Proper Air Brake Maintenance Reduces Downtime

Proper maintenance and operation of your truck's air brake system can dramatically reduce downtime.

Air brake systems are made up of many separate parts, all of which must be in good condition to provide reliable operation. Inspections catch problems early. In addition to visual driver inspections, technician inspections are important and should be performed on a regular basis," says Joe Kay, chief engineer of brake systems, Meritor. "During these more thorough inspections, technicians should check linings for wear, cracks and fractures."

Check air brake systems for:

Understand Proper Operation

It's important to understand that all brakes build up heat during use due to friction. However, excessive use of the brakes when descending a grade creates excessive heat. This causes a loss of braking power known as brake fade.

Long downhill runs can wreak havoc on a brake system if the driver doesn't understand proper braking technique. Avoid continuous application of the brakes in these circumstances. This creates heat build-up, which causes the brake drum to expand. The shoes have to travel farther and the brakes eventually fade. The proper technique for braking on long grades is intermittent application, known as snubbing.

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