Part of our annual vacation in the Rockies,, is parking outside Denver about 1/3 of the way up and watch cars,,trucks coming down the big hill with smoke rolling off the brakes. So many newer semi truck drivers have only passed a 3 week class and start driving 80,000 lb. loads..
Being old school,, rule number 1 is always go down a hill with the same gear you could climb it.. Newer diesels with engine brakes are a whole new ball game and offer 200 hp of engine braking with a 350 hp pulling uphill.
Yes the old diesels without engine brakes did not offer a great amount of coasting back pressure.. Like bouncing a basket ball on cement. Piston went up and bounced off the compression..
My goal pulling in the high country is use the engine and transmission as much as possible and save the brake shoes if I happen to need it..
Another trucker tip... 20% or less brake pressure mostly just makes heat.. 30% or more starts eating shoes and pads.. In a panic,, hard stabs and cool down can salvage brakes better than just standing on them for long amounts of time. We have over 600,000 miles on our semi brakes and they are still usable this year.
2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed
20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!