As part of regular maintenance schedules, semi-truck brakes service should be performed before reaching DOT pull points to ensure proactive and preventive attention to this critical component. Semi-truck brakes service focuses both on the replacement of brake pads as well as on the hydraulic system on a vehicle’s air brake system, which is designed to increase the effectiveness of the braking action on large commercial vehicles—particularly those hauling a trailer. With proper maintenance and regular inspections, a semi-truck brakes service can reduce many common risks.
Owner Operators who are in tune with their vehicle will “feel” or determine that something may be happening to their brake systems. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that they communicate with dispatch the need to schedule semi-truck brakes service before the problem becomes a critical need—particularly during their busy periods. The last thing an Owner Operator needs is a surprise that can render him or her unable to safely and effectively brake during their route.
Signs that you may need to schedule your semi-truck brakes service can be something as simple as a squealing noise. Also, feeling a pull to the left or right when braking is often a sign of the need to fix or replace a brake hose, but also could mean there’s trouble with your calipers. Vibration (usually felt in the steering wheel), shuddering, and other tangible changes in the way the vehicle feels during braking are also signs that you should schedule semi-truck brakes service as quickly as possible.
Another potential cause of brake failure can be an alignment problem. Now, if you feel or hear something like grinding noise when braking, you should immediately contact dispatch and request to arrange semi-truck brakes service as soon as possible, since this is a significant sign of impending brake failure. If at any point you have doubts about when semi-truck brakes service is due, contact Status Truck and Trailer Repair or refer to the manufacture guidebook for additional details.
Since 1975, the NTSB has been tracking accident reports for the Large Truck and Bus category, recording almost 200,000 incidents resulting in fatalities. In 2017 (latest data from FMCSA), 41,000 trucks had brake problems resulting in fatal and injury cases. The FMCSA estimates that 29 percent of all accidents were directly related to semi-truck brakes service issues—including inadequate maintenance and failure to determine the potential future challenges through preventive inspections.
The fact is that semi-truck brakes do not fail under normal operating conditions. Only when the Owner Operator fails to arrange the proper semi-truck brakes service, it leads to the risk scenarios where this system can fail. Road conditions, heat, and other physical forces can challenge the vehicle’s brake system, and over time, wear-and-tear can run its course. Unless the brakes system is inspected properly for potential degradation or signs of possible failure, the Owner Operator may not realize that there is a problem requiring semi-truck brakes service.