Brake Safety Tips and How To Do a Pre-trip Inspection

Brake Safety Tips and How To Do a Pre-trip Inspection
by Arthur Williamson

The brake system is an important safety component of a vehicle. It’s a crucial aspect that you should never take for granted. If your brakes fail, you can meet an accident, and brake failure constitutes 5.9% of car crashes in the US or about 300,000 instances. 

While driving your truck, brakes act as a first line of defense. They may be complex, but maintaining them can be simple. As you run your trucking business or operate a private truck, consider the importance of a brake maintenance schedule.

Components of the Brake System

The components of the brake system are working together to ensure a driver a safe ride. In your maintenance schedule, make sure that each part is inspected to employ necessary repairs. Here are the main parts to maintain:

  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake Pedal
  • Brake Rotors
  • Brake Lines
  • Wheel Cylinders
  • Brake Pads
  • Brake Calipers

Brake Safety Tips

Take note of these safety tips that will help you keep safe while on the roads:

Don’t overload your truck

Loading the truck with more than its capacity can seriously affect the brake system. Constantly overloading your vehicle can affect the performance of the brake pads and rotary wheel disk. It will also be hard for you to slow down or control the truck.

Stick with the speed limit

To maintain healthy brakes, always follow the speed limit. When you don’t drive too fast, you can avoid using your brakes frequently and abruptly.

Flush Brake Fluids

If the boiling point of the brake fluid lowers, there is an effect on the braking performance. It is due to the water attracted by the brake fluid itself. Because of this, some parts inside can cause corrosion.

Therefore, your truck should flush brake fluids in regular intervals. Consider the type and model of your vehicle to determine when is the best time for flushing.

Don’t overuse your brake

You can practice coasting to minimize your use of brakes. Coasting means that your truck will naturally slow down as you take off your foot from the gas. This will also avoid your brake from wearing, specifically the brake rotors and pads.

Bleed the brake lines

This is different from brake flushing in the sense that it involves the removal of air pockets from your brake system. Regular intervals for removal might depend on the condition of the parts involved. You can either do this when you notice that the brake pedal is spongy.

Replace worn-out parts

Your brake may have high quality but after extensive use, some parts need to be replaced. Some parts may already be worn-out and cannot work as intended. The performance can seriously be affected when some parts are too old.

How To Do A Pre-Trip Inspection

Pre-trip inspections are vital in making sure that trucks have no issues before departure and minimize the possibility of accidents. The process may take only a few minutes to ensure that all parts are thoroughly inspected. Whether you are running a trucking business or operating a privately-owned truck, pre-trip inspection is a much-needed procedure.

To conduct a pre-trip inspection, take note of the parts that you need to check. You can prepare a list of these parts and then mark them on the paper one by one after checking. Here are the parts that you must thoroughly inspect:

Step 1: Check Under the Hood

You have to check if there’s any sort of leaks and see if every component isn’t broken. All components must be properly mounted and secured. Include these things when inspecting under the hood:

  • Make sure the hoses are not leaking.
  • If there are leaks, immediately find where it comes from.
  • Covers and caps should be tightened.
  • Check all fluids level.
  • Wires should be fastened.
  • Ensure that brakes are free of grease.
  • Check if the alternator, power steering pump, and water pump are all working.
  • Look for signs of wear in fan belts.
  • As to suspension, check if shocks are in good condition.

Step 2: Check In-Cab Inspection

The inside part of the truck is also included in the inspection. It has to be clean and organized. Remember these things as you inspect the truck:

  • Your mirrors should be properly positioned.
  • The seatbelts must be secured and mounted.
  • Make sure that the windshield wipers work.
  • Check warning lights and gauges.
  • Test the brake and clutch pedals.
  • Ensure that emergency equipment is complete.
  • City and air horns function properly.

Step 3: Check the Back of the Truck

Don’t forget the back of the truck. There are a few more to check there.

  • Check if tires need replacement.
  • Walk around and do a series of checks for any sort of damage.
  • Reflectors and reflective tapes must be properly mounted.
  • Driveshaft and brakes should be free of grease.
  • See if there is no leakage on fuel tanks.

As soon as you discover problems, apply necessary repairs. After fixing every issue, you can leave the hood open and start your engine. There should be no unusual noises. After confirming that all components work perfectly, the truck driver is good to go.

Here at Assured Standard, we want you and your trucks to stay as safe as possible. Learn more about trucks and commercial truck insurance by exploring the rest of our site today!

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