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Old 09-10-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
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Braking on 5% or 7% grades

Hi
My next (2nd) trip with our 34' AS will put us on I40 east through Knoxville TN. Along the route there are two grades at 5% and 7%, each several miles long. My AS has all new brakes but are there some techniques, tips that I can use to minimize overheating the brakes or becoming a silver road rocket near Knoxville? My TV is a V10 Ford so going home should be better (up the hills).
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:01 PM   #2
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Go down the hill in the same gear you climbed it... this doesn't always do the trick, particularly w/ diesels, but it really saves the brakes. Second, if it is necessary to use the brakes, apply them to rub off 5 to 10 mph, then let off to let speed slowly accumulate again. This helps keep them cool.

- Bart
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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My V10 automatically downshifts descending grades in tow/haul mode and in 3rd gear. Bart is correct that when you have to brake only brake 5-10mph to keep the brakes cool. You should have no problem descending. You could always go in 2nd gear if you wanted to avoid braking. As for climbing, no problem, just bring your gas cards.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
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having been on that section of 40 a few times with a similar combo...

use 3rd or 4th gear on the long declines, depending on rear end.

(the tow/haul mode typically puts my truck in 4th) bummer that your truck doesn't have tow/haul.

set the trailer brakes to ENGAGE before the truck

and then USE the foot pedal as needed to keep the rpms ~3000 or less in whatever gear selected.

the occasional, steady but FIRM application is better than riding them and lightly tapping...

you have PLENTY of stopping power but since the bits are all new...

take the rig out on some empty roads and REALLY dial in the brakes and controller.

slowing from 60 to 30-40 mph 10 times while dial ing in the gain is usually adequate.
________

IF there is a head wind u may need a lot less assistance slowing than if there is a tailwind.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Dunno how your TV works but my '91 34' behind a Dodge diesel goes down 5% with OD off and an occasional stab on the brakes to bring us down 15 mph when we hit 3000 rpm...4% is coasting with OD off and no speed gain...

Just last week we went down 7 miles of 10% with '10' 15mph switchbacks...I grabbed LOW gear at the top and crawled down...lots-o-stabbing the slow pedal to bring the rpms's from 3000 back to 2000...repeat ad nauseum...

As far as holding up traffic.."What is behind me is of no consequence" (what movie did that come from?)

Make sure all 6 brakes are in good working order...
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:42 PM   #6
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Exclamation Watch out, you guys down there, here I come.

Start the downhill in as low a gear as think you might need. It is a lot easier to shift up going down hill, because you are going too slow, than it is to ship down, because you are going too fast. It gets real noisy real fast, if you wait too long to shift down.

Barts' technique for braking is exactly the method I use in the bumby west.

The other technique I use is to ensure that I have max boost on the trailer brake controller.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
Go down the hill in the same gear you climbed it... this doesn't always do the trick, particularly w/ diesels, but it really saves the brakes. Second, if it is necessary to use the brakes, apply them to rub off 5 to 10 mph, then let off to let speed slowly accumulate again. This helps keep them cool.

- Bart
Hi, like Bart said, down shift and let the engine hold you back. I have been down lots of mountains, some of them with out any braking. If the speed starts to climb, I brake for a short while, bring the speed down, usually no more than 10 MPH. On long grades, I will at times, use my brakes, just to keep them warm enough to have good stopping power if the occasion is needed.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:16 PM   #8
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i agree not to drive according to who or what is behind ya...

but this section of 40 is a major truckers race track and it's not unusual for the flow to be 70-80 mph.

fog or rain makes it all very much nasty, but clear weather means fast rollin' even with a lot of traffic.

some of this section is now 3 lanes each direction (i think).

the DEcline is east toward the river and lake...

something like 1400 ft of decline over that stretch...

and looks a bit like this...

YouTube - Interstate 40 Knoxville to Asheville

so it's not really tight turns but is a lot of high speed'n...

that means one should expect a lotta cars passing and cutting back into your 'open zone'...

and trucks will fly by too so it pays to be aware of the left lane.

i like this section of road but it always seems to be raining when i hit it...

so keep those doggies rollin giddy up, rawhide!

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:52 PM   #9
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"The Gorge". Scene of interesting accidents in fog. I climbed that with many a load of steel coil, backed down into Low Range so underpowered were our company trucks. Maybe 27 mph, WOT, flashers overheating most of the way. Updated my survey of altitudinal changes in roadside plants on ascents between scans of engine gauges. Finished entire operas on the CD player.

Yet more time to wonder if I had enough chains on that monster back there (usually pulled out at or near 78-79,000-lbs).

Often pulled off at Junaluska (sp?) for a break.

Downhill was much more fun ridin' with the local truckers (with no engine brake on a 700,000-mile tired truck) since they knew every bump, could (I think) drive it blindfolded. Kinda like ridin' with the loggers in the PNW . . they're much too fast for us strangers.

Monteagle is fun, too.

RV'ers ask about CB radios every-so-often. Here's a locale where it's fun and informative as to what is a'happnin' in real time. (Be prepared to hear your rig described).

.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
As far as holding up traffic.."What is behind me is of no consequence" (what movie did that come from?)
Would it be The Gumball Rally?
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:12 AM   #11
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Would it be The Gumball Rally?
We have A Winner!
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
i agree not to drive according to who or what is behind ya...

but this section of 40 is a major truckers race track and it's not unusual for the flow to be 70-80 mph.

fog or rain makes it all very much nasty, but clear weather means fast rollin' even with a lot of traffic.

some of this section is now 3 lanes each direction (i think).

the DEcline is east toward the river and lake...

something like 1400 ft of decline over that stretch...

and looks a bit like this......

cheers
2air'
And here's another way to see what a strech-o-road looks like...

Ya need the latest version of Google Earth...

Zoom in on the Hi Way you are interested in...
Select the "Add a Path" Icon(3rd image)...and draw a line following the road(1st image)...Hit "OK" in the window that popped up while you drew the path...
This will create a new place for you called "Untitled Path"(4th image)...right click on it and a window will open...click on "Show Elevation Profile" and you will get a groovy graph that will give you more questions than answers(2nd image)...
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by barts View Post
Go down the hill in the same gear you climbed it... this doesn't always do the trick, particularly w/ diesels, but it really saves the brakes. Second, if it is necessary to use the brakes, apply them to rub off 5 to 10 mph, then let off to let speed slowly accumulate again. This helps keep them cool.

- Bart
Bart pretty well covers it.

Those grades approaching Knoxville are not really all that bad, A few brake applications will do it. Hold your speed around 50 or so . Been through there many times. The grade on I 24 near Chattanooga ( Monteagle mountain) is a bit more challenging with run away truck ramps etc
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:17 PM   #14
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Many thanks for the sound advice! I drive btwn nashivlle and atlanta a LOT and know Monteagle up and down pretty well - in a passenger car. Sounds like what is ahead next week won't be quite as bad but I will use the tips posted here to help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Maybe I should make a YouTube video of the up and down part of the trip and play opera (Ride of the Valkyrie) for effect. New AS Valkyire below... still all aluminum.

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