Tractor-trailer accidents happen too frequently as seen in report after report from various news sources. Some of those accidents are caused by tractor-trailer brake problems. Brakes are, quite naturally, one of the most important parts of big rig driving. What can go wrong with big rig brakes? They can be overused, not maintained properly, or perhaps even be the result of a faulty design. Truck drivers need to be able to depend on their brakes – it is crucial. A driver can never be too cautious when it comes to brake maintenance and essential repair.
To maintain air brakes in sound working order, they need to be able to perform a host of tasks to keep a steady flow of air compressed and directed. As a driver presses on the brake pedal, the air is moved through the lines into the brake chamber. That air focuses on a push rod that goes up against the “slack adjuster.” An S-Cam then turns, allowing the brake linings to reach the brake drum, which creates friction to slow the truck’s speed. All processes need to function well together in order to assist the truck to slow.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Brakes
When properly maintained, air brakes are typically extremely reliable; they are more reliable than brakes on passenger vehicles, for instance, because the brakes on a passenger car can fail if there is a brake fluid leak. Air brakes will continue to work even through a small leak in the system. A disadvantage is what is commonly referred to as “brake lag.” This references the amount of time from the moment the truck driver’s foot presses the brake pedal until the time the truck actually begins to slow or stop.
Most big rig trucks feature two brake systems just to doubly ensure the safety of the truck for the driver and the passenger cars around the truck. J&M Trailer & Truck Repair knows brakes; call them with any questions you may have about the safety and maintenance of your truck’s brakes.