The author discusses the use of retarders and their effects on drive axles, wheel bearing, and drive unit bearings under varying driving conditions and speeds. It appears the use of retarders for vehicle control during downhill operation has little effect on wheel bearing life but it does have a substantial effect on the drive unit bearing life. As long as conditions leading to surface destruction are avoided, the life of the drive gears is not likely to be affected by the use of retarders.
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