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Old 09-17-2017, 08:57 PM   #1
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Air Brake application

I have spent my entire life driving standard brakes and this will be my first experince owning a vehicle with air brakes.

Having always pumped my brakes to apply ,except when ABS kicks in, does the same method for airbrakes harm or extend the stopping distance or equipment in any way ?
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:16 PM   #2
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Pumping air brakes could cause a loss of air pressure, then you don't stop except when the parking brake eventually drags you to a stop. In a large, heavy vehicle, I suggest you apply the brakes firmly and then let go of them. Using brakes to gradually slow the RV down will produce large amounts of heat and brake fade. If you have one, use the engine brake to slow down. Downshifting in a diesel does little since they don't have natural engine braking like a gasoline engine.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:49 PM   #3
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Hi gimlimike,
Brake the coach before you would a car. The coach weighs a lot. More distance is needed to stop. Assuming you are talking about a normal stop and not a down hill grade, turn off the engine brake. The service brake should be used for all stopping. Using the engine brake for normal stopping increases glazing of the linings. Brake linings need to heat up to prevent glazing. Normal stopping is done just like in a car. Just more distance is needed. If you want to pump that's fine for a couple of times, but not necessary. Apply the correct pressure to ensure a comfortable and safe stop. Once you try the coach for an outing or two you'll know how much pressure you need to apply.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:29 PM   #4
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Hi gimlimike,
Brake the coach before you would a car. The coach weighs a lot. More distance is needed to stop. Assuming you are talking about a normal stop and not a down hill grade, turn off the engine brake. The service brake should be used for all stopping. Using the engine brake for normal stopping increases glazing of the linings. Brake linings need to heat up to prevent glazing. Normal stopping is done just like in a car. Just more distance is needed. If you want to pump that's fine for a couple of times, but not necessary. Apply the correct pressure to ensure a comfortable and safe stop. Once you try the coach for an outing or two you'll know how much pressure you need to apply.
Cant say Ive ever heard that one before. I guess all those dump trucks and semis I see jake braking have it wrong as well.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:56 PM   #5
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"GaryKD" is absolutely right. There are a lot of people using the engine/exhaust brake every time they stop. This causes the brake linings to glaze and then eventually start squealing. Use your engine/exhaust brake for hills and freeway driving, but when in town, you should turn it off. I know many think they're saving their 200000 mile brakes for the future, but you're really doing them harm.

"gimlimike".....Unless you have some old non power brake cars, you should really try and get out of the habit of pumping brakes. You're defeating antilock brake systems and you'll be improperly applying the air brakes. On both types of vehicles, steady, firm brake pressure is what is needed. This doesn't include long down hills, a topic for another post.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:56 PM   #6
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Good answers, you can also use Newmar search engine to find more.
All the links below in my signature have more answers for your Newmar.
Safe travels in your Newmar.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:42 PM   #7
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The exhaust brake does not use the service brakes. Per the freightliner manual the exhaust brake uses the Allison transmission to downshift to slow the coach. I leave mine on 90% of the time to save wear on brakes.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:58 PM   #8
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The exhaust brake does not use the service brakes. Per the freightliner manual the exhaust brake uses the Allison transmission to downshift to slow the coach. I leave mine on 90% of the time to save wear on brakes.
I don't think anyone said the exhaust brake uses the air brakes. Using the exhaust brake in lieu of the service brakes mean they are underused and repeated gentle application of the brakes is what causes glazing and squealing. On our school district bus fleet, some drivers gently and lightly used the brakes until they were screaming squealers. A couple of miles with repeated heavy application of the brakes would often de-glaze and quiet down the linings. Not done with students on board, obviously. Occasional heavy applications is a good way to test your packing of cabinets and their latches.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:27 PM   #9
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I agree that Air Brakes shouldn't be pumped, they're not designed for that.

Nor should any anti-lock brake system, as it actually 'pumps' them for you and manually pumping them negates their purpose.

I just use my air brakes most of the time with my 3 stage engine brake off. Unless, I'm on a grade or when approaching an exit ramp off the highway (for instance one that says 25/30MPH with a curve etc.) then I turn the engine brake on which downshifts and slows the coach comfortably as I approach without the need for heavy braking.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:04 PM   #10
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One missed point, air brakes take a moment longer to engage than hydraulic brakes. Plan ahead.

Anybody pump their brakes until the little yellow button pops out?

I wonder how many owners of MH w/ air brakes know how their air brakes work? How to test their operation? How to visually inspect them? How many care?
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #11
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Mike ; doesn't Manitoba require an air brake endorsement on your license for operation of a coach with air brakes like BC does.

Driving an air brake equipped coach without the endorsement , voids insurance here in BC.
Please check this out.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:47 PM   #12
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Mike ; doesn't Manitoba require an air brake endorsement on your license for operation of a coach with air brakes like BC does.

Driving an air brake equipped coach without the endorsement , voids insurance here in BC.
Please check this out.
It also earns you a $1,000 ticket.

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Old 09-18-2017, 10:49 PM   #13
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Yes, using your engine brake or exhaust brake 90% of the time means that you are lightly touching the foot brake near the end of the stop. Doing this causes glazing of the brake pad and drum/rotor. Think of the light application as polishing of the linings and drums/rotors. The when dust gets between the two polished surfaces, it squeals. Typically, the short term fix, hard braking at speed to wear off the glaze.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:35 AM   #14
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Mike ; doesn't Manitoba require an air brake endorsement on your license for operation of a coach with air brakes like BC does.

Driving an air brake equipped coach without the endorsement , voids insurance here in BC.
Please check this out.
Yes it sure does . I recently got my endorsement and will be heading out to get our coach in a couple of weeks
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