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New driver group takes aim at speed limiters

FERGUS, Ont. -- While widespread opposition to Ontario's controversial speed limiter law has mostly peter...

FERGUS, Ont. — While widespread opposition to Ontario’s controversial speed limiter law has mostly petered out, a small group of drivers is claiming the law can cause runaway trucks.

Under the guise of the Ontario Commercial Drivers Coalition, founder Scott Mooney issued a press release claiming there have been numerous instances in Ontario where the speed limiter law has caused trucks to accelerate out of control because drivers needing to downshift have been unable to increase engine RPM to do so while at the maximum engine speed setting.

Mooney said it’s an issue on downhill grades where, in order to get the full benefit of the engine brake, a driver often must downshift.

“In order for a driver to be able to utilize the Jake Brake at its maximum slowing ability, the driver will need to change gears to a lower gear. If the vehicle has already exceeded the engines speed limiter setting before gearing down takes place, as the driver takes the truck out of gear to gear down, the speed limiter will not permit the driver to increase the engine RPM restricting the re-engagement of the transmission,” Mooney claims. “Once this happens, the truck will continue to accelerate out of speed control until it either reaches an incline, eventually slowing the truck, or by striking anything in the path of the truck.”

Mooney said he has tried bringing the issue to Transport Minister Kathleen Wynne’s attention but to no avail.

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11 Comments » for New driver group takes aim at speed limiters
  1. Steve H says:

    This draws a picture of a truck basically out of control. Travelling at 65 mph,downhill, pulling the truck out of gear with the plan to rev the engine high enough to get it into a lower gear. I’m surprised this driver is still with us. In my experience, which includes an x “new” driver instructor, the proper way to downshift under any conditions is to bring the road speed down to match the gear you are going into, (at about 1000 rpm depending on the truck.) Of course this would require that you use the brakes. I’m pretty sure that’s one the many purposes of having ones that work. Yes it’s true that years ago there were driving schools that taught downshifting as this driver describes. Pull it out of gear, rev it up to the ceiling so the road speed matches the rpm for that gear. This was a waste of fuel, damaging to the tranny and often resulting in the truck rolling free , out of gear, here I come,now I really want brakes. Oh please.

  2. Lance M says:

    I beleive that if a driver needs to increase the RPM of better braking effectiveness, would be at a slower rate of speed and in control while going down a hill. The drivers who feel the need to “run the hills” so that they do not slow down too much on the other side; are the ones that need the limiters in the first place.

  3. Harley F Bickmore says:

    I cant believe what i just read (three times) and it still dont make any sence ?

  4. James R. Townson says:

    Regarding MR. Mooney,s article about truck runaways on down grades: The drivers of those trucks have obviously never been taught how to down grade properly. They should be in the proper geer before they start their decent.

  5. David Robson says:

    As far jake brakes go, I rarely use mine unless I am in the Virginia’s or the eastern seaboard. When I do I am not going 65 mph. When I am doing 65 mph I let my speed go up to 70 mph and a quick brake down to 60 mph and repeat the process giving time for the brakes to cool as the jake reduces the rate at which I increase speed. If this does not work, then you are geared too high and should be in a lower gear with your four-ways on. Gear yourself to allow conservative braking so they don’t over heat.
    Where did he say this trucking driving school was that he went to?

  6. Kevin Brulotte says:

    Oh please, most rookies know that you are supposed to gear down before you start down the hill. Makeing rediculous statements such as Scott Mooney’s only further the perspective that truck drivers are idiots.

  7. xtruckers says:

    Jake’s are nice to have, but in Ontario?? How did we ever drive when there were no Jake Brakes. Maybe Old School driving should be taught instead! More concentration on driving than just making alot of noise to impress the guy beside you.

  8. popkorn says:

    it appears that someone must be smoking some good stuff,whether we like it or not speed limiters are here to stay.
    I disliked the idea at first but am now used to them and besides 65mph is a good speed on our highways.
    Now if you run a lot of USA then limiters are a different story.

