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What is a Jake Brake on a Commercial Truck?

What is a Jake Brake on a Commercial Truck?

If you’ve ever seen a sign on the side of the road that states “No Jake Brake Use,” you may have wondered what a Jake Brake is. Read on to find out.

Jake Brake, AKA Engine Brake

Essentially, a Jake Brake is a certain type of compression release brake that allows truck drivers to slow their vehicle down without putting strain on the service brakes. Jake Brakes are also often referred to as engine brakes and are typically only used in large diesel engines on semi-trucks.

The use of Jake Brakes when traveling downhill can increase the lifespan of the brakes and tires on a truck when utilized properly. However, Jake Brakes are very loud, so certain areas restrict their use.

How Jake Brakes Work

Jake Brakes are turned on when the driver flips an engine brake switch. When the Jake Brakes are powered on, all a trucker needs to do is remove their foot from the accelerator pedal to engage the brake. The engine brake is disengaged when the trucker presses on the accelerator pedal or clutch.

Jake Brakes Are Not Always Safe for Use

Skilled truck drivers know that Jake Brakes should never be used on slippery road surfaces. This is because of the way Jake Brakes work.

Because the Jake Brake only impacts the drive tires, there is an increased risk of skidding or jackknifing when using engine brakes on slippery roads.

The only way to safely use Jake Brakes on icy or snowy roads is by lining up the tractor-trailer straight first. If not, there is a risk the truck could jackknife.

We’re Here to Help

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, give us a call to learn how we can help.

We offer free consultations and we know how to assist you. Contact our office right away to discuss the details of your case by calling (678) 270-2377 or filling out the online contact form.

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