wheels because of the momentum and not having traction.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    Forum Member TCFire's Avatar
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    I can attest that the use of a Jake brake/engine retarder in winter conditions will increase the probability that you will have a problem. A white-knuckle ride on a fish-tailing 1500 gal pumper/tanker, even at relatively low speeds, is not a fun thing. We leave ours off in the winter time, ensure we drive for conditions, and down shift to assist in braking.

  6. #6
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    The main thing is, to drive with due care on ice and or snow. You can not drive on ice or snow covered roads, like it is a Sunday afternoon in July in sunny Florida! Slow Down, be more careful. You can not fight the fire or do ems until you arrive safely on the scene.

    I have seen with the winters we have sometime in Virginia that responce speeds are delayed and slower. However we do get there and it is in one piece too.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    That's why the warnings are posted on vehicles equipped with Jake Brakes! Doh!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Think of it this way:An engine brake(Jake)"retards"the input on the driveshaft(hence the word brake).If you retard the input on snow and ice the rear wheels are real apt to break traction,which on a 40,000# rig isn't a GOOD thing.At this point the "rear"end is trying to pass the front end.Make sense now? As Capt says,you got to think and SLOW DOWN! If the piece doesn't get to the scene it doesn't do any good. T.C.

  9. #9
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    We have a multi cylynder jake brake selector (2,4,6 Cylinder)needless to say in our winter wonderland the selector is on 2 if it is even activated. 3000gallons of momentum will go a long way! Furtunatly we have never had an accident and I attest it to the amount of time spent training our tank operators.
    The same rules apply for driveshaft braking systems ( magnetic brake) more common on ambulances around here.

    T.C makes a good point - your usless if you dont make it to the seen - dont make it your emergency!
    Dave

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    ... in our winter wonderland the selector is on 2 if it is even activated.
    We shut the brake off completly when it snows. Some guys shut it off in the rain as well.
    Jim
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  11. #11
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by sbfdco1


    We shut the brake off completly when it snows. Some guys shut it off in the rain as well.
    That is what we do by SOP and basic gray matter intuition.
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  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    ...basic gray matter intuition
    Yea, for most!
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
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    ftm-ptb-rfb-egh-ktf-dtrt!

    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

  13. #13
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by Dave404
    We have a multi cylynder jake brake selector (2,4,6 Cylinder)needless to say in our winter wonderland the selector is on 2 if it is even activated. Dave
    Ditto, and same for rain.
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  14. #14
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    Well now - I feel I must add my extra two cents - totally depends on road conditions, perhaps many of us dont have the same winter conditions.
    Hasnt everybody driven on ice hi-ways?
    lol

  15. #15
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Yep,and I DON'T put jakes to ice.Even with my own rigs.T.C.

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