  9. Furious Law Abider says:

    Just as a note dose know one relize that the speedlimiters are a joke I can travel down the 401 at 65mph between Windsor and the greater Toronto area and be past on any givin trip by at least ten trucks that leave me in the dust as in the are traveling at speeds in access of 70 mph + there truck is either showed goverend aT 65 mph then they change a progam which gives them a truck which is wide open but still shows them goverened at 65 mph when they are pluged into.This law is a joke I drive from east coast to west coast Canada and U.S im waiting for the day that some unexpecting motorist runs into the back of me in a 75 mph state or a 110 km prov.As far as the above i agree with the comments you are obviously apoching the grade at a greater speed than you should and never should use a jake break as your primary sorce of breaking it is a electrical piece of equipment that can fail at anytime.I say lose the speedlimmiter law and mabey have the OPP start doing there job and pulling over speeders works for Ohio and California just a thought it might just work

  10. G. Paul Langman says:

    WHOA. WHOA. WHOA. How come the speed limiters discussion brings out all the sillies in the industry? In the previous comments there are misunderstandings,silliness, and outright bull mixed with a few truths. Just for the record I am opposed to the legislation that demands speed limiters in every truck.I think it is a waste of taxpayers money. I am not opposed to companies deciding to speed limit their own trucks. In fact if I owned a fleet of trucks they would certainly join the speed limited parade, but I should be able to decide how my fleet is governed based on decisions made by me, in conjunction with my insurer and where the trucks go and the type of work, etc. One of the issues is certainly the speed limits west of the Mississippi. Driving 105 in Nebraska for example is the equivalent of doing 85 on the 401. Think of it in those terms, those of you who like the 105 idea!

    I have driven trucks with Jakes since 1987(and 10 yrs before that without), so I have some concept of how they work. Futhermore, for 4 yrs I drove for a speed limited fleet with Jakes. Mr. Mooney’s concern about downshifting is theoretically possible, but in real life shouldn’t be a problem. At the moment he refers to, at the very top of the hill, any kind of proper service brakes would be sufficient to bring things under control so the argument doesn’t hold water.

    As for the comments from others, some of you obviously have never or have seldom used Jakes. I don’t agree with a lot of places drivers use them like parking lots and 50 km zones, but I use mine in all kinds of terrain including 401 and it has nothing to do with the sound. It makes good economical sense. Further more I have seen very few trucks in the eastern part of Can. or the USA, including 401 driving over 105 for a few years. Nobody can justfy the fuel costs. I don’t know who is buying the fuel for the trucks running 120+ in the west, but it ain’t me!

  11. Stephen McWilliams says:

    Those of you who are commenting on this have obviously not been following Mr. Mooney’s debate with this issue.!/group.php?gid=41245355935

    There’s a couple links to get you started.

    First of all I will start by saying that I am not an experienced truck driver. I started out as a warehouse worker for an employer in Kitchener, ON who will remain unnamed. They provided me with a great opportunity. After working for this company for 4 years they agreed to pay for my driver training. I took my training, did my driving test, and passed with flying colours. I started driving team immediately with my fellow drivers, then advanced to solo runs in little time. I am currently a member of Scoot Mooney’s Facebook group, “Drivers Against Speed Limiter Legislation”. One day I received a message in my inbox asking if any drivers had ever experienced a speed limiter issue while driving. I posted my personal experience. I have been driving now for 2 years and I have learned a lot from my fellow company drivers. How to, and not to drive a truck. But I have also experienced a couple situations where a speed limiter has interfered with my personal knowledge of how to drive a truck. Entering and negotiating a downgrade, being anywhere near another truck that blows a steer tire, sleepy truck drivers, and people who should just not be behind the wheel of a truck. Whether you agree with the speed limiter law or not, you as a truck driver know the true problems on our highways today. First of all there is not enough education for new drivers. Do you know who taught me to stay to the right, unless passing, on the highway? That’s right, a truck driver, when I was 14 years old. How many trucks do you pass on the right these days? My favorite is the people who merge immediately to the middle lane when coming on the highway and then just drive 90km/h till they hit their exit, then fight to move over to the right through the people blowing by them at 105km/h. A speed limiter law has not stopped the speeding trucks, it has only congested the highways more. The people passing these laws are the problem. They have never even sat in a a truck I bet, let alone spend weeks at a time in one.

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