Semi Truck Brake Maintenance: When You Should Have Them Checked?

May 23, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

Vehicle brakes are a crucial component of every automobile. However, unlike passenger vehicles, truck brakes are in charge of slowing down the automobile and the goods the truck is transporting. So semi-truck brakes must be in top shape. 

What do you include in brake maintenance?

The following are important brake maintenance tips:

  • Regular replacement of brake parts: Replacement of brake parts regularly assists you in ensuring the system functions appropriately. Brakes have an in-built indicator that notifies you of the time to replace the pads. 
  • Lubrication of the slack adjusters: The adjusters (automatic or manual) are responsible for maintaining the brake’s alignment when they are engaged. If you do not oil them properly, they can cause brake failure. Lithium grease is a wonderful lubricant for both automatic and manual slack adjusters.
  • Inspect air compressor pressure gauge: The air compressor gauge should read over 60 psi before you begin driving and about 100 to 125 psi when driving. In case the pressure is below 100 psi, stop and service your brakes. 
  • Checking of hoses and linings: They also need to be free from cracks and free of any lubrication. You will probably need to replace these components frequently to keep your system in working order. 

Why should you engage a professional to perform brake maintenance?

Some drivers may be able to do some vehicle maintenance by themselves. However, brake work should always be done by a semi-truck servicing professional. Drivers also need to get a post-trip inspection report from commercial motor vehicle inspectors, including any corrective actions. 

How frequently should you perform brake maintenance?

The service schedule is dependent on your style of driving and the type of truck. That said, we recommend having your brakes examined every time you change the oil. 

Causes of wearing and tearing of brakes 

  • Wear and tear of rotor: A rotor is a disc on the brakes that attaches to the car’s wheel. 
  • Imbalance in the alignment of pads: Misaligned pads cause uneven wear and tear, affecting the functioning of the braking system.
  • Corrosion of the rotors: Rusting of rotors affects the whole braking system and can make the pads produce a shrill, loud noise every time you brake.

Signs your brakes need servicing

  • Squealing: If your brakes begin to produce a high-pitched, shrill noise the moment you press the pedal, it implies you require to replace them.
  • Grinding noise: This shows that the vehicle’s brakes are falling apart and might endanger your rotors. If you do not replace the brakes immediately, they might affect other parts.
  • Vibrations: These are often caused by defective rotors resulting from heavy loading.
  • The brake pedal fails to respond as before: When you step on the pedal and it falls easily to the floor, the brake pads are worn or the brake line is leaking. 
  • Pulling: Pulling is caused by wear and tear of the pads or air brake line dysfunction: this causes the semi-truck to move to one side when you brake. Pulling can be fatal if the semi-truck swerves and hits a vehicle or person. You should treat brake issues with the utmost urgency because if ignored, they might fatal accidents. 

Semi-truck brakes are not like regular car brakes, which deal with only the weight of the automobile when stopping. Semi-truck brakes deal with the weight of the vehicle and its load. Thus, you should maintain them in top shape to ensure optimum efficiency.

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