Originally Posted by Superchief
Hank, Not sure about testing at the top of a grade, but when Ed (wnytaxman) took his "B" endorsement driving test for New York State, the Examiner told him he should run a static test on the air brakes before any trips. Craig
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Running a full static test at the start of every DAY is what the regs call for, IIRC. However, I know of NO driver that does more than check for 90-100+ lbs of pressure, before driving off (that's inside the cab.... outside a good driver will check slack adjusters, etc).
As far as top of steep grade checks, I was never taught what to do. If a driver does stop (most do not) he should check for overheated/smoking brakes, I'd guess.
When I drove there were almost no hills in the whole country that I could not descend SAFELY by down shifting and using the jake brake; it's just that doing it that way is much slower than using the brakes some. Also if raining or other bad traction conditions, DON'T do it, as you're only braking on one axle out of five.
Old drivers saying: You can descend a hill to slowly over and over; you can only descend a hill to fast ONCE.