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Jake Braking Saves Equipment And Lives

With the rebuilding of the Lynn Creek Crossing, trucks have been coming through the Bay and with the heavy loads it’s very important that ther drivers use caution when traveling down West Cliff. This will be going on during the rebuilding process and once completed everything will return back to normal. Here is a brief description of what Jake breaking is.

A “Jake” brake is an accessory that is installed on Diesel engines used in over-the-road trucks ( semi’s and dump trucks, mainly). “Jake’s” are used primarily in hilly or mountainous areas of the country, but can be used most anywhere. They work simply by using the compression in the cylinders on the Diesel engine as resistance, to slow down a truck.

A “Jake” has a switch located inside the cab that allows a driver to select how many cylinders on a Diesel engine will be utilized in the process. A driver can select 1, 2 or 3 cylinders, depending upon the “slowing” needs of the truck. For example, in relatively flat terrain, such as Florida, a driver may want to use only 1 cylinder. In Colorado, the driver might want to use all three. The more cylinders used, the quicker the slowing action of the “Jake.” When a “Jake” is used, the driver is downshifting through all speeds. A “Jake” shuts down the fuel into the number of selected cylinders when the clutch is fully engaged and the “Jake” is shut off when the clutch is depressed. This is done by way of a switch located on the clutch pedal that detects whether the clutch pedal is up or down.

A “Jake” brake also automatically shuts off if the accelerator pedal is depressed. In short, it’s downshifting using the engine compression and the resistance created by the compression that helps slow the engine and truck while downshifting. Keep in mind that the compression created by a Diesel engine is several times greater than the amount created by a gasoline engine and therefore “Jakes” will only work on Diesel engines.

The main purpose for a “Jake” brake is to save wear on brake linings, help slow a truck when descending down a hill and to help prevent brake linings and brake components from overheating. Some truckers also like to use them to scare the daylights out of female drivers. too!

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