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Old 22 June 2007, 11:49   #21
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I also have an auto Disco (petrol V8 - really economical - not ).

In theory, yeah change down out of drive and then brake gently but in reality heavy foot jumps on pedal - heart stops - mouth says sh1t sh1t sh1t sh1t - oh that was close and then you carry on!

I've always been lucky (touch wood), always had braked Ifor Williams trailers which are a dream whizzing down the motorway, the hardest thing is trying to keep within the speed limits.

This weekend will be the test with the boat and the New (mechanically) trailer. I will bear in mind - use the gears and brake gently. Will leave longer gaps for gits to jump into and will drive gently. I'm more worried (at the moment) of driving down the little lanes to our village - it is bad enough with the Disco - should be even more entertaining with the boat on the back
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Old 22 June 2007, 12:56   #22
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I also have an auto Disco (petrol V8 - really economical - not ).

In theory, yeah change down out of drive and then brake gently but in reality heavy foot jumps on pedal - heart stops - mouth says sh1t sh1t sh1t sh1t - oh that was close and then you carry on!

I've always been lucky (touch wood), always had braked Ifor Williams trailers which are a dream whizzing down the motorway, the hardest thing is trying to keep within the speed limits.

This weekend will be the test with the boat and the New (mechanically) trailer. I will bear in mind - use the gears and brake gently. Will leave longer gaps for gits to jump into and will drive gently. I'm more worried (at the moment) of driving down the little lanes to our village - it is bad enough with the Disco - should be even more entertaining with the boat on the back
You'll be fine as long as you don't meet a lady in a disco coming the other
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Old 22 June 2007, 12:56   #23
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Its far worse towing an empty boat trailer - nobody knows it's there until it's too late. At least with the boat on they keep out of your way - usually!!!
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Old 22 June 2007, 14:51   #24
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Do you realise that your quote of

"brakes to slow, gears to go"

comes from the Police driving handbook of 1935 - it MAY be suitable for regular driving but not when towing heavy loads.

As to it causing extra stress on engines/gearboxes etc I have yet to do so - and some of my vehicles have covered over 175,000 miles. Difference is I don't have to change brake pads very often!!!
Sorry Codprawn, I don't often tell you you're talking bollocks but you are now.
They teach 'Brakes to slow, gears to go' in the current LGV tests and it works.

If you try and slow up quickly using the gears you're far more likely to jacknife.
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Old 22 June 2007, 17:17   #25
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I've reflected a wee bit on this incident, especially after Codder's remark about being in a low gear early and perhaps not getting into the skid situatioin in the first place.

Firstly, I'll mention why the trailer failed to brake cos it's kinda connected to the second point and it may also be useful for others to know. The boat and trailer hadn't been used for a while and although everything seemed ok a ring of rust had formed around the neck of the hitch shaft and it prevented the trailer moving forward to activate the brake. I guessed this and a bit later in the journey, when we were by ourselves on a lane and the road surface was better, applying the brakes with a jerk got the trailer to move forward and the brakes functioned. We did this a couple of times and that solved the problem. Later the rubber gaiter was released and that part was greased up. It was surprising how little rust it must have taken to cause the jam. This area is normally greased through the hitch grease nipples but, of course, the grease gets scraped forward by the braking action and the bit adjacent to the hitch casing is left kinda dry and vulnerable. Lesson learned.

However, we were caught out by the incident because we'd been travelling gently enough for the trailer brake not to come into use anyway and when we needed it and it didn't happen, it took us by surprise. The other point I've realised is that I do brake firmy enough, where appropriate, to deliberately exercise the trailer brake. It gives reassurance that it is working and also since it's a boat trailer, if you don't use it you'll lose it. I might now make a point of doing this early in each journey, before I'm forced to test it in anger.

I do understand Codder's way of thinking about using engine braking and we probably all use engine braking to a certain extent but to believe that the engine is the primary brake, which is the impression you are giving, Codders, I don't agree with. I can bring to mind numerous situations where there is just not the distance between road obstacles to get up to speed and then have enough distance left for the engine to brake a heavy load in time. It's simply not a practical way of driving.

On Cod's point about using an auto box manually, that's just an auto novice speaking. Once you really learn to drive and auto vehicle, you know how to make the box work for you...that's the whole point of an auto box. I do expect a response Mr Codprawn.
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Old 22 June 2007, 17:30   #26
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You mention the exhaust gas brakes - do you realise they do the same thing but are the preffered option because they aren't so noisy?
Telma all about it
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Old 22 June 2007, 18:21   #27
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Sorry Codprawn, I don't often tell you you're talking bollocks but you are now.
They teach 'Brakes to slow, gears to go' in the current LGV tests and it works.

If you try and slow up quickly using the gears you're far more likely to jacknife.
Who said anything about slowing down rapidly? The whole point of engine braking is to avoid the need to hit the brakes hard. Obviously there are times when you need and then the brakes operating on ALL wheels is definitely a better bet.

