Brakes are important, but often neglected. Brake violations make up one of the biggest citation groups during roadside inspections. In 2016, 13.2% of reported out-of-service violations were due to improper brake maintenance. September 7th is the CVSA’s Brake Safety Day. There was also an unscheduled brake check event on May 3, where “[i]nspectors […] sidelined almost 2,000 vehicles across North America” . Make sure you’re legal to keep rolling:
Are your brakes properly greased?
Whether you have a manual or an automatic, your slack adjusters and S cams need greased on a regular basis. The slack adjusters keep your brakes in alignment. S cams press the brake shoes into the brake drum, causing the truck to stop. Without proper lubrication, you run the risk of your brakes locking up and malfunctioning.
Check the air compression.
Air pressure is the driving force behind your brakes. If the pressure is too low, your truck will not stop. According to FleetAnswers, do not drive your truck if the pressure drops below 60psi. Check the air pressure on a regular basis to ensure it does not drop too low.
Don’t forget to check the lines.
Are there any visible cracks in the brake lines? Are they drenched in lubricant? Worn out or cracked brake lines can cause your brakes to malfunction. Checking them regularly can help you spot a problem before it starts.
How to extend the life of your brakes.
If you take care of your brakes, they will take care of you. Avoid hard braking to help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your brakes. Speeding can also shorten the lifespan of your brakes; it takes more force to stop at high speeds than it does for lower ones. The more you are aware, the less likely you are to run into trouble. Make it a safe day!