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Proper brake system maintenance improves truck safety

Proper maintenance is a vital component of safety when operating a large truck. Failure within the brake system is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents when it comes to large trucks and tractor trailers. Regularly attending to the brake system is one of the most important parts of keeping your big-rig road ready and as safe as possible in all driving conditions.

Brake system maintenance begins most simply with the brake pads. The brake shoes feature indicators on the pads that will tell you when it is necessary to change them out for fresh, new ones. There are a number of other parts such as bushings and springs that can be replaced simultaneously for a more cohesively maintained brake system. Over time, the shoes themselves will need to be replaced as well, along with the brake drums.

Always check to make sure that your truck’s air pressure compression gauge indicates pressure of at least 60 psi before heading out on the road -- any truck with an air compression pressure gauge indicating less than 60 psi is not safe to drive. A healthy compression system will tend to operate between 100 psi and 125 psi. If your gauge is regularly indicating low pressure levels, you should see a qualified mechanic to address the issue. Likewise, regularly inspect the vehicle’s hoses and linings to ensure that they are properly soaked in lubricant and free of any cracks.

It is also important to regularly grease you truck’s slack adjusters and S-cams. Operators whose vehicles feature automatic slack adjusters need to be especially mindful of keeping them greased because they are seldom used directly.

Faithfully minding the wear and tear of these components in your brake system, along with regularly scheduled maintenance by a qualified professional mechanic will improve both their performance and the vehicle’s overall safety on the road, but accidents can still happen. In the event of a traffic accident involving a large truck, experienced legal counsel can help resolve the matter quickly and protect the rights of those involved.

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