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Old 09-08-2015, 04:57 PM   #1
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Mountains

Has anyone taken their bus up in the mountains? I don't know how they do going up and coming down steep grades.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
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Forgive my crappy video, but this is my 1992 Senator coming down the southbound side of Monteagle. Best to mute my video and play the audio of the Cash tune!







Its a fairly scary stretch of road in a used 23 year old school bus! I wanted a retarder and more HP.
I forgot to downshift going up it and it nearly overheated. Thank goodness for the rest area at the top. For serious grades I highly recommend a mountain bus.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:07 PM   #3
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The mountain experience varies.. A LOT.. based on what equipment the bus has. There's a large and small engine option in every platform it seems, and frequently more than one axle gear ratio available. There are several transmission options available too. For controlling speed going down the hill (apart from the service brake) there are more options (engine brake, exhaust brake, transmission retarder, something else I'm forgetting). Many of us have been through or live in mountainous areas, but the answer is "it depends."
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:12 PM   #4
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thats what mine is for... getting me to the mountains.

i have a cummins 5.9 and the AT 545.....'

its slow, it can be scary, it gets hot, but it makes it


going down is harder than going up

gotta learn to go slow with out ruining the tranny or setting your brakes on fire....its a delicate balance.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
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I should have included that my bus has a DT466 195hp with a 643 transmission. 4.44 rear.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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AS I crest the top, I select 3 and pick my target speed..Usually 50. Brake hard to 40...Speed builds up to 50, brake hard to 40 and repeat.

Lots of trucks and buses have an AT545 like I have (I used to drive some of them) and you must use your head.

Off ramps, I select 1 let the trans down shift as the speed bleeds off.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:11 PM   #7
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I go up slow and down even slower.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:07 AM   #8
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I do mountains any time I leave the driveway, here we have 6 and 8 mile long 8% grades with 523 turns, my target speed is 30 mph

the few roads that have 12%+ (421 into/Boone) about 1 mile long, is 20 mph 1st gear while keeping rpms at 2200
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dond View Post
AS I crest the top, I select 3 and pick my target speed..Usually 50. Brake hard to 40...Speed builds up to 50, brake hard to 40 and repeat.

Lots of trucks and buses have an AT545 like I have (I used to drive some of them) and you must use your head.

Off ramps, I select 1 let the trans down shift as the speed bleeds off.
Please don't read this as critical, just want to elaborate.

That is the correct technique for downhill but when you read 'brake hard' please only brake firmly enough to bring your speed back down to the target and then let off the brakes and let those brakes cool as you gather speed again. I wouldn't want anyone losing control as they descend with braking too aggressively.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
Please don't read this as critical, just want to elaborate.

That is the correct technique for downhill but when you read 'brake hard' please only brake firmly enough to bring your speed back down to the target and then let off the brakes and let those brakes cool as you gather speed again. I wouldn't want anyone losing control as they descend with braking too aggressively.
Thanks Jake.

My brake hard just may be your brake firmly. If you don't brake "firm" enough, you will overheat by too long brake time vs. cooling time. This is they way I teach it in my CDL prep classes.

I am a long time CDL guy, since 1967.
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