As commercial brake repair specialists, here at Red Rover Service, we can’t emphasize the importance of brake maintenance enough. So much can go wrong if you fail to get the service that your truck needs before it’s too late. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the reasons why brake maintenance is so important!
Commercial Brake Repair: The Importance of Brake Maintenance
Regular brake maintenance is a must, even as you begin your trucking career, this is something you had engrained into your brain. DO NOT GO WITHOUT REGULAR BRAKE MAINTENANCE! But in the interest of curious minds, what happens if you don’t stay on top of regular brake maintenance?
Your Truck Brake System
For simplicity, let’s assume you know nothing about semis (even though this is likely untrue it makes it easier to follow this article.)
The brake system on a semi-truck does not function in the same way that a brake system on a car does.
When you step on the brake in your car, your foot is applying force to the brake. This force is transferred to the brake fluid which turns the force into pressure which is applied to the brakes of your car. Your car then comes to a stop.
The brake system in your semi-truck, however, rely upon air in the brakes rather than brake fluid. So, when you step on the brakes in your semi-truck, your foot applies force to the brake and that makes compressed air move through the system via a series of valves. This air then applies the brakes.
Why Do Some Vehicles Use Compressed Air and Others Use Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid works well for cars because the fluid is incompressible so it simply transfers the force of your foot on the brake to the brakes of the car.
Large commercial vehicles, however, require much more force to stop them which is why compressed air works best. Air brake systems can apply much more force than traditional braking systems.
So, why kind of maintenance do you need to do regularly on your semi-truck?
Any good mechanic will check your truck’s braking system for
- Any signs of damage to the brake system components.
- Any cracks or leaks.
- Check brake pad indicators for indications that pads need to be changed.
- Look for any heat cracks on braking system components.
- Make sure that slack adjusters are greased.
- Check the S-cams bushings.
- Check the air compression gauge is properly functioning.
What Happens When These Components Aren’t Maintained?
When these components of the truck’s braking system are not regularly inspected and maintained you will notice a few “symptoms” including
- Grinding or squealing when you hit the brakes.
- Notice a difference in how your brake pedal feels when you push down on it.
- Your truck may begin to pull to one side.
- You may feel your truck vibrating
These signs are an indication that something is wrong and that you need to get your truck into a mechanic right away. If you don’t get in to see a reliable mechanic then you face complete brake failure.
What happens when your brakes completely fail? You’re in trouble and so is everyone else who is on the road at the same time as you.
It’s crucial for your safety and for the safety of everyone else on the road that you keep up with maintenance on your semi-truck and we’re not just talking about your brakes. Stay on top of your routine inspections, your regular maintenance tasks (like oil changes and brake checks), and keep an eye on your truck tires. The more vigilant you are, the less chance there is that you are going to have to face a runaway truck situation.
How Often Should You Service Your Semi Truck’s Brakes?
A good rule of thumb is to have your brakes checked over every time you change the oil on your truck. This is because your brake condition is going to vary depending on how often you travel and how you treat your vehicle during your trips.
The best way to stay on top of your brake health is to find yourself a good reliable mechanic who can serve as your reminder for regular maintenance checks!
Are You Looking For Commercial Brake Repair Mechanics?
If you are looking for a reputable commercial brake repair mechanic in or around Charlotte, NC, Red Rover Service is here to help! Just give us a call today at 704-317-6161 to set up an appointment with our shop! We can complete repairs, inspections, and everything in between on your commercial vehicles and commercial land equipment!