Brake Safety Week: How to Make Sure Your Brakes are Maintained and Working

Braking systems are one of the most important components of any semi vehicle on the road. A matter of safety and security for not only the truck’s driver and the cargo they’re carrying, having a well-maintained brake system should keep everyone else on the road safe.

Brake failure is a common cause for accidents and fatalities that involve semi trucks, which will ultimately lead to lawsuits. Having truck insurance, like regular auto insurance, in place will help to provide legal help and liability protection in the event of an accident, but there should be a focus on overall preemptive safety beforehand. Here are some tips to keep in mind when evaluating and providing maintenance to your semi truck:

Replace Pads

Like everyday vehicles on the road, semi trucks have plenty of parts that need to be taken care of and, in time, replaced to uphold integrity on the road. Brake shoes have indicators built into the pads that display when replacement is a need. When a truck is taken in to have the pads replaced, make sure to replace the springs, pins and bushings for the brakes. Essentially, look at this maintenance as a full service job, making sure all components are new.

Slack Adjusters

These work to keep the brakes in alignment when they are in use. Trucks on the road have either manual or automatic slack adjusters, but both need to be greased to work efficiently and effectively. Automatic slack adjusters will keep the brakes in adjustment automatically, whereas manual adjusters require the driver to make the adjustments on their own.

Many operators regretfully forget to grease the slack adjusters, mostly because they are not regularly used. What happens when they go without maintenance for long enough is that they seize up and stop working, which can cause brake failure over time.

S Cams

The S cam is turned by a shaft that’s operated by the slack adjusters mentioned above. The S cams do their work by pushing the brake shoe into the drum to stop the truck. Obviously, they are extremely important given their nature. Make sure to check the bushings when getting maintenance done; bushings are part of the S cam, and need to be greased just like the slack adjusters.

Air Compressions

Check the application pressure and ensure that the gauge reads greater than 60 psi before getting the truck moving. The pressure should run between 100 psi and 125 psi, all working to stop the truck at a reasonable rate. The brakes should be serviced when the application pressure is consistently falling low and a truck should not be used if the pressure drops below 60 psi.

When Brakes Should Be Serviced

Make sure to set out a routine plan and schedule for evaluating and servicing your truck’s brakes for premium safety on the road. Distance traveled between service may vary depending on the truck, but no matter the size and condition of the truck, as well as the model and year, it’s important to have a routine maintenance done.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and  transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.