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Maintaining the Braking System of Your Truck and Trailer Parts 

Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

Truck and trailer operations place immense pressure on various truck and trailer parts over time. Therefore, you must ensure your truck is in optimal condition – particularly your braking system. This critical component requires regular inspections and maintenance to keep your vehicle performing at its best and to ensure safety.

Here are some in-depth insights on maintaining the braking system for trucks and trailers.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Regular inspections prevent costly repairs and ensure the safety of your vehicle. A daily pre-drive review of your brake system is an industry-standard practice. During these checks, assess the functionality of brake pedals, evaluate air leaks, and check brake drums for any signs of wear or damage.

Brake Adjustments are another critical aspect of brake maintenance. The Brake Stroke should be within permissible limits stipulated by the manufacturer or regulatory bodies. Misadjusted brakes can cause the vehicle to pull to one side, increase stopping distance, and reduce brake life.

Brake Fluid is the system’s proverbial lifeblood, and routinely checking and changing it can prevent corrosion and premature wear and offer superior brake function. Consistently drain the air reservoirs of water and compressor oil on air brake systems.

Replacing Worn Components

Despite regular maintenance, certain brake components will wear out and require replacement. Brake pads, for instance, wear down with use and must be replaced anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 miles, depending on the material type.

Similarly, brake linings, the friction material in brake shoes and pads that create the necessary resistance to stop the vehicle, also wear over time. Replacing them when they reach the manufacturer’s specified minimum thickness limit is essential.

Brake Rotors and Drums are subject to normal wear but also to warping or cracking due to heat buildup or extreme stress. These should be checked regularly for wear, replaced, or machined to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Electronic Braking Systems (EBS)

Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) are an advanced version of conventional air brake systems used in heavy-duty vehicles. EBS provides a more effective and efficient method to control the braking system, resulting in faster response times and improved safety. EBS combines electronics, pneumatics, and mechanics, allowing for more accuracy and better stability during braking.

The EBS consists of an electronic control unit (ECU), modulators, sensors, and an extensive network of data channels. The ECU processes real-time information from sensors across the vehicle to adjust brake pressure, distribute force, and manage braking functions optimally.

Maintaining Electronic Braking Systems

Regular inspections are essential to keep an EBS functioning optimally. You should examine the entire system, including sensors, wiring, and connections, checking for wear, damage, or debris that may affect the system’s performance. Additionally, ensure all the EBS components are free from dust and moisture, as these can cause malfunctioning or reduced efficiency.

Since the EBS relies heavily on software, keeping the system updated for optimal functionality is crucial.

EBS is an advanced system that requires specialised diagnostic tools to monitor components functioning correctly. You can perform periodic checks and scans using truck and trailer diagnostic tools to read error codes and analyse the EBS data.

Scheduled Component Replacement

Although the EBS components are more durable, they can wear out over time. Manufacturers provide a recommended replacement schedule for components like brake pads, sensors, and wiring to be replaced at specific intervals. Adhering to these guidelines ensures the system remains functional and safe. Consult your vehicle’s user manual or a certified mechanic for proper guidance.

Conclusion

Maintenance of the braking system of your truck and trailer is critical to ensuring the safety of your vehicle and everyone on the road. Always remember that being proactive about maintenance today can save significant costs and prevent unforeseen issues.

 

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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