December 26th, 2015 | Phoenix Truck Driving Institute

Driving safely means understanding every component of your truck and how they work together as a whole. Your truck’s braking system provides a simple yet essential function, allowing you to adjust your speed and come to a stop safely. Keep reading to discover how modern commercial truck brakes work and how the truck braking system differs from that of your personal car.

Air Brake Design

The brakes used in commercial trucks are not the same type of brakes used in passenger vehicles. Although tuck brakes use friction to bring the vehicle to a stop, just like car brakes, these braking systems are called air brakes and use a different design to achieve the deceleration needed every time a trucker depresses the brake pedal. Car brakes rely on brake fluid to function, while truck brakes use air to create friction. This design makes air brakes much more robust and reliable, but there is a noticeable lag time between depression of the brake pedal and deceleration, which truckers must account for while driving.

Air Brake Maintenance and Adjustment

Although air brake systems are very reliable, they still require regular maintenance and adjustment to function properly. Improper adjustment or wear and tear on the braking system can affect its response, thus changing the amount of space needed to slow the truck when coming to a stop. Studies indicate that half of all out-of-service violations issued to commercial trucks are due to issues with the braking system, even if the brakes appear to be working. Thus, it’s important to inspect your brakes before and after each drive as part of your CDL inspection checklist, as well as have the truck and its brakes serviced regularly.
Are you ready to learn more about becoming a trucker in Phoenix? Please visit Phoenix Truck Driving Institute’s comprehensive website for more details about our CDL training, career placement, and financial aid options. You can also get the answers to your questions or request additional information by calling our trucking school at (877) 205-5372.