With all the momentum a commercial vehicle can hold barreling down the road, efficient, clean braking is essential. Some things are helpful to assist with braking through difficult terrain, such as runaway ramps as offshoots on highways through hills or mountains. These ramps can help lessen wear on brakes as well as prevent accidents. Outside these useful road tools, there are ways to pay attention to how your brake system is functioning and not wait for repairs until the situation reaches dangerous levels.
There are all kinds of components within the brake system, such as brake lines, rotors, brake pads, shoes, drums, chambers, valves, pistons, camshafts, discs etc. that all work together to function. If one element goes down, it affects all the others’ abilities to function effectively as well. As you learn your vehicle, you’ll be able to tell when something feels off.
If ever you begin to hear feel a “crunching” sound or hear a kind of screech when you brake, that’s a sign that the brake pads might be wearing down. If left to continue to wear, they will start affecting the rotors, making the vehicle less safe to drive and a pricier repair later on.
Unlike cars which use hydraulic braking, trucks use a system called compression braking that utilizes air rather than fluid. If your truck’s brakes need repair, it’s important to have a mechanic that specializes in the compression system and knows how to understand, handle, and fix the whole diagram of a truck’s braking system.
Depending on the terrain and weather, some areas are going to wear on your brakes more than others. It’s crucial to pay attention to the braking system and have maintenance tune-ups and thorough repairs when necessary. Also, know the engine-braking laws in each town you drive through!