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Getting your CDL? Learn about air brakes in the state of New York here!

Activates the brake lights when a service brake application is made by the driver.

For both a road test & your daily pre-trip inspection you must determine if the air brakes are in adjustment.

Applies the parking brakes of the air brake equipped vehicle indefinitely – if needed of course.

The parking brakes are held in the “ON” position by the mechanical force of the springs; these spring parking brakes are held in the “OFF” position by system air pressure.

A powerful coil spring exerts force on the service brake components (shoes, linings, and drums).

Knowledge Test Question: If the service brakes are out of adjustment, so are the parking brakes owing to the fact that both use the same foundation braking components.

Springs brakes are referred to as "piggy back", owing to the fact that the spring brake chamber is bolted directly to the service brake chamber forming one unit.

mobi

On an air brake system, the air dryer filters moisture and other contaminants from the compressed air. Watch the video! 

Getting your CDL in the state of New York - watch this video to learn air brakes!

Applying the service brakes and doing a leak test will often locate a ripped service brake diaphragm.

Slack adjusters have three purposes:

1) To convert the forward linear motion of the push rod into rotary motion of the camshaft.

  • The slack adjuster works on exactly the same principle as a box end wrench on a nut.

2) To act as a lever, thus generating greater force;

3) To provide a means of reducing the clearance between the brake shoes and the brake drum.

Canada mandated that all new equipment manufactered after 1996 was to be fitted with automatic slack adjusters. Although most air brake students are taught how to adjust manual slack adjusters, it is unlikely that drivers in this day and age will encounter a manual slack adjuster.

Stores compressed air for braking and for other air operated accessories.

The air tanks are the first fail-safe in the air brake system.

In the unlikely event that the air compressor fell of the side of the engine, the air tanks (reservoirs) store enough air for approximately 8-12 full service brake applications - more than enough to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Although air brakes are more-or-less buletproof these, like all braking systems, have one failing: BRAKE FADE.

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Brake Fade | Air Brakes

Author: Rick
Although air brakes are more-or-less buletproof these, like all braking systems, have one failing: BRAKE FADE.
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Trailer Hand Control (Spike)

Author: Rick
OBSOLETE Independently applies and releases the trailer service brakes. Knowledge Test Question: This air brake control is not to be used for parking. Although most tractors are still equipped with hand valves, beyond a trailer service tug test, these air…
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Stop Light Switch

Author: Rick
Activates the brake lights when a service brake application is made by the driver.
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Spring Parking Brake (Emergency)

Author: Rick
Applies the parking brakes of the air brake equipped vehicle indefinitely – if needed of course. The parking brakes are held in the “ON” position by the mechanical force of the springs; these spring parking brakes are held in the “OFF” position by system air…
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Slack Adjuster

Author: Rick
Slack adjusters have three purposes: 1) To convert the forward linear motion of the push rod into rotary motion of the camshaft. The slack adjuster works on exactly the same principle as a box end wrench on a nut. 2) To act as a lever, thus generating greater…
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Air Tanks (Reservoirs)

Author: Rick
Stores compressed air for braking and for other air operated accessories. The air tanks are the first fail-safe in the air brake system. In the unlikely event that the air compressor fell of the side of the engine, the air tanks (reservoirs) store enough air…
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Compounding Air Brakes

Author: Rick
OBSOLETE Making a heavy service brake application while the parking brakes are applied. This is often an error of truck driving school students.
A caging bolt is used to release the emergency brakes in the event of an emergency (life or death situation).

Caging Bolt

Author: Rick
Allows the spring brakes to be manually released in an emergency - a dire emergency.
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Brake Linings & Drums

Author: Rick
To stop the vehicle, brake linings rub against the brake drum. This action creates friction, converting the vehicle's forward energy of motion into heat energy, which stops the vehicle’s tires. If the tires have traction, the vehicle will come to a stop. The…
Brake fade is the only reason that a modern air brake system will fail.

Brake Fade

Author: Rick
Brake faide is the only reason that a modern air brake system will fail.
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Air Gauge(s)

Author: Rick
The gauges are in either pounds per square inch (psi) or Kilopascals (kPa). These measure the amount of air pressure in the primary and secondary air tanks.
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Air Brake Chambers

Author: Rick
Convert air pressure into a strong mechanical force to apply the foundation brakes.
air brake adjustment

Air Brake Manual Adjustment – Pry Bar Method

Author: Rick
Using the pry bar method, confirm that the brake is in fact out of adjustment. After confirming that the brake is out-of-adjustment and it is equipped with a manual slack adjuster, complete the following steps to bring the brake back into adjustment. If one…
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Compressor or Build-up Test (Air Brakes)

Author: Rick
Depending on which province you're in, the air buildup time or compressor test has somewhat different paramenters. Still, all require that the diesel motor be at a fast idle. A fast idle on a diesel engine is between 900 &1200 rpm.
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Pry Bar - Check Air Brake Adjustment

Author: Rick
The National Safety Code madates that every driver of a commercial vehicle equipped with air brakes must check push rod travel every day. In many jurisdications, drivers are allowed to use the pry bar method; in others , they must use the applied stroke…
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Applied Stroke - Check Air Brake Adjustment

Author: Rick
The National Safety Code madates that every driver of a commercial vehicle equipped with air brakes must check push rod travel every day as part of his/her pre-trip inspection. In some jurisdications, drivers must use the applied stroke method; in others, they…

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