Air Brake Systems Require Proper Care

Issue 6 and Volume 124.

Air Brake Systems Require Proper Care DEPARTMENTS Apparatus MAINTENANCE/HUBERT WALKER The air brake system is noted for effective braking of heavy vehicles and when properly maintained is a reliable braking system. The basic system, in successful service for many years and millions of vehicle miles (see Fire Engineering, June 1969, page 64), had a minimum of line fittings and components where loss of air pressure could occur in the system. But lack of proper maintenance by some vehicle operators gave the system a reputation for questionable reliability. The news media in reporting accidents gave the cause as “brake failure” or “loss of air,” failing to mention the real cause as lack of maintenance. Broken hose lines (flexible hose or tubing connecting the solid tubing on the chassis frame to the brake chambers) and ruptured brake chamber diaphragms account for 95 percent of all air brake failures. Brake fading can also…

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