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Monitoring Your Truck for Potential Air Brake Problems

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Most heavy-duty trucks on the road today have an air brake system. This system is typically very efficient and is backed up by an emergency solution as well so that the driver can have some additional confidence behind the wheel. Yet you will have to pay some close attention to these separate systems as time goes by and you need to repair or replace certain components due to age or wear. What do you need to look at in particular?

Pressurised Drums

Unlike a conventional small car, a heavy-duty truck will rely on air pressure rather than hydraulic fluid. The vehicle will harvest this air from the outside atmosphere, and it will be fed through two separate components first, a dryer to remove all moisture and a filter to get rid of any contamination. Look here first when it is time to repair, as you will need to replace the filter cartridge at least once per year.

When the air enters the system, it pressurises the compressor and flows into individual storage tanks. This pressure must be maintained at all times so that the air can be sent to each wheel as soon as the driver presses the brake.

Pedal to Wheel

In between the brake pedal and the wheel are a series of components, including a valve that allows the air to flow from the tank and an adjustment mechanism that helps to keep the brakes in the correct position. In many vehicles, this process of adjustment is automatic, but these components can break down if they are not adequately maintained. You will need to check them from time to time and apply some grease as otherwise, they will likely seize up. When they do, the system will be considerably less efficient, and it will take longer to slow the truck. At the same time, you will need to repair or replace the bushings that hold the brake shoe camshafts, another important part of the operation.

Shoes and Drums

The brake shoes themselves will naturally degrade, and when you replace them, you will also need to fit new pins and springs. You may also have to repair the drums if they have worn down considerably.

Emergency System

Finally, don't forget to check the emergency air brake system as well, a separate tank that holds a reserve of air in case of emergency. Check the hoses that connect this system and look for any evidence of a leak so that you can make repairs as necessary.

For more help making any repairs, reach out to truck repair services.