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Old 01-12-2020, 04:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
You might be looking for this:


I first found this one:
https://youtu.be/kc9-hYFQR3I?t=51
But it seems really quiet to me for some reason.
Many of those guys are the reason communities all over the country are putting up the no jake signs. Not really any need to use them on flat ground. Many of the trucks in the video didn't even use a jake.

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Old 01-12-2020, 04:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
There's no real reason you should need engine braking inside of many small towns - or even many larger cities, for that matter.
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Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
I wouldn't totally agree with this because in some regions (PA is bad about this) there will be a state highway heading into a town with a steep grade and then a low speed limit probably with a stop light at the end of the grade. Its precisely that kind of descent that jake brakes are designed for but in their wisdom they decided they prefer runaway trucks to barrel through the town because people who were dumb enough to build a house on a state highway decided they don't appreciate the noises of a highway.

That's why I generalize and say "many small towns" and not "All". I've been to my share of places that had steep hills coming into/leaving town or a freeway exit. Prime example - coming down Fancy Gap (I77 from VA to NC) and there's a Loves truck stop at the bottom of that long grade. Any guesses how many trucks have cooked their brakes upon approaching that exit? Or the NC welcome center a couple miles further down?
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
That's false. As a professional driver, I should know. Some trucks I drove *DID* in fact activate brake lights when the engine brake activated (it's a computer setting). I've seen some buses equipped with amber lights that activated when the driver let off the throttle (coasting?) and the bus was marked with wording to that effect. It's true they are intended for speed control, and it's true that some trucks and buses don't activate brake lights with the engine brake. But the restrictions are all about noise reduction, many areas have changed the signage to reflect "Unmuffled engine braking prohibited". There's no real reason you should need engine braking inside of many small towns - or even many larger cities, for that matter.
lets ask for ANYBODY to chime in here if they have brakelites that work from the engine retarder/jake brake and see as i also been a truck driver since 1979. as i have never seen one.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:57 AM   #24
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Definitely not been driving as long and by no means driven everything out there but I am not aware that anything I've driven activates brake lights with engine brake. Tried this yesterday morning just to prove to myself and indeed in the darkness I could tell no brake lights with engine brake engagement but as soon as I was on the brake pedal brake lights. Maybe some manufacturers link the two while others don't and in the absence of federal guidance one way or the other they decide what suits their applications and customer preferences. I could see this type of thing going either way - during hill descent you're not stopping you're only controlling errant acceleration so brake lights would miscommunicate your intentions.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
I just got back from my long trip and had a question regarding some things I saw on my trip.

I kept seeing signs here and there that said "engine braking illegal" or something to that effect. I understand why (people don't like noise, can't appreciate nice things, dislike saving expensive brakes on big rigs, etc), but my question is what that truly means. Am I not allowed to use the jake brake when I can see the sign? Is it illegal in the entire county or state?

I would like to use my jake brake as much as possible to not use my brakes when I don't have to, but I'd also like to not run afoul of the law. Any suggestions?
If a community has that sign, they likely mean a compression brake on the engine. A youtube search of "jake brake" will reveal all you need to know about them and why people don't want you doing that in populated areas. Using those are pretty much unnecessary on flat ground, only for noise and the personal satisfaction you get with them. I like the sound of them, but not at 3am while I'm asleep and some truck goes by with it on full tilt stopping for the stoplight in town.

Most engine brakes on school busses will either be a transmission/driveline retarder or an exhaust brake. Both of which aren't restricted by those signs/ordinances. So carry-on as normal.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:42 AM   #26
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I thought I would ask, are we talking a traditional Jake engine brake that holds open the exhaust valve and makes a bunch of noise, or an exhaust valve that restricts and pressurizes the exhaust system to slow it down.

I have an exhaust brake which doesn't add any noise like a traditional Jake does.

The installation of a true Jake brake requires a housing between the valves and rockers and the valve covers. These are expensive and must be engineered for your specific engine, like the Cummins C and L series engines, most B series engines dont have one.

An exhaust brake is more universal since its just a heavy duty butterfly valve in the exhaust pipe usually right after the turbo.

Just and FYI.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:26 AM   #27
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I know this isn't the law, but it seems like any device that slows you down should trigger the brake lights, since the whole point of the brake lights is to warn the person behind you that you're about to slow down. With three out of four drivers on their ******* cellphones these days, it's even more important. I drive a manual car and I do a lot of downshifting instead of braking and I wish the downshift triggered the brake lights since drivers behind usually creep up on me when I do this (usually with a driver behind me I tap the brake as well).

