Because trucks are heavier than other motor vehicles, it's essential that the truck brakes are always in good condition. Otherwise, your truck might simply not stop fast enough and you might have an accident as a result. As a motorist, there are several ways that you can inspect your truck brakes to make sure that they are in good condition.
Check the Brake Pads
See if the brake pads are worn out. At the top of the disc rotor, you might see a pad touching the surface of the disc. When measuring the pad, you shouldn't see a thickness that is less than 1/8 inches. Also, check the fluid level of the brake master cylinder and see if the fluid has fallen significantly below the full mark. If your brake pads are worn down, you'll want to have them replaced as soon as possible.
Inspect the Belt and Slack Adjusters
Make sure that the belt on your truck's air compressor is nice and tight and does not have any damage. Otherwise, the belt might need to be replaced. Make sure the slack adjusters don't have movement of more than one inch. The brakes need to be released and the wheels choked.
Test the Air Pressure Warning Light
With air brakes, there is a low-pressure warning light. Make sure that this is functioning properly. To determine this, turn the engine off and leave the key in the "on" position. Pump the air brake until the gauge falls below 60. The warning light and alarm should come back on. If they don't, take your truck to a repair technician.
Inspect the Brake Adjustments
Wait until the brakes are cold and then inspect the brake adjustments. If you inspect the brake adjustments when the brakes are hot, the adjustments will be much longer. You will want to first identify the chambers and ensure that they are the right size based on the square inch area of the chamber diaphragm. You'll be able to determine the correct brake chamber size by looking at the size markings on both the clamp and the body of the chamber. There is also a special caliper that will allow you to measure if the engravings have been worn off.
The easiest way to determine if your brakes are in good condition is to take your truck to a truck repair service. They will understand how to repair the air brakes that are found on commercial trucks.
To learn more, contact a truck repair shop.