Semi-trucks range in weight from 35,000 to 80,000 pounds. Once it gets rolling, that’s a lot of weight to stop, which is why a semi’s braking system is so important. Everyone on the road is at risk when their braking system is broken, malfunctioning, or worn out. As a result, it’s critical for drivers to be aware of potential braking problems and know what indications to look for in order to avoid them.
Common Semi-Truck Brake Issues
Brake Shoes: Brake shoes are sold in pairs. As a result, they’re designed to wear evenly. However, they can become unbalanced and wear unevenly in some circumstances. This weakens one side and might cause braking problems. Squeaking or scraping noises or a truck that is less sensitive to braking than it should be are signs of this.
Incorrect Loading: Properly loading a rig is critical, since improper loading can result in a variety of complications, including troubles stopping.
Brakes, like many other parts of a semi, must be serviced on a regular basis to ensure that they are operating properly. If a massive semi-truck can’t stop, we’re not talking about a trivial issue. This is quite serious. Maintenance is therefore essential, particularly for the braking system and emergency backups.
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Over-brake: Drivers do not want to overwork the braking system by braking too hard or too often.
Brake Fade happens when drivers mistakenly overheat the brake drums by braking too hard or pressing the brakes too hard. The air brake system has a flaw in the form of brake fade. Instead of holding the brakes for lengthy periods of time, use short, forceful, intermittent brake applications to avoid this problem.
Brake Lock: This occurs when the truck’s brake shoe becomes jammed. A slow acceleration, almost as if the vehicle is being held back, is one sign of this. This is due to the shoe’s inability to disengage after being engaged.
Damaged Airline: Due to its air system, brakes can become damaged when certain parts of the truck’s airline itself are either punctured, cracked or broken. This means the air is no longer being pressurized properly and can lead to ineffective braking.
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What To Do if You Experience Brake Failure
There is nothing scarier for a truck driver than being unable to make their rig stop due to brake issues. Some ways experienced drivers can offset these issues and keep themselves and others on the roadways safe are as follows:
- Use the emergency brake to stop.
- Pump brakes (if hydraulic)
- Find an escape route
- Use an escape ramp
Keep all the information outlined above in mind to ensure the semi brake system is functioning properly.