Semi trucks need access to functional brakes at all times. Because a semi itself weighs more than a passenger vehicle, these large trucks rely on air-actuated brakes rather than the hydraulic brakes found in passenger cars.
Brake maintenance is critical to the performance of a semi. Faulty brakes could result in fines from the Department of Transportation. Brakes that are not working efficiently could also result in serious injury. Give your heavy duty brakes the attention they need to remain in good condition.
Monitor Brake Pads
Heavy duty braking systems are equipped with brake pads that apply pressure to the brake drum in order to help bring a semi to a complete stop. The brake pads can show signs of wear over time.
It's important that you monitor the condition of your semi truck's brake pads closely. Many heavy duty brake pads have a hash mark that indicates when wear has exceeded safe levels. As soon as your brake pads approach this hash mark, replace them to maintain your braking abilities while hauling heavy loads.
Inspect Brake Drums
The condition of your semi truck's brake drums can have a direct impact on braking ability. The surface of the brake drums needs to be smooth in order to maximize contact between the brake pads and the drums during braking.
Heavy duty brake drums can become damaged over time. You should inspect your truck's brake drums on a regular basis to check for signs of significant damage. Look for evidence of hard spots on the surface of the brake drums, cracks running along the surface of the brake drums, and evidence of excessive wear.
If any of these negative indicators are present, replace the drums immediately to avoid a potential brake failure in the future.
Keep Brakes Lubricated
There are many moving parts within your heavy duty brake system. These parts need to be able to move freely in order to function properly. It's important that you take the time to lubricate your brake system often.
Be sure to use a high temperature brake grease to avoid potential contamination. Apply a generous amount of grease to all anchor pin bushings, oil seals, and cam bushings. Regular lubrication will allow your heavy duty braking system to function at optimal levels for increased safety over time.
Maintaining the condition of your heavy duty brakes is essential when it comes to ensuring your semi truck is safe. Take the time to give your brakes some TLC to avoid brake failure in the future.