As far as power braking goes our hoggers don't really do it in the yards. We have a lot of work to do and slow hitches or "parlor car" hitches really slow us down. What is the best use of power braking that yo are talking about?
What "I" call power braking, is applying the independent while in power "HELLASTOP" when switching cars around. Ive used that method before when spotting cars at the tipple, or putting tanks right on the mark, but thats it. Makes for a rough ride, we use to have to change our own brake shoes on the motors when i was a contract switcher, that could be another reason i hate to see engineers using that method to control there speed.
When i do handle cars with out air, i try to build up enough speed so i can coast the full distance to the stop, if its a down hill move i try to give it enough time at a coast that the slack stretches out on its own or just give it a little brake. Slightly up hill moves same thing, i have enough speed while coasting that the grade slows the cut so theres not a big change in the slack. Hopefully you used something like that there SLCHUB, a little power, idle, throw the independent on, back to power, throw the brakes on again, that aint good.
Another thing i found that bad hogs have a problem with while shoving back with air set on the cars, at some point they go to idle with too much set, anything they do after that to fix there "$%^& up" isnt good. At some point in long big shoves i always notch off a bit just to see how good my set is working out for me. If i feel initial isnt enough at that point i'll draw off a few more (2 or 3 lbs. at a time) till i feel i have her where i want her. Giving the brakes enough time is the trick.
We have a couple jobs here also there buddy where slamum, crashum, and dragum is the name of the game. Last time we (or I) ended up shoving a loaded sand car up on to a concrete divider used as a bumping post. Most of the time a good hog can tell what they want by the tone in there voice. I must have mistaken his anger in someone pulling pins in that track as a sign to hurry up. lol
When i was a contract switcher the mine has a few car repair tracks. We used to leave about a twenty foot gap in between each hopper when spotting them up. When it came time to make a pull, we used the term "Stackum And Rackum".
to get them together.