Related to this (I guess): I've noticed that the brake lights on my bus only come on when I stomp down fully on the pedal; if I just tap them lightly they don't come on (even though I do slow down a bit). Are they supposed to work this way, or is this something that's adjustable?
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:53 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Related to this (I guess): I've noticed that the brake lights on my bus only come on when I stomp down fully on the pedal; if I just tap them lightly they don't come on (even though I do slow down a bit). Are they supposed to work this way, or is this something that's adjustable?
Are your brakes air or hydraulic?
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:14 AM   #29
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I know this isn't the law, but it seems like any device that slows you down should trigger the brake lights, since the whole point of the brake lights is to warn the person behind you that you're about to slow down. With three out of four drivers on their ******* cellphones these days, it's even more important. I drive a manual car and I do a lot of downshifting instead of braking and I wish the downshift triggered the brake lights since drivers behind usually creep up on me when I do this (usually with a driver behind me I tap the brake as well).

Related to this (I guess): I've noticed that the brake lights on my bus only come on when I stomp down fully on the pedal; if I just tap them lightly they don't come on (even though I do slow down a bit). Are they supposed to work this way, or is this something that's adjustable?
Again, not to belabor this point but engine braking or exhaust braking or whatever mechanism it may take isn't about slowing down per se as it is maintaining control in a descent grade condition. The fact that drivers use these as surrogate braking systems is more about their ignorance/improper usage/arrogance/whatever than it is about manufacturers equipping a system to indicate when its improperly utilized. The entire point of engine braking is that it applies enough 'backpressure' to resist the vehicle's tendency to accelerate down the grade but prolonged use of the brakes for this purpose is a fast way to experience brake fade and subsequently loss of control. If manufacturers begin triggering brake lights with engine brakes then they're basically capitulating that engine braking is a substitute for traditional brakes but they're not.

Regarding you're brake lights not activating until ~ halfway down the brake pedal travel, this sounds like either a stuck or improperly positioned switch. Every brake system I've ever seen there's a 'button' which is pressed when the pedal is fully disengaged and at the first few inches of travel the button is released, closing the circuit and activating the brake lights. Further travel is simply applying more brake force but the lights remain on throughout. I've seen these buttons get sticky making then slow to pop out even after the brake pedal has pushed away or some too-clever-by-half engineering that makes it prone to delayed activation for whatever reason. If you can see the brake pedal mechanism up inside the dash you can probably quickly determine the cause.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:19 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Regarding you're brake lights not activating until ~ halfway down the brake pedal travel, this sounds like either a stuck or improperly positioned switch. Every brake system I've ever seen there's a 'button' which is pressed when the pedal is fully disengaged and at the first few inches of travel the button is released, closing the circuit and activating the brake lights. Further travel is simply applying more brake force but the lights remain on throughout. I've seen these buttons get sticky making then slow to pop out even after the brake pedal has pushed away or some too-clever-by-half engineering that makes it prone to delayed activation for whatever reason. If you can see the brake pedal mechanism up inside the dash you can probably quickly determine the cause.
Good info, I'll check this out.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:20 AM   #31
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Are your brakes air or hydraulic?
Air. Air. Air. (sorry, 10 character limit on posts)
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:28 AM   #32
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Air. Air. Air. (sorry, 10 character limit on posts)
Air brakes use a pressure switch in the lines to activate the lights. This is called a stop light switch. If you feel that you are actually applying the brakes and the light isn't coming on, then that switch might not be good anymore. There are different types, so not only verify what you have is faulty, but what your ordering is correct as well.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:25 AM   #33
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Okay, I appear to have prompted a lively discussion here. Partly due to my naivety with this topic (hence why I come here to ask questions). Been reading through your responses and considering my vehicle.

It appears that ECCB is correct, I do NOT have a Jake Brake. I DO have an "exhaust brake" which is what the switch is labelled as, which is NOT a jake brake and acts differently. And the exhaust brake is more quiet, so I don't have to worry about legalities of the Jake Brake applying to me.

