Trailer Brake Maintenance Tips

If a semi-trailer is traveling at 65 MPH, it will take the length of two football fields to stop. But if the brake is faulty, it will take a longer distance to stop. Brake failure is also one of the leading causes of crashes, accounting for 29% of all large truck crashes.

How to maintain the trailer’s brakes?

1. Air pressure level

The brakes of a semi-trailer require a sufficient air pressure level to work properly. So be sure to check air pressure gauge before you heading out on the road. The air pressure reading for a semi-trailer should be between 100 psi and 125 psi. If, before driving, you find that the pressure gauge showing 60 psi, then you need to service the brakes.

semi trailer pressure gauge

2. Brake pads and hoses

Brake linings are used a lot, so be sure to check them regularly. The main thing is to check whether the brake pads are loose or soaked with lubricant. The lining should be dry and not damp with oil or grease. And it should be at least ¼ inch thick.

Hoses need to be assessed for cracks or wear and replaced when they show signs of damage.

3. S Cams

Its function is to push the brake shoe into the brake drum to help your semi-trailer brake. Therefore, the process must proceed unhindered. Proper lubrication can ensure that the brake drum is not stuck and can also prolong its service life.

4. Wheels and Brake Chambers

Wheels are also an important factor affecting semi-trailer braking. When cleaning your wheels, you need to check your tires for cracks, corrosion, etc. For signs that tires need service, you can read this article:

Truck Security: 5 Symptoms Of Bad Tires.

Then check the brake chamber. The main thing is to look for damaged or bent pushrods in the chamber. Because loose or missing parts will allow water or dirt to enter the chamber, the power spring will erode.

Wheels and Brake Chambers for semi-trailer

5. Brake shoes and other parts

Semi-trailer brake shoes wear out and need to be replaced frequently. Many brake shoes have built-in wear indicators so you’ll know exactly when to replace them. When you replace the brake shoes, it is recommended that you also replace the related brake parts, such as springs, bushings, pins, etc.

6. Anti-Lock Braking System

For the anti-lock braking system, check it at least once a year, and do not ignore the ABS warning code when it appears. Because it will alert the driver of possible problems, common factors that trigger that set off the ABS are Broken wheel sensor wires, bad wheel hub bearings, low battery voltage, faulty ABS module itself, and dirty tone ring.

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