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Old 06-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
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Braking is to be minimized both in application pressure AND duration.

How long the brakes last is a direct reading of operator skill. Operator skill is to both reliability & longevity where component life is reflective of overall vehicle life.

Overall vehicle life IS Economy. MPG is just a subset reading.

Road strategy involves tactics of slowing for hills and turns (include blind curves). HOW MUCH one reduces speed — to be able to accelerate away from the turn apex is skill and experience. In short, new habits at the wheel.

I note that we all have two obstacles:

1). The 16-year old still at the wheel.

2). Being “out of synch” with other traffic.

The second is easiest. Drive like “them” and you drive like a literal retard.

The first is harder. Any new habits will take 13-weeks (calendar quarter) to become a new norm. Only change things you’re willing to make permanent. And no deviations (Two AM in the morning isn’t an exception; etc).

This reminder about brake life is DIRECTLY to reading tire life. If you MUST rotate tires, something is already wrong. I go past 100k on pickup tires and MAYBE rotate once.

Drive as if tires will never again be available to you.

The total time through a turn is what is at question. The retards won’t slow even when things are dangerous. Aggravating them is part of the fun. Especially as once at the curve or turns apex I could choose to out-accelerate them all and leave them in the dust (and sometimes do in order to change lanes out ahead).

Lane position and management of over-taking traffic are the skill development in getting ready for a curve, a turn or a downhill descent.

There’s no such thing as TOO SLOW in a descent. It’s a matter of DEGREE & DURATION in using the brake pedal like the throttle.

Load the vehicle to maximum. Become VERY SMOOTH in these matters at GVWR. Afterwards, useless gas-wasting solo driving is easy if you always drive as it loaded to maximum

At a quarter-million miles my pickup will have used two sets of tires and had one brake job.

The index is always relating these operational costs to the cost-per-mile. It’s vanishingly small in this example, and another of each isn’t much of a burden over total length of ownership.

The point is to have done the most work with the least fuel. Brakes & Tires are that pair of gauges. Assuming the desire for high mpg, this pair reflects that VERY well.

I’d hesitate in training someone to act as if they’ll run out of fuel (versus the thought about no more tires) as vehicle controls SHOULD be available in full capacity at all times. The introduction of timidity is not the intent.

But for the boy racers around here, “timidity” is not what you think it to be. The agressiveness with which I can horse this semi-tractor/trailer through traffic (lane changes, many at once, so to speak) isn’t evident from the outside. It’s almost like running in reverse against other traffic. Timing & control.

Until you car owners are burdened by your heavy, swaying, loaded-to-the -gills family vehicle and are good at it what you & your car can do is partially or largely hidden from you. All done safely.

EM is a fine site because you ALREADY have a desire to be better. Many or most of you soon learn that vehicle mods are a dead-end. Limited.

What DOESNT change (and is a helluva lot more fun to solve) are the constant DYNAMIC relationships between man & car, car & traffic etc.

In big trucks it’s: road, load, traffic & weather.

The spur is how easily you can be killed. Skill or experience don’t matter nearly so much as BEST HABITS. Safety & FE track the same, and the former always has precedence.

How to make a descent, both literally and figuratively, starts far in advance.


Last edited by slowmover; 06-14-2019 at 10:24 AM..
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