Ultimate Guide: Learn All About Jake Brake

5. Difference Between Jake Brake And Exhaust Brake

Paradoxically there are many people that are operating in the trucking industry for a long time and are still getting confused when it comes to the difference between Jake brake and Exhaust brake.

By and large the function of the Jake brake is enabled by the hydraulic pressure that is done straight away with the opening of the exhaust valve after the compression strokes, whereas the exhaust brake is working by creating a restriction in the exhaust system that later-on result in substantial exhaust back-pressure creation.

Source: www.pearltrees.com
Source: www.pearltrees.com

Similarly to the Jake brake, the Exhaust brake can also provide a great support in the process of slowing a loaded truck. These brakes when in function are creating back-pressure in the cylinders, and by that they are preventing the normal brakes not to overheat.

If we make a comparison between the Jake brake and the exhaust brake we can notice that there is enormous difference in the sound that these brakes are making. Contradictory of the Jake brakes- the exhaust brakes are completely silent, and that results in their more convenient use.

Yet we can also compare exhaust brakes with normal brakes, in the process of comparison we can see clearly that the exhaust brakes have a longer lifespan of normal brakes.

6. What Is The Best Practice For Using A Jake Brake

The key aspect that I will talk about in this sub-heading is the point that concerns all truck drivers and that is the best practice for using a Jake brake in particular situations.

Complementary to that, the best practice for using a Jake brake properly would depend on the situations, as well as on the conditions that the truck driver is driving through. Seldom, I will take for example the process of Jake braking on:

  • Slippery Pavements;
  • Dry Pavements;
  • Descending a Grade;

Let’s start with the best practice for using a Jake brake when confronting a slippery pavement.

Slippery pavements do require a more careful driving, and even more careful Jake braking. In that point of view truck drivers should “open their eyes wide” and reassure that they are following the slippery driving procedure which includes:

  • Starting The Master Switch “Off”;
  • Reassuring That There Is Enough Distance Between The Vehicles In front Of You;
  • Traction And Stability Play A Big Role In These Situations- Have That In Mind;
  • Activation Of The Natural Retarding Of The Engine;
  • Source: www.thejobnetwork.com
    Source: www.thejobnetwork.com

    Thereupon if you notice that the engine brake is causing any excessive traction then you should stop the Jake braking immediately, and do not try to use it again until the conditions improve.

    On the other hand, if you find yourself driving on a dry pavement, where to be sincere there is no need of using Jake braking, then you should switch the Jake brake in a “LOW” position. But if you want to activate the Jake braking in a certain situation then you should switch it to a higher position – But do that step by step.

    Each truck driver should be aware and should pay attention to the notorious hills and mountain passes, so the best practice for using a Jake brake while descending a grade would include lifting of your foot off the throttle, by that safe Jake braking will take place.

    7. Why Truckers Use/Don’t Use Jake Brake

    Nowadays in the trucking industry we can meet truckers that have different statements for the use of Jake brakes, some of them are approving it while others are not. The opinions are well divided. In the direction to understand the opinion of both sides we must first listen and later-on analyze all the facts and figures that truck drivers are providing for the use of Jake brake.

    Source: www.chicagotruckdeals.com
    Source: www.chicagotruckdeals.com

    Every now and then you can get to meet a trucker that is operating in the trucking industry for more than a decade that will state that the Jake brakes are the biggest invention in the trucking industry because of the safe slowing down effect that it provides for heavy loaded trucks.

    Yet we must not forget that the use of Jake brakes also depends from the areas and routes where the truck driver is headed. The weather conditions play an important part of Jake brake usage. For example this braking system is not recommendable for truck drivers that are operating on slippery and icy roads.

    On the other hand there are truck drivers that are not using this braking system of all, with the explanation that they want to preserve truck’s engine. At the and of the day every decision is right if the transportation process is done In a safe and time efficient way.

    8. Jake Brake Maintenance Tips

    Just like other truck parts need to be maintained properly and on time, truck drivers should also pay attention on Jake brake maintenance. This diesel engine retarder is known to be among the best components of diesel trucks, and as such it requires a regular and genuine maintenance in order to function properly and without any malfunctions.

    In the meantime the best way for you to reassure that the Jake brake is functioning properly is to perform inspection while doing routine engine check.

    Source: www.pacbrake.com
    Source: www.pacbrake.com

    Thereupon, each truck driver that is operating a truck with Jake brakes should create a Preventive Jake Brake Maintenance Schedule. The Maintenance Schedule would therefore be designed for the aim of a constant safe and secure truck operation, and straight proportionally to that a safe work environment for the truck driver.

    As soon as the Jake brake shows any kind of malfunction the truck driver should have in mind that part replacement should take place. So if you are having problems with the engine brake, and you need to replace some parts, do not even think about replacing those parts with unapproved parts! Unapproved parts can only place you in an even bigger trouble; they can result in causing serious engine damage.

    I would like to take a glimpse back to the Preventive Jake Brake Maintenance Schedule so that I can add up one more advice for truck drivers that are using this brake system- You should schedule and perform the inspection in accordance to the length of your trips and the mileage that you are driving on a let’s say weekly basis. To make it simpler, if you are using the Jake brake frequently, then the inspection should be done more frequently too.

    9. Why Is Jake Braking Prohibited In Some Areas

    Jake brakes when in use are known to make really loud noise, and that is the number one reason why Jake braking is prohibited in some areas. Usually it is near the residential areas where Jake braking is prohibited, and that is so because of the disturbance that the sound of these brakes can make, in fact it has been shown that the sound level that the Jake brake is making is equal to the sound that a large lawnmower makes.


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    Consequently in the areas where there is Jake braking prohibition you will come to encounter street signs that say “Engine Braking Prohibition” or “No Jake Brake”. The most common locations where the authorities are placing this kind of signs are near:



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