Are you in 4-WD when hauling? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,178
• Horses: 4
Originally Posted by Beling View Post
Thanks so much for the replies!

We've already burned out one set of brakes through sheer ignorance. We have a Ford 150, and NOW we have the electric brakes for the trailer with controller. Our route isn't long, but in a couple of cases, it involves several miles of steep, windy roads, all downhill. (No ice or snow, ever!)

And during a recent trip, by the time we got home, I could smell that distinctive brakes-not-happy odor. Had them checked, they were fine, but I've been kind of worried ever since.

My driver has started down-shifting (automatic) but it's amazing how fast you can travel, even in first gear. So I was thinking 4WD might add a couple more brakes...hard to find answers to this.

So thanks again!
The answer is, NO 4wd doesn't assist in breaking. It can if on a slick surface (which you said isn't your issue) and relying on engine breaking. Engine breaking with most auto transmissions is similar to hanging your hat out the window. Well really all gas and diesels w/o an engine break. Though diesels have an advantage and manual transmissions are really the best way to use it. Modern auto trans will not down shift if you're above the governed speed for said gear. Example, you're Rollin 65mph and slap her in first, not a dang thing will happen. Even back into the 60's 70's they had mechanical shift goveners. So down shifting at speed is useless, starting slow in that gear is a better option. Sounds like you've already resolved the issue by installing the break controller. As long as the trailer has good breaks, life should be good. Also, driving style is another issue all together. But my thumbs hurt now :)
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post #22 of 23 Old 02-21-2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: S.E Wisconsin
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I know this will be long but.. I'll add into this as well, even though others have said it. Using 4wd does nothing to help with braking. Using 4wd on dry pavement is hard on the transfer case,Diffs, drive-line components(u-joints). Mostly when turning, as the wheels are now all going different speeds. It cause the systems to bind up. You can even feel the truck start to 'twist' the chassis in the turns. I've seen folks blow there transfer cases forgetting to turn 4wd off. Yes you can engage 4wd on gravel surfaces, this is what I will do with my 2006 Chevy 2500HD with the Duramax Diesel so 4wd at-least gets some use. 4wd low puts a TON of torque to the wheels in order to help you get out or get going. Plus low top speed 15mph or so(depends on gearing/type of truck) In my truck 4wd Low I have to hold the brakes harder to keep it stopped cause it has so much torque. You can over-speed the engine really quick, honestly I wouldn't use it for towing on dry roads it's not going to help you brake.

IDK, what year your truck is or in configuration(ex cab, short bed, gearing?) how big or heavy your trailer is or how steep the grades are in your area. One this is, have you weighed your truck an trailer? or if not, have a place to take it an get it weighted? You might be over the max what your truck can pull and even over the max payload weight for your truck can be. It's very easy to do, especially with light duty trucks like an F150. In this case you gotta slow way, way down before approaching the downgrade. Make sure the trailer brakes are in good shape AND your trailer brake controller is adjusted properly to the weight of what your hauling.

Find out what the total weight is of what your hauling, even without a scale you can estimate the weight by finding out what the empty weight of the trailer is from the manufacture. What your hauling good sized horse can be an easy 900-1,100 plus pounds each, etc. then figure out the weight of the other stuff and go from there.
I've been down steep grades with my truck without issue mostly thanks to the help of the transmissions "grade braking" feature when you put the trans in "tow/haul" mode. It downshifts the trans and simulates what a manual does when you down shift earlier and uses engine compression to slow you. It works really well, I wish all trucks had this feature.
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post #23 of 23 Old 02-21-2013, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,109
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Don't you downshift on steep hills?

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