WELLSBORO — Borough council is asking the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to align its signs prohibiting the use of brake retarders, or jake brakes.
Councilman Lou Prevost said jake brakes should be used sparingly or not at all on slippery or potentially slippery surfaces as the wheels can lock and cause a rig to jackknife.
Jake brakes are employed to slow the truck’s speed on steep descents, saving wear on the brakes. The jake brake releases compressed air from the cylinder, slowing the vehicle by absorbing the engine’s power. The release of the compressed air creates a loud and deep rumble.
Currently, signs restricting the use of brake retarders are located on State Route 287. Going south, the sign is posted at the borough limit near Lake Nessmuk. The sign on the northbound lane is one mile within the borough.
In July, the borough asked PennDOT to investigate the location of the signs and align them. PennDOT responded in August, agreeing to conduct a study of the area. The study should be completed by the end of this month.
If approved, the borough would have to enact an ordinance lengthening the restriction, as well as purchase and install signing.