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How should one deal with brake failure?

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by jonmyrlebailey, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Feb 27, 2013 at 4:12 AM
    #1
    jonmyrlebailey

    jonmyrlebailey [OP] Active Member

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  2. Feb 27, 2013 at 4:14 AM
    #2
    CantSitStill

    CantSitStill Well-Known Member

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    Emergency brake.
     
  3. Feb 27, 2013 at 4:18 AM
    #3
    jonmyrlebailey

    jonmyrlebailey [OP] Active Member

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    should also be downshifting: also never go down in a gear taller than the one you climbed the hill with
     
  4. Feb 27, 2013 at 5:08 AM
    #4
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    Drove trucks for years. The emergency brakes on larger trucks are typically not strong enough to reliably stop a loaded truck. Same with downshifting, or even both combined. Indeed, the emergency brakes may use the exact same air system as the regular driving brakes (both gone). Anyway, this is why long downhill stretches on highways (where the driver cannot just downshift and drive carefully to the bottom of the hill) usually feature runaway truck ramps.

    Of course, the brakes on passenger-oriented vehicles (such as the Tacoma) are vastly different (redundancy, cable-operated emergency brakes, etc). As a result, total brake failure (a runaway) in a passenger vehicle is extremely rare.
     
  5. Feb 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM
    #5
    jonmyrlebailey

    jonmyrlebailey [OP] Active Member

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    to a controllable speed if complete stopping is not possible: the truck in the film was not a semi, but a light-to-medium duty single truck: I don't think that old truck from the 40's or '50s had redundancy brakes but it might have had synchro gearing, unlike OTR trucks, to easily facilitate emergency downshifting: trucks with air brakes should have springs as fail-safes to apply the brakes gradually as air pressure is lost

    otherwise, what should a driver do in a brake failure in that kind of vehicle in that situation, assuming there is no vehicle available to get in front of you to catch you?:confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  6. Feb 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM
    #6
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    Of course, Hollywood has often shown some truly absurd notions. For example, it's darn near impossible to stop a heavy runaway truck with another vehicle. The second vehicle likely wouldn't have enough extra braking power to really do anything. Remember, the brakes (tires, etc) in that vehicle would have to overcome the weight, speed, and downhill gravity then applying to both vehicles. It'd much more likely just get shoved out of the way, or burn up it's own brakes.

    Most trucks today that size (in the video) don't use air brakes. However, years ago, since air brakes were comparatively simple and inexpensive, it wasn't uncommon to see lots of experimentation with the design. There were few safety regulations and what existed was often inadequate. As a result, some of those designs were somewhat ill-advised (even downright stupid). Regardless, you can still see such on similar trucks in third-world countries.

    As for what to do in such a scenario (no brakes, downhill stretch, cliffs, etc), not much. If the brakes fail and runaway truck ramps aren't available, the occupants would basically be SOL - unless darn lucky, the odds of avoiding a serious crash would seldom be in their favor.

    Years ago (before modern brake designs, etc), drivers on downhill stretches used to monitor air pressure religiously, stopping on the sides of the road occasionally to allow low pressure to build up again, and the brakes to cool. Plenty of goods were delivered around the nation this way, so it was clearly effective enough. Besides, drivers were expendable and trucks & cargo were insured. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Feb 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM
    #7
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    When I was a teen , a dump truck driver lost his brakes on the steep hill that decends down into our villiage , he was on the air horn the whole way down the hill , roared through town and jumped out of the truck and bounced down the road at about 40 mph about 40' from where the truck launched off the Coast Gaurd dock and into the harbour
     
  8. Feb 27, 2013 at 8:59 PM
    #8
    Twistedfreedom

    Twistedfreedom welcome to the incredibuild

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    modded the F*ck out
    just use the nearest Prius to slow down.
     
  9. Feb 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM
    #9
    logcabinwc

    logcabinwc Well-Known Member

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    used to work at a camp up at tioga pass. Camp suburban lost its brakes once coming down off tioga pass. down shift down shift down shift....
    campers in the back never knew!
     
  10. Feb 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM
    #10
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Guy in my last department used to work for Union Pacific.
    He told me about an engineer who ended up rolling too fast coming down Cajon Pass... at that point, brakes or not, there was no stopping that train.

    He still holds the record for the fastest decent from 4000ft, sadly, the cargo didn't make it all the way down, and the engine did derail at the bottom. I don't remember how fast he said it was going when the engine left the tracks.
     
  11. Feb 27, 2013 at 11:10 PM
    #11
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Thank you, Nancy Roman

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    Was that the infamous double disaster? That's a painful lesson in the consequences of not following procedures.
     
  12. Feb 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM
    #12
    Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    He didn't give me any details, and incidents on that grade are not uncommon, that may have been the incident though.

    Weight calculations are extremely tight... a trail uses 2hp per TON to haul a load.
    Jaiver was heading up one evening and one of his engines blew up... he went from the normal crawl forward to rolling backwards almost immediately... he said it was like hitting a brick wall.

    No option but to plant the brakes ASAP and wait for a team of helpers that could get the load restarted.
     
  13. Feb 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM
    #13
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    that's like hitting a paper bag that smells like tofu and self importance, not gonna do much.
     
  14. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM
    #14
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    Hey, it may not do much to stop a runaway truck, but any excuse to hit a Prius (or similar - I don't discriminate when it comes to wimpy cars) has at least some merit. :D
     
  15. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM
    #15
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    Nothing wrong with the Prius
     
  16. Feb 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM
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    TnRedNeck721

    TnRedNeck721 GO VOLS!

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  17. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM
    #17
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    You're a truly sick man, Oz.
     
  18. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM
    #18
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    I drove the hybrid , it was a trip
     
  19. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM
    #19
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Yeah, and I once drove a battery-powered forklift (8-hour shifts) for a short period in the early 70's with more horsepower than the Prius, and it could haul a heck of a lot more too. Had they changed the gear ratio of that forklift, it would have blown the doors off a modern Prius. Given that, amazing it took manufacturers decades to develop a battery-powered car.
     
  20. Feb 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM
    #20
    OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    I have no issue with small economical cars , not sure why anyone would
     
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