Some of you bring up good points about the brake lights. I don't believe that my exhaust brake triggers my brake lights, although I've never tested it. I would be interested in rigging that up if it's possible at all. Anything I can do to prevent someone from slamming into me because they aren't paying attention would be great. I've already rigged the flashers into brake lights and turn signals, my bus is big and I've raised the roof to make it more bigger, and I painted it white. I'm tempted to put a big sign on the back that says "please notice me", but that might be too tongue in cheek.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:56 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Again, not to belabor this point but engine braking or exhaust braking or whatever mechanism it may take isn't about slowing down per se as it is maintaining control in a descent grade condition. The fact that drivers use these as surrogate braking systems is more about their ignorance/improper usage/arrogance/whatever than it is about manufacturers equipping a system to indicate when its improperly utilized. The entire point of engine braking is that it applies enough 'backpressure' to resist the vehicle's tendency to accelerate down the grade but prolonged use of the brakes for this purpose is a fast way to experience brake fade and subsequently loss of control. If manufacturers begin triggering brake lights with engine brakes then they're basically capitulating that engine braking is a substitute for traditional brakes but they're not.

Regarding you're brake lights not activating until ~ halfway down the brake pedal travel, this sounds like either a stuck or improperly positioned switch. Every brake system I've ever seen there's a 'button' which is pressed when the pedal is fully disengaged and at the first few inches of travel the button is released, closing the circuit and activating the brake lights. Further travel is simply applying more brake force but the lights remain on throughout. I've seen these buttons get sticky making then slow to pop out even after the brake pedal has pushed away or some too-clever-by-half engineering that makes it prone to delayed activation for whatever reason. If you can see the brake pedal mechanism up inside the dash you can probably quickly determine the cause.
The correct way to slow any large vehicle is with the use of engine braking wether it be with a compression brake/exhaust brake or not. When stopping the vehicle should be downshifted to maintain engine braking and not have the clutch held in or be put into neutral until the vehicle is almost at a stop. Service brakes should supplement engine braking but should not be overused. Overheated brakes will fail. The only time to not use heavy engine braking are in slippery conditions where the engine braking could cause a skid.

If engine braking is used to maintain down hill speed no brake lights are necessary. If using engine braking to slow down the brakes should be periodically tapped to activate the brake lights and warn others you are slowing. Brake light function should be checked daily during your pretrip inspection. Check if the brakes are working and how much pedal application is needed for them to activate.

Ted
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:37 PM   #35
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The correct way to slow any large vehicle is with the use of engine braking wether it be with a compression brake/exhaust brake or not. When stopping the vehicle should be downshifted to maintain engine braking and not have the clutch held in or be put into neutral until the vehicle is almost at a stop. Service brakes should supplement engine braking but should not be overused. Overheated brakes will fail. The only time to not use heavy engine braking are in slippery conditions where the engine braking could cause a skid.

If engine braking is used to maintain down hill speed no brake lights are necessary. If using engine braking to slow down the brakes should be periodically tapped to activate the brake lights and warn others you are slowing. Brake light function should be checked daily during your pretrip inspection. Check if the brakes are working and how much pedal application is needed for them to activate.

Ted
Pretty close

When engine braking or trying to maintain a speed below the posted speed hazards should be turned on not repeatedly tapping the brakes same as accelerating into traffic. If you are not up to a reasonable speed hazards should be on to warn people you are a slow moving hazard.

Trick with larger vehicles is to never let the go to the point of to fast.

Another post stated downshifting for braking and he is right. With jakes you can literally almost stop a semi with downshifting.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:20 PM   #36
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I'm new here, but been trucking a very long time, the sign in question entering a town is for noise control, as far as the brake lights coming on with the use of a Jake Brake seems useless to me IF the Jake is used as intended and not needed, and I have never seen it (does not mean it don't exist).

The reason I say useless is I can just about downshift to a stop with out even touching my brakes, hence no brake lights activated until almost stopped. Accident free 30 plus years driving. I have heard the cowboys who come into towns with 25mph speed limits and use the Jake, no reason for this period, it can literally scare the pants off of people. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:26 PM   #37
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Our RV conversion has a hydraulic retarder as part of the transmission. It always works unless you turn the retarder switch to OFF. A set of brake lights come on with the automatic retarder operation separate from the normal brake lights. The down-side with the retarder is all the heat transferred to the bus cooling system on a long down grade. Big expensive cooling system.

The hot-shot noise contributing truckers ruined their own system. Normal factory installed Jakes are not very loud and the noise cops would have nothing to trigger a noise ticket!
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:22 PM   #38
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The USE of engine brakes, not engine brakes themselves. They do not want to hear the engine brake in use.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:08 AM   #39
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MY bud does not have a retarder, even though it's an activity bus that came from a school district in northern Utah, where there are plenty of long mountain grades. Can I add one without too much difficulty? I plan lots of miles through out the Rockies pulling my car hauler and would really rather have that option.
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