Driving a semi-truck involves exceptional understanding and knowledge of operating and maintaining your vehicle. Knowing how to care for and preserve your air brakes is also incredibly important. So here are important facts about semi-truck air brakes every truck driver should know.
They Need Air Brake Testing
If there’s one thing every semi-truck driver should do, it’s schedule regular air brake testing. It’s crucial to have the driving skills, proficiency, and knowledge to drive semi-trucks, and practicing proper air brake testing can ensure safe driving practices.
Passing a commercial driver’s license test involves properly engaging and disengaging parking and hydraulic brakes. It also involves checking for air brake leaks, activating spring brakes, knowing air warning signs, and shutting off air compressor systems. Furthermore, knowing how to engage properly and disengage truck service brakes, understanding air brake components, and being able to perform pre-trip air brake inspections are crucial.
They Fit Better Than Hydraulic Brakes
There are significant differences between air brakes and hydraulic brakes and reasons why air brakes work optimally for semi-trucks. For starters, hydraulic brake lines only pressurize when the pedal presses down, while air brakes remain under constant pressure. Furthermore, hydraulic brake systems have a fixed amount of brake substrate. Any loss cannot receive a replenishment without vehicle service. Meanwhile, air brake systems can recharge air pressure over time.
Air brakes can easily disconnect and connect using quick-connect features built into their hose fittings. As a result, air brake lines from tractors can easily detach from one trailer and connect to another in minutes. Lastly, air brakes easily run along the entire length of the trailer safely compared to hydraulic brake lines.
They Provide Safe, Effective Stopping
It’s no surprise that air brakes have made their way to heavy commercial vehicles to allow for safe stopping. One important fact about semi-truck air brakes is that they were originally for railcars and trains due to their heavy weight and need to slow down efficiently. Air brakes consist of an air compressor, governor, brake pedal, gauges and warning signals, brake reservoirs, and brake chambers that work harmoniously.
Air brakes provide powerful, dependable braking action via air pressure throughout the entire semi-truck length, from the trailer steering axle to the rearmost axle. Furthermore, the air pressure is a replenishable resource that regenerates as the truck operates.
Van Horn Truck Parts offers professional semi-truck drivers with exceptional trailer and truck parts at competitive prices. Our semi-truck air valves ensure consistent air brake pressure for efficient stopping and slowing down. Contact us about our semi-truck and trailer products today.