My wife pointed this article out to me in the waiting room at the doctors office and I thought I'd share it here.
It always amazes me how many people don't even think to use the hand brake lever. On the 26/27 T's the hand brakes are powerful and surprisingly capable of stopping even a heavy fordor.
I think he was confused on directions from Bakersfield, and he surely meant the Ridge Route. www.RidgeRoute.com
Jeff Hood and I went on what I believe was the last Model T club tour before the road was closed.
I have been on portions of the Old Ridge Route, and it is much higher in elevation than the present interstate 5 and has many switchbacks. There are actually towns at each end of the road where sometimes trucks would come barreling down the grade right through town with no brakes. Castaic is at the south end and there was another town of Grapevine at the north end. Grapevine no longer exists as it was at the time of the old road, but a new Grapevine along the interstate is now near that location.
Not knowing exactly what happened in the above story, I would have thought it better to depress the low pedal and keep it depressed while pumping the reverse. But who knows what someone would do in a panic situation. Also the parking brake would work with low if the low were depressed, but if the low were not depressed, it would be in neutral and there would be no compression braking.
Always descend a hill in the same gear you would use to climb it. It would have been safer, and in the long run, quicker and less expensive, since they would not have to take time and pay to have the bands replaced.
I get up in the highest Rocky Mountains as often as I can. Some of the hills are as high as 25 continuous up hill miles. Examples are Pikes Peak, Mount Evans (highest road in the US.), and Trail Ridge (highest continuous road in the U.S.). On trail ridge and the others I have to use my RUCKSTELL the majority of the time to go UP. I would never think of using my ruckstell coming back DOWN. Most good running Ts have enough compression that they DO NOT HAVE TO SHIFT DOWN. I can drive down from the top of Trail Ridge to Estes Park in HIGH 25 miles and use my brakes once on one hair pin curve with no super.
Another bit of advice I Keep reading on the Forum is use your REVERSE as a brake when coming down hill. Just think for a minute what you are doing to the reverse drum when you do that. I have bought as many as 12 transmission at a time on auctions and seldom do I find a reverse drum that is not cracked. I bought six transmissions the other day at the zimmeron auction West of Loveland. I think I got one decent reverse drum. To pump the reverse pedal would even be worse, you are not only slamming the drum once you are slamming the drum every time you pump the pedal.
DON'T DO IT!
Amen on your reverse pedal advice! Just look at how thin those reverse drums are. They're not meant to take the heat. They are only meant for the light duty service of backing up the car and to be used only briefly.
That being said. If it's life or death, I'm using whatever the hell stops the car!
Well if it's "life or death" here's a guy that can mash all three pedals at once and have a hand on the emergency brake at the same time too. :-)
I would still contend that if you have ride the brake to maintain speed,a lower gear is in order. The rule of thumb I gave above is just that, a rule of thumb. But I don't think it is a bad one.