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Old 04-11-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Engine Brake and gas mileage

Does anyone driving a Berk or Charleston drive all the time with their engine brake on? I have been doing it since I got the unit last summer and like the fact that it controls my braking better but I also wonder if I am losing gas mileage because of it. I can't seem to break the 10mpg ceiling and many out there say I could expect higher MPG. On a recent roundtrip from Philly area to Buffalo with almost 75% of it on thruways, I maxed out at 9.4mpg. Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:54 PM   #2
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Boxers-rule,

I have not noticed a MPG difference in driving with the engine brake on. The only time I do not drive with it on is in wet weather, which can cause you big problems when your brakes lock up (found this out at a Freightliner Seminar last year). I have driven for the past 4 1/2 years with the Engine Brake switch on. It has also "saved" me a number of times when someone pulls in front of me and suddenly stops or turn right unexpectedly! Craig


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Old 04-11-2016, 01:39 PM   #3
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Do you use the "Mode" or economy mode on the transmission? I have the Allison 3000 and will use it if driving through flat terrain.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:39 PM   #4
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Boxers-rule,

I have not noticed a MPG difference in driving with the engine brake on. The only time I do not drive with it on is in wet weather, which can cause you big problems when your brakes lock up (found this out at a Freightliner Seminar last year). I have driven for the past 4 1/2 years with the Engine Brake switch on. It has also "saved" me a number of times when someone pulls in front of me and suddenly stops or turn right unexpectedly! Craig


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Craig- I am also leaving mine on most of the time, but did not now about the rain issue (haven't driven with it on in the rain and won't do so after reading your post).

Hope you're doing well Craig!

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Old 04-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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No difference I always have engine brake on. It may be your driving style. I've gotten as high as 12.4 mpg with the brake on. average 10.2 mpg overall. low of 8.2 mpg over the content divide 6 times in a day, high of 12.5 on flat land in a 2011 390RB40. I drive at a top speed of about 62 mph any higher and the milage drops quickly from the drag of the Berk.
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:44 PM   #6
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I'm in the group that leaves mine off unless needed in hilly Terrain. I don't want my brake coming on every time I let off the gas to Coast down a hill or because a truck in front is slower. I also Understand the brake lights come on each time you let off the throttle and I do not want that either.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:17 PM   #7
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I'm with Dan-nickel.... Only use mine going down steep grades... Haven't faced rain but will use it then as well....


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Old 04-11-2016, 03:20 PM   #8
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I'm with Dan-nickel.... Only use mine going down steep grades... Haven't faced rain but will use it then as well....


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Not an expert but with driving a firetruck at least.. I was told to keep it off in rain and snow. I was told.. It MAY induce loss of control under the right (or wrong) conditions.

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Old 04-11-2016, 03:27 PM   #9
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Not an expert but with driving a firetruck at least.. I was told to keep it off in rain and snow. I was told.. It MAY induce loss of control under the right (or wrong) conditions.

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X2!! Was told never to use it in rain or snow for the same reason doc stated.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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Engine Brake and gas mileage

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Originally Posted by dan-nickie View Post
I also Understand the brake lights come on each time you let off the throttle and I do not want that either.

You bring up an interesting point.
I have often wondered if the brake lights did, in fact come on.
When towing with my truck, the engine brake will slow me from 100 kph right down to about 15 kph.

Without using the foot brake.

Have you confirmed the brake lights?


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Old 04-11-2016, 03:54 PM   #11
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I leave it on in the "low" setting but will use "high" for steep terrain. I would not use it in snow. The brake light DOES come on with exhaust brake. BEWARE THOSE OF YOU WHOSE TOAD BRAKE SYSTEMS ARE ACTIVATED BY BRAKE LIGHT!!
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:03 PM   #12
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I know our FD trucks brake lights came on.. Wonder about my regular truck as well now.

Never would have thought about the toad brakes.. That could suck.

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Old 04-11-2016, 04:11 PM   #13
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It will not activate the Brake Buddy, but there are others that it will activate. (This was something I specifically looked for when we set-up the toad). I can only imagine how that will wear the brakes of a toad, with just the toad brakes trying to stop the motor home.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:27 PM   #14
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That's when the smoke starts showing on that smart car!

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Old 04-11-2016, 05:49 PM   #15
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We leave the exhaust brake on all the time, as to the mode it depends on in city, hills etc. Usually turn off the exhaust brake when road is wet. brake light come on when exhaust brake kicks in.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:55 PM   #16
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I'm not sure I understand the advantages of leaving it on all the time.... Seems like you'd want to have the ability to "coast" at times and that would take that advantage away wouldn't it????




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Old 04-11-2016, 07:15 PM   #17
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I only use mine when I need it. I like 150.5 mpg coasting down hills! On cruise control the engine brake is never engaged.


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Old 04-11-2016, 07:28 PM   #18
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Aw man... I only got 126.8...


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Old 04-11-2016, 07:34 PM   #19
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So I am not the only one that finds this oddly satisfying..

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Old 04-11-2016, 07:39 PM   #20
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The engine brake being on or off will not effect fuel mileage. It is simply a auxiliary brake and that is it. It uses the engine to slow the vehicle down when the accelerator is in the off position. With out getting into specifics of its operation, it couldn't be simpler. .if you'd like to know more google "how an engine compression brake works". Or "how a Jacob's brake works".or Jake brake
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