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Toll Free: 800-832-7278
Local Phone: 410-685-4474
2723 Annapolis Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21230


What to Know About Semi-Truck Brake Maintenance

Lithium grease is an excellent option for keeping your slack adjusters greased; which are responsible for keeping your brakes aligned

When a semi-truck crashes, people often believe that the brakes are the cause. However, a complete brake failure is rare. Even when improperly maintained, semi-truck brakes can still provide low levels of braking force. A truck driver might not even notice that there is a problem. The brakes might still perform as expected when they stop for stop signs or slow down for other reasons. However, when there is an emergency, and a driver must apply a lot of force, the inadequate brakes won’t provide the expected stopping force. It’s crucial to maintain the braking system for this reason. Here is what you should know about semi-truck brake maintenance. 

Semi-Truck Brake Parts Need Regular Replacement 

Brake shoes have indicators built into the pads letting you know when a replacement is necessary. When these pads need a replacement, you should also replace the springs, pins, and bushings. Additionally, ensure that you replace the drums where the shoes are because worn drums can develop heat cracks. 

Lubricate the Slack Adjusters and S-Cams

A semi-truck has either a manual or automatic slack adjuster, keeping the brakes aligned when in use. Whichever one you have, keep them greased to ensure they’re operational. If not, they will seize up, leading to brake failure. Lithium grease is an excellent option. 

The slack adjusters rotate a shaft that turns into the S-cams, pushing the brake into the drum, which stops the truck effectively. Check the bushings equipped in the S-cams as a part of regular maintenance, ensuring that you regularly grease and change them.

Examine the Air Compression Pressure Gauge

The air compression gauge must read more than 60 psi to stop a moving truck. Preferably, before you use the vehicle, the psi should be between 100-125. If not, discontinue using the semi-truck and service the brakes. 

Inspect Linings and Hoses 

Ensure that all linings and hoses are at least 1/4″ of an inch thick. It’s also essential to ensure that they are dry. Soaked linings and hoses are an issue. Additionally, check your air hoses for cracks. It’s time for a replacement when the linings and hoses appear damaged or worn. A replacement will (and should happen) regularly. 


Contact Baltimore Freightliner today whenever your semi-truck needs a repair. 

Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for all Your Trucking Needs!

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star is an award-winning, authorized dealer for new and used medium-duty and heavy-duty Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Sprinter Vans. We also provide expert service repair for Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Caterpillar, and Mercedes-Benz engines.
2723 Annapolis Rd