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Jake braking semi
Jake braking semi


What is Jake Braking and Is it Legal?

Jake Braking is a type of braking that uses the engine to slow down the vehicle. Jake Brakes are what is used on big trucks, buses, and other large vehicles in order to stop them from moving.

When Jake Braking is activated, the exhaust valves open and release what is called a compression release engine brake. This uses what is called a compression or decompression brake to slow down the vehicle by releasing what was trapped in the cylinder when it was being compressed before reaching top speed. The brakes are on at all times while driving but they only activate if you push hard enough to make them work. Jake braking can be loud because of how quickly engines need to come up from idle and what is happening inside that normally would not happen with an automatic transmission car (such as shifting gears). It takes time for these vehicles to move again after stopping so there needs time for this process to complete which means drivers have less control over getting back into traffic once the car is stopped.


Jake brakes do not need any type of hydraulic fluid like ABS (anti-lock braking systems) which means there is less of a chance for the system to fail when out in heavy traffic.

One downside of this type of breaking as opposed regular car brakes would be how quickly the brakes can wear down. Since Jake Brakes are what is used on big trucks, buses, and other large vehicles in order to stop them from moving this means that they need more power than a regular car would (like what you find with a hydraulic brake system).

Some of the benefits of Jake braking include not needing any type of hydraulic fluid because there is less chance for failure like what happens with ABS which require centrifugal force to work properly. Another advantage is how quickly these types of breaks will come up at idle so as soon as drivers put pressure on their foot pedal it engages right away instead of having to wait for momentum or slowly coming up when accelerating off the pit lane.

Jake brake pedal

Is Jake Braking Illegal?

There is no federal law that states what Jake braking is, when it should be used, or what the consequences are of using this type of braking. It is up to each state to work with their own government in order to determine if there will be any laws created against Jake Braking (or engine breaking).

Most cities don’t make decisions without approval from their respective county governments some counties do enforce rules about what types of vehicles can use engines for braking purposes so drivers need to check before taking on long hauls.

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