Originally Posted by codprawn
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.
Isnt this normal driving procedure for steep descents? My instructor (car) said choose the gear to descend that would have used for ascent.
I've had a similar experience to JW with a trailer pushing me in a 4 wheel slide. Disconcerting to say the least my main worry was the same thing happening on a bend going down hill, jack knifing and slithering off the road. We check our brakes for operation and then for binding after a few miles. I'd even considered wiring in an infra red sensor to look at each wheel but thought I was getting a tad paranoid!