How to Get the Most Out of Your Semi-Truck’s Brakes

Image of semi-truck in a repair shop

The semi-truck is the workhorse of the commercial world, but it needs to be cared for if you want to get the most out of it. Your semi-truck brake system is one of the most important parts of your truck. If it isn’t working properly, you could be in for a world of trouble. Your brakes allow you to stop and start safely when driving down the road. Therefore, they need to be in prime condition, especially when operating a heavy semi-truck. To help extend the life span on your semi-truck brake pads, here are a few things that you can do:

1. Replace Your Brake Pads Regularly

Brake pads are essential for safe semi-truck operation. As a good rule of thumb, your brake pads should be checked whenever you change your engine oil. While some brake pads can last over 100,000 kilometres, this will depend on the driving conditions, your style of driving, and how your semi-truck runs as a whole. Since brake pads are crucial to your driving safety – especially when operating a semi-truck – we recommend changing your brake pads every 45,000 to 50,000 kilometres. However, that’s just an estimate and you should always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement intervals, no matter which brand you purchase. Lastly, you should always invest in a good set of brake pads. Cheap semi-truck brake pads will wear out and need replacing more frequently than those of higher quality. To find out which brake pads are best suited to your semi-truck, reach out to our semi-truck experts.

2. Inspect Your Rotors for Warpage

In terms of rotor maintenance, this component is directly linked to the lug bolts and wheels on your semi-truck. Typically made from a high ductile cast iron, rotors can withstand high temperatures but are susceptible to warpage. From aggressive braking and improperly vented rotors to riding the brakes while going down a steep incline carrying a heavy load; all can cause distortion in the rotors. Should a rotor become warped, it must be replaced. When you go in for your next semi-truck repair service, make sure your mechanics look at the rotors. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this key braking component will make in your long bouts of driving.

3. Make Sure Your Brake Fluid is Clean and Efficient

One of the best places to start on your brake-care journey is with the brake fluid itself. While brake fluid should be checked and replaced regularly, it’s not uncommon to pop a hood and see that the fluid hasn’t been changed in a decade. Once a clear, clean fluid has transformed into a dark sludge reminiscent of engine oil, it’s no longer serving its purpose. In terms of brake fluid, the darker it is, the more moisture it’s absorbed. This results in a lower boiling point, rendering it inefficient. Additionally, excess moisture could lead to oxidization and corrosion of the internal metal parts of your engine. So, before you let your brake fluid get to that point, invest in a routine brake flush every 45,000 to 70,000 kilometres.

4. Stop By for a Semi-Truck Repair Service Before Your Trip

There are many factors that affect the efficiency of your brakes. The best way to improve the safety of your long drives in a semi-truck is preparation. For starters, you can keep your truck in good condition with regular tune-ups to help prevent brake problems. So, before you head out for a long trip, swing by a semi-truck repair shop such as Dieseltech, to have your systems checked. It’s also a good idea to test your brakes before a long journey, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load. After all, it’s better to find out you need a semi-truck repair before you leave than when your part ways through your journey in the middle of nowhere.

To get the most out of your brakes, come in for a semi-truck repair service at Dieseltech Truck Repair and Fleet Maintenance. Our mechanics can provide a thorough run-through and advise if any tune-ups or repairs are needed. Book online or reach us by phone today!