Braking systems are absolutely vital in any type of vehicle, but especially so in semi trucks and trailers. Considering the sheer size and weight of these trailers (upwards of 40 tons), you need to know they are going to be able to come to a stop quickly and reliably whenever needed, especially in high-speed situations.
Despite this importance, brake failure is one of the most common causes of truck accidents and, ultimately, truck accident lawsuits. With this in mind, here are a few tips for semi truck repair in Ocala, FL that will help you keep your brakes in great shape so you can avoid an accident:
- Regularly replace brake pads and other parts: Certain parts in brakes need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis so they continue to work properly. Brake shoes, for example, have indicators in place that make it easy to see when they need to be replaced. Any time you have the brake pads replaced, you should also replace the bushings, springs and pins. The brake drums should be available whenever the brake shoes are replaced as well.
- Regularly grease all necessary parts: Slack adjusters and S cams should be checked and greased to make sure they are working properly. Slack adjusters help keep the brakes properly aligned. Automatic types keep the brakes in alignment themselves, while manual require you to make regular adjustments. In either case, you need to do the greasing. S cams push the brake shoe against the drum, which stops the truck. These parts have bushings that must be greased if they are to keep working properly long into the future.
- Check the pressure gauge: Application pressure is absolutely critical in bringing a moving truck to a stop. The air compression pressure gauge should read over 60 psi before you use the vehicle at all, with the ideal pressure being between 100 and 125 psi. If you consistently see the vehicle falling short of this mark, the brakes should be serviced as quickly as possible. The vehicle should simply not be used if the psi falls below 60.
- Check all hoses and linings: Before you use a truck, you should make hose and lining checks part of your pre-trip inspection. These linings should never be soaked with lubricant, and should always measure at least a quarter of an inch thick. Air hoses should not appear worn, cracked or damaged in any way. Replace any damaged or worn hoses or linings as necessary to keep your brakes working properly.
- Keep checking: Have a plan in place to regularly check all elements of your brakes. Every time the vehicle is serviced, have a professional take great care to check the brakes and their parts as well. A good rule of thumb is to make these checks every time the oil is changed.
For more information about keeping your trailer’s brakes in great condition, or for any other needs related to semi truck repair in Ocala, FL, contact our team at J & M Trailer Repair today.