Air Brake systems can freeze up - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Air Brake systems can freeze up


AMES (KWWL) - The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reminding professional truck drivers to perform thorough pretrip inspections of their vehicles' air brake systems, following a rash of semi-tractor/trailer vehicle breakdowns, which have caused major travel disruptions today on Interstate 80 and other roadways today.

Air brake systems need special attention in the winter. Frozen moisture in an air brake system seriously affects operation. Brake lines, air brake filters, brake chambers, pushrods, valves, and seals are subject to more defects and failure in cold. Condensation between brake shoes and brake drums may freeze, making it impossible for the vehicle to move.

The National Transportation Safety Board offers the following safety recommendations.

· Keep air brakes properly adjusted.

· Ensure the alcohol evaporator kit, if part of the system, is functioning.

· Check brake lines, brake chambers, relay valves, pushrods, seals, and slack adjusters.

· Check air compressor, unloader valve and governor for good condition and satisfactory operation.

· Drain water from air filters and reservoirs at least after every eight hours of continuous operation or more frequently during winter months.


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