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How Do Semi Truck Brakes Work
Rather than using brake fluid like small passenger cars, semi-trucks use compressed air.
Every heavy-duty truck that uses air brakes will have a compressor, a dryer, several air tanks, and service chambers. Your compressor is responsible for filling your air tanks with compressed air, your dryer is responsible for removing moisture from that air, and your air tanks store it until needed. Remember to service the air dryer regularly.
Drum brakes are a common brake system on heavy-duty trucks. When compressed air enters your service chamber, it compresses the chamber’s diaphragm. This diaphragm then pushes down a push rod, which is connected to a clevis and your brake adjuster. Your brake adjuster is connected to a rotating shaft using splines. When your brake adjuster moves, it rotates the shaft. This shaft is connected to your brake shoes by a large S cam on the end of the shaft. This S cam rotates with the shaft and makes your brake shoes expand. On the outside of each brake shoe is a brake pad, which gets pushed against your brake drum. This brings your truck to a stop.
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