When you drive a semi, you know the importance of trusting the braking system to stop on command. Yet, long hours on the road, combined with frequent stops can put significant stress on the brakes. Since your truck’s braking system is your first line of defense against a potentially deadly accident, this is one maintenance area that you never want to overlook. Make sure to follow these brake maintenance tips for semis to ensure that you never wind up with a runaway truck.
Follow the Recommended Schedule
Unfortunately, there is no universal rule for when you should have the brakes inspected, and the recommended schedule for brake maintenance can vary even among the same truck makes and models. This is because multiple factors such as the frequency of stops, amount of inclines you encounter, and the distance you drive on a regular basis can all increase the amount of strain placed on the braking system. When you take your rig in for ABS brake repair, talk to the technician about your driving habits to develop a personalized schedule that keeps your semi’s brakes in top condition. Although most trucks should have their brakes inspected with each oil change, yours may need care sooner.
Watch Out for Corrosion
Brakes are especially susceptible to corrosion, and road crews often use chemical preparations to remove ice and snow during the winter. While this does help to keep the roads safer, the chemicals used in deicer can work their way into the braking system. Over time, this can wreak havoc on the rotors and some of the newer preparations can get into the brake shoe table and the lining. Ideally, you should rinse the bottom of your rig with water to remove the majority of the deicer. Then, make sure to have your auto repair company check for corrosion during your brake services.
Perform Pre-Trip Inspections
To get your CDL, you were required to demonstrate your ability to perform a thorough pre-trip inspection. However, long-term drivers have a tendency to forget essential checks before they get behind the wheel. Make sure that your pre-trip check includes inspecting the brake hoses for cracks, and the liners to make sure that it is the appropriate thickness. During your inspection, you should also make sure that the slack adjustors are properly lubricated, and that the application pressure falls within acceptable levels. While the pre-trip inspection process is tedious, it can reveal a wealth of information about the truck’s safety on the road. At the first sign of a problem, make sure to arrange for prompt certified auto repair services to prevent accidents.
As a truck driver, you have a responsibility to make sure that your rig is always up to the highest level of safety standards. Set up regular brake maintenance visits and keep an eye on the system in between repairs so that your truck is always road-ready.