Cummins buys Jake Brake

Cummins buys Jake Brake

Jake Brake comes home

We think this story should be called “ Jake Brake comes home”. The Jake Brake was originally invented by Clessie Cummins. But holding it in-house, made it unlikely that they could use the technology to develop and sell Jake Brakes to other OEMs like Caterpillar, Detroit, Volvo and Mack – which they did. So, Cummins sold the product or the company Jacobs Vehicle Systems. Cummins Inc has now announced the signing of an agreement to (again) acquire Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS), currently a subsidiary of Altra Industrial Motion Corp.

The Jake Brake, and why we love them

The driver-controlled compression release brake system (Jake Brake) temporarily turns the engine into an air compressor. Instead of recovering the energy consumed by the compression stroke, the compression brake system then deletes the following power stroke. This results in a substantial braking force generated entirely within the engine cycle and transmitted to the road wheels via the engine pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft and drive train.

This technology has saved wear and tear on brakes the world over, greatly extending their service life. More importantly, by reducing the friction and reliance on the foundation (wheel) brakes during long downhill stretches, the Jake brake keeps them from overheating and failing when the truck driver needs them most. To understand how the Jake Brake works see –

Clessie Cummins nearly loses his life and is inspired to develop the Jake Brake

It all started when the founding father of U.S. diesel engines nearly lost his life due to failing brakes and an inopportune train schedule. Ninety years ago, Clessie Cummins, founder and namesake of the engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc., along with two compatriots, hopped in a diesel truck specially outfitted with bunks, storage and stove for an incredulous journey across America to test the endurance of diesel trucks.

That 3,214-mile trip from New York to California trailblazed the way for every long-haulier who followed, all for the fuel cost of $11.22, or $194.15 in today’s dollars. But it almost cost Cummins his life. Dashing down the Cajon Pass on the old Route 66 in California, which has an apex of 3,777 ft. above sea level, Cummins saw a train roaring across the road below. As the legend goes, he barely missed T-boning the caboose as the truck crossed the tracks. In the decades that followed, Cummins kept that near-miss — and how to avoid another — close to his heart.

“In the ’50s, when he finally retired from Cummins, he spent some time working on that and trying to figure out how to turn the engine into some sort of compressive brake,” explained Steve Ernest, then vice president, Engineering and Business Development for Jacobs Vehicle Systems, the company that formed in 1961 to commercialize the braking innovation.

Torquepower, proud to be part of the Cummins story since 1978 #torquepower #cummins #jakebrake — at Torque Power Diesel Australia Pty Ltd.