Common Types Of Commercial Truck Brakes: How They Work

Common Types Of Commercial Truck Brakes: How They Work

When it comes to trucks, their speed, power and acceleration are important. But none of that matters if you can’t actually stop when you want to. The brakes are the most critical part of any truck or vehicle. 

Since trucks are much heavier than standard cars, their brake systems are literally a lifeline for the drivers and those around you. Due to the extra weight, truck brakes have to be designed with precision and reliability in mind.

This helps prevent collisions. After all, if you lose control of a truck, the best case scenario is perhaps some product spillage — the worst case is unspeakable.

But when they fail or start becoming less effective, you need to have a reliable company for mobile tire repair in Gainesville on call. That being said, let’s talk about some of the common types of braking systems in trucks.

That way you can understand proper maintenance, longevity and even brake replacement options for your vehicle.

Common Types Of Commercial Truck Brakes: Overview

Tractors, trailers, and trucks tend to have three types of brake categories: the parking brake, the emergency brake, the service brake. The parking brake and emergency brake are essentially the same.

The difference is simply the timing at which you activate them. But let’s talk about the specific different types of truck brake systems that allow for timely, smooth deceleration in your truck.

Specific Types Of Truck Brakes And How They Function

Now it’s time to take a look at different kinds of brake systems in trucks in terms of the “magic” behind how they work:

Air Brakes

Air brakes are a common system for big trucks and buses. When you activate the pedal, air flow compresses with an air filter. It then goes to a reservoir to an unloader valve.

It reaches the brink chamber that ultimately applies pressure to the mechanics slowing down the wheels.

Hydraulic Brakes

Hydraulic brakes are popular because they’re very dependable for slowing down your truck safely. They’re also very practical.

Hydraulic pressure simply means that it uses liquids to apply force for braking. Hydraulic brakes work because of something called Pascal’s Law in physics. Essentially means that the pressure inside an isolated area can be distributed in various directions.

In other words, a relatively small amount of liquid can apply a lot of force causing your truck to stop quickly.

Transmission Brakes

A transmission brake uses your truck’s transmission instead of applying pressure straightly on the wheels. This is also called a trans brake.

As a truck operator, you can turn the wheels and upgear the engine to additional throttle. Essentially, the truck stays still without putting strain on the brakes. This lets you reach higher speeds while still having the ability to brake for safety reasons.

Trans brakes are popular for truck drivers and fleet managers that want to enjoy higher acceleration. If you plan on revving the truck up to full RPM, for instance, to merge from an on-ramp, this might be a good brake type to consider.

Disc Brakes

These types of truck brakes are a mechanical type of brake that slow down the wheels themselves. Disc brakes came into fashion as a replacement for drum brakes after they were found to be more effective and reliable long-term.

The disc brake uses something called a caliber. This is installed in a fixed portion of your truck. It’s made of two pieces, each with a piston. A friction pad on both of the pistons are what create the mechanical friction to slow down the vehicle to a halt.

The hydraulic pistons are what provide the physical force to move the brake pads in the first place. Therefore, when you press the pedal, you’re leveraging hydraulics.

Disc brakes need to be maintained to ensure that the fluid is not leaking or low. Sometimes the sealing rings or gaskets can become damaged as well over time.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various warning signs that your brakes are giving out so you can call a mechanic.

Final Thoughts: Types of Commercial Brake Systems in Trucks

In today’s day and age, there are several types of braking systems. Each comes with their specific advantages. Depending on what you’re using your truck for, every category has its pros and cons.

But ultimately, like with any braking system, they can have their issues. If you find that your wheels or tires break down, then don’t worry. Call Road Rescue, Inc — a mobile tire repair company in Gainesville — and you can get back on the road as soon as possible.