A particular danger for big rigs may occur during braking, due to the special types of brakes used by these vehicles.
Heavy trucks use air brakes exclusively. Most of these are drum type units in which air enters the chamber when the brakes are applied. This causes a push rod to move out, turning the slack adjuster and forcing the shoes into the drum.
When brake linings get hot, the friction provided by the lining decreases. This is because the lining no longer offers the same resistance to the rotation of the drums. As the brakes and linings heat up, the glue in the brake linings can melt and the linings get slick. This is known as brake fade.
If brakes are improperly adjusted, the usual compensation created by the air brake system to move the distance the shoe can be moved into the drum is reduced. It is possible to run out of stroke before the shoes make good contact with the drum.
Air brakes should be adjusted in the shop with the wheels off the ground, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A rig can jackknife when the drive axle brakes lock up.
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If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of commercial vehicle accident, or if you have suffered the death of a loved one resulting from a commercial vehicle accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the truck cab.
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