We rely on trucks every day to deliver various products from suppliers to retailers or to send courier products to specific destinations. They carry our food, clothing, and other supplies we need and want. Air brakes are often used on larger or heavier vehicles. Because air can be found so easily everywhere, it is easier to use the gases in the air to operate the braking systems of trucks and other large vehicles.
On trucks, basic air brakes are the most common systems found. This system uses the triple valve principle that was originally invented in the late 19th century. Air fills into the brake tubes releasing the brakes.
When the truck is in an idle position, air pressure will push the diaphragm or S-Cam (an “s” shaped cam that separates the brake shoes and pushes them against the brake drum) into a closed position which will release the brake. system. Once you press the brake pedal, the air pressure will drop, which will rotate the cam, spreading the brake shoes against the drums.
The compressor will then refill the reservoir with compressed air and return to its original state when you release the pedal.
Similar to standard air braking systems are emergency air brakes found on a truck. The emergency brake is located around the dash and must be pulled to activate it. Once you push the emergency brake back, the brake system fills with air.
Operating a truck is hard if you think it works the same way as the car you drive every day, you would be wrong. Most trucks will indicate that the emergency brake is on and must be released with a flashing light. If this emergency brake is not released, the truck will stall and lurch forward.
The entire system works similar to normal light vehicle brakes. From time to time you will need to take the truck in to replace the brake pads as they will wear out. The truck is much larger than normal vehicles, which means that larger and heavier work platforms must be present to stop the vehicle.
Driving trucks is quite a chore and repairing the various brake parts can be challenging, so it is imperative that you take this heavy vehicle to a reputable brake and clutch assembly center. They will have all the necessary machinery and skills to handle such a huge task.