An engine brake, also known as a Jake Brake or exhaust brake, is an important safety feature on semi-trucks that helps to reduce their speed when descending steep hills or mountains. The engine brake works by using the truck’s existing engine power to slow the vehicle down instead of relying solely on its brakes. This helps to reduce wear and tear on the brakes, which can be costly for truckers over time.
The most common type of engine brake used in semi-trucks is a compression release system, which uses the vehicle’s exhaust valve to release some of the air and fuel from the cylinder during compression. This creates an air vacuum that slows down the vehicle as it travels downhill. Another type of engine brake used in some trucks is a turbo-charger retarder, which uses a turbine wheel to provide an additional braking force.
An engine brake can be very useful when driving in mountainous terrain as it allows drivers to maintain control over their vehicle while also reducing stress on their brakes. It is especially helpful when driving in wet or icy conditions where regular brakes can be less effective.
In order to use an engine brake safely, drivers should always remember to turn off the device before reaching flat ground. Not doing so could cause damage to the vehicle’s transmission or create excessive noise pollution if left on while driving in flat terrain. Drivers should also make sure they are aware of any local laws regarding the use of engine brakes before using them.
In conclusion, an engine brake on a semi truck is an important safety feature that helps reduce speed when descending steep hills and mountains. It works by using the truck’s existing engine power to slow down rather than relying solely on its brakes and can help reduce wear and tear on them over time. Drivers should always remember to turn off their engine brake before reaching flat ground and be aware of any local laws regarding its use.