Some of the most skillfull driving I have seen was by some of lorry drivers in the Pyrenees. The drops were truly horrendous and the roads were narrow with rocks hanging out just right to rip open the side of the trailer. On the steep hills I noticed the drivers were hardly using their brakes - just the odd flash of lights now and then. When you are dropping a few miles the brakes would soon overheat and fade badly.
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Old 22 June 2007, 18:29   #28
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Originally Posted by jwalker View Post
I've reflected a wee bit on this incident, especially after Codder's remark about being in a low gear early and perhaps not getting into the skid situatioin in the first place.

Firstly, I'll mention why the trailer failed to brake cos it's kinda connected to the second point and it may also be useful for others to know. The boat and trailer hadn't been used for a while and although everything seemed ok a ring of rust had formed around the neck of the hitch shaft and it prevented the trailer moving forward to activate the brake. I guessed this and a bit later in the journey, when we were by ourselves on a lane and the road surface was better, applying the brakes with a jerk got the trailer to move forward and the brakes functioned. We did this a couple of times and that solved the problem. Later the rubber gaiter was released and that part was greased up. It was surprising how little rust it must have taken to cause the jam. This area is normally greased through the hitch grease nipples but, of course, the grease gets scraped forward by the braking action and the bit adjacent to the hitch casing is left kinda dry and vulnerable. Lesson learned.

However, we were caught out by the incident because we'd been travelling gently enough for the trailer brake not to come into use anyway and when we needed it and it didn't happen, it took us by surprise. The other point I've realised is that I do brake firmy enough, where appropriate, to deliberately exercise the trailer brake. It gives reassurance that it is working and also since it's a boat trailer, if you don't use it you'll lose it. I might now make a point of doing this early in each journey, before I'm forced to test it in anger.

I do understand Codder's way of thinking about using engine braking and we probably all use engine braking to a certain extent but to believe that the engine is the primary brake, which is the impression you are giving, Codders, I don't agree with. I can bring to mind numerous situations where there is just not the distance between road obstacles to get up to speed and then have enough distance left for the engine to brake a heavy load in time. It's simply not a practical way of driving.

On Cod's point about using an auto box manually, that's just an auto novice speaking. Once you really learn to drive and auto vehicle, you know how to make the box work for you...that's the whole point of an auto box. I do expect a response Mr Codprawn.
Good points. I always test my brakes before turning off a motorway if the sliproad is downhill and steep wether towing a trailer or not.

It is scary how little it took to stop the trailer brakes working - not a nice situation if not expected.

I didn't mean to advocate using engine braking as the only form of brakes. It all depends on the situation. For example if you are heading down a long steep hill or whatever. Having said that I do pride myself on being able to drive long distances without ever touching the brakes.

A lot depends on what you are driving and where. I use brakes harder than most when in the right car at the right time. Managed toi get brake fade on my mates Ferrari 360 - on the Black Mountains road Brynamman if anyone knows it.

Can't quite work out your points on the auto box though. I tend to lock them into gear when I need more control - last thing you want on the limit around a corner or when towing up a hill is the damn thing to change when you don't want it to. Yes I know you can control it by flexing your right foot but not when changing down you cant!!!
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Old 22 June 2007, 18:48   #29
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Can't quite work out your points on the auto box though. I tend to lock them into gear when I need more control
Like I said, a novice. Manually selecting a gear on an auto box doesn't lock the gear, it just selects it when in range for that gear. The box will still change if it feels it should.
Quote:
- last thing you want on the limit around a corner or when towing up a hill is the damn thing to change when you don't want it to.
I've never felt an auto box change gear and make me feel at risk. You are still equating it to a manual gearbox where the changing of a gear requires the drive to be broken in two places while the gear is selected, namely, the clutch and through neutral. So you have; drive - no drive - drive in an other gear, which the controls are not immediately balanced for. No matter how small that break, it unsettles the vehicle to some extent. An auto box doesn't function that way.
Quote:
Yes I know you can control it by flexing your right foot but not when changing down you cant!!!
That wasn't what I was referring to but you can easily force a change down if it's within the gearbox range.
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Old 22 June 2007, 19:16   #30
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Like I said, a novice. Manually selecting a gear on an auto box doesn't lock the gear, it just selects it when in range for that gear. The box will still change if it feels it should. I've never felt an auto box change gear and make me feel at risk. You are still equating it to a manual gearbox where the changing of a gear requires the drive to be broken in two places while the gear is selected, namely, the clutch and through neutral. So you have; drive - no drive - drive in an other gear, which the controls are not immediately balanced for. No matter how small that break, it unsettles the vehicle to some extent. An auto box doesn't function that way.That wasn't what I was referring to but you can easily force a change down if it's within the gearbox range.
I disagree - with every autobox I have driven the instant you change down it will give you extra braking - unless you try to stick it into 1st at 70 but I have never tried!!!

In fact the new Range Rover acts like a true manual and will lock in any gear and stay there.
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