Inspection of air brakes is ‘MUST KNOW’ for a CDL license – watch the video! CDL IN-CAB Air Brake CHECKLIST: SUBSCRIBE TODAY! ►
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In-Cab Tests CHECKS INFOGRAPH:
Air Tank Inspection 2:45
Under Hood – Driver’s Side 4:05
Under Hood – Passenger Side 6:09
Rear of Vehicle – Under 6:46
Rear of Vehicle – Top 7:31
In-Cab Tests 8:33
Brake Tug & Response Tests 17:29
Question – Are you required to do the Pry Bar or Applied Stroke method to check air brake adjustment? 21:47
The pre-trip inspection determines if the air brake system is safe and that the vehicle can be operated on public highways. The air brake pre-trip inspection can either be done independently or as part of the entire vehicle pre-trip inspection.
For the purposes of a CDL (Commercial Driver’s Licence) in the United States, Canada and other countries you must be knowledgeable in air brakes. The air brake course consists of both a theory or knowledge and practical portion.
The knowledge component of the air brakes is complicated by the fact that the air brake courses that are being taught are 40 years old. And because these air brake courses are 40 years old, everything and the kitchen sink are part-and-parcel of these courses.
In the above video, we do a stand-alone inspection of the vehicle’s air brake components. The first steps of any pre-trip inspection are to chock the wheels, release the parking brakes, and ensure that there is more than 90psi (pounds per square inch) of air pressure in the system. When releasing the parking brakes, put your foot over the brake pedal in the off chance that the wheel chocks do not hold.
The air brake pre-trip can be done in different sequences and that will depend on different driving schools. For this sequence, we inspect the air tanks first, and if it is an older system, you drain the wet tank first to ensure that the one-way check valves are working. If the one-way check valves are working, you know that the dual air brake system is also working.
You then inspect all the components outside the vehicle starting under the hood on the driver’s side. And using the pry bar (free-stroke) method, inspect the adjustment of the air brakes. As well, your mantra for the inspection is: “secure, not damaged, not leaking.” Approximately 75% of the components in the vehicle have either air or fluid in them, so you say that the component is not leaking.
After completing the inspection outside the vehicle and determining that all components are operational, you go in the cab and inspect:
1) governor (minimum & maximum settings)
2) low-air warning
3) spring brakes apply automatically
4) compressor (build-up)
5) leak test
The last test for the air brake pre-trip inspection is to apply the parking brakes, remove the wheel chocks, and then do a tug test on the parking brakes and a response test on the service brakes.
The last part of any pre-trip inspection is to fill out the paperwork, which is a legal document. And the pre-trip inspection form must be filled out as part of the driver’s daily tasks.