Air Brakes Require Proper AdjustmentAir Brakes work differently than car brakes
Deadly accidents caused by defective truck brakes should be prevented. Maryland class A commercial driver’s licenses require drivers to demonstrate that they know the safety rules of air brakes. Many commercial motor vehicles use air brakes. A typical passenger car uses hydraulic fluid to activate disc brakes. A car’s braking system involves storing hydraulic fluid in a chamber. When the brake pedal is pressed the hydraulic fluid is pumped through hoses into a piston that presses two brake shoes against a brake pad or against a brake rotor. If a brake hose develops a leak the hydraulic system will fail. Most large commercial trucks and buses use air brakes to avoid this failure.
The most common braking system for large commercial trucks and buses is the foundation air brake system. Unlike a car’s braking system, the starting position or resting position for truck brakes is that they are activated. The truck uses air lines or brake pipes to build up air pressure. This built-up air pressure causes the brakes to release. If the air lines develop a leak the brakes activate and that is safer than the alternative. The air that feeds the brake lines is stored in a compressor tank. When the brake pedal is pressed compressed air is released from the tank causing the brakes to return to their activated position. The release of this air produces the unique sound that large trucks make while braking.