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Old 07-05-2015, 09:21 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I 'did' take a air brake course, just a couple of years ago ! 9/16" sound about right ?
You are correct 9/16 for MANUAL slack adjusters!!! AGAIN we are talking MANUALLY ADJUSTING AUTOMATIC SLACK ADJUSTERS which use a 3/8 box wrench, pay attention folks!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:30 AM   #44
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Not kidding at all!
Why should a couch be immune to inspections or at least the drivers have an air brake endorsement on their operators licence.
Experience is great but don't forget everything above the frame is pure truck.
Respect it and learn what makes it tick.
You mention annual inspections. By who?
Yes it probably works for you and I'm not talking about you.
I'm talking about t h e people that think there driving car taking the kids to school.
Next time your in park talk to the people with the big coach's. I have there are a lot that don't know the first thing about air brakes . I get that from asking questions and it amazes me the answers I get. 90 percent know what they are doing a lot of fellows with truck experience or mechanical aptitude.
I'm just playing the devils advocate.
It's the 10 percenters that I worry about.
Sorry if I offended you. The people out there will know who I'm addressing.
And I really recommend cam rotations yearly as they are the only way to determine the condition of the brake components. It done on trucks in order to pass the CVIP inspection so why not coaches.
For those who don't know what a cam rotation is. It is a test that can accurately check wear in the. S CAMS. Slack Adjusters.Overall travel which includes shoe to drum clearance. A lot of people don't realize that just because the show and drum have no wear. The other components may be junk.
Used units might have just had shoes and drums replaced but what about the components that make them work.
S cams and S cam bushings along with wear in slack adjusters can make for a disaster if they are not checked. Only a cam rotation will determine the overall wear in the system.
When buy a used coach insist on a cam rotation as part of the deal. Shoes and drums are cheap and are a great shortcut to dump a used unit. The other components can cost more as they can be labour intense of not serviced regular.

My comment about the wife n the hospital was pure satire. I believe a lot of people wont be sharing their misfortunes about accidents and what we do see is probably a very small percentage.
Safe travels everybody!
Well said The People that purchase a 30,000 lb + Coach and have no ides how it "works" is like me jumping in a Jet without a "Type" Rating, then they ask a question and "Flame" you for the answer, there are a few people on here that have the knowledge (common sense) to maintain/operate their Coach, but, for the most part it's pretty scary knowing what I read here and knowing they are on the road....
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:19 AM   #45
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How can you tell if air brakes are in need of service?

If anyone has questions about my MH brakes and if they are safe, talk to my mechanics. This is how my common sense functions.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:42 AM   #46
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Well, that's like saying the pilot of the Jet, knows how to fix it. He don't.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:01 PM   #47
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Well, that's like saying the pilot of the Jet, knows how to fix it. He don't.
And the mechanic probably can't fly it. As for the endorsement - moving from Texas that requires it (not going to quote when it's required cause its a can of worms) to South Dakota that doesn't - I didn't even ask for the endorsement. Not sure what they would even say. Not required - don't have it. Doesn't make me or others a bad person or unsafe drivers who don't have their coach professionally maintained. I bet most OTR drivers don't do their own maintenence. I see their company branded fleet trucks in Freightliner - Mack - Pete - etc shops all the time.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:08 PM   #48
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If anyone has questions about my MH brakes and if they are safe, talk to my mechanics. This is how my common sense functions.
Depending on someone else for you and your families safety is OK with you, It's OK with me

Yes a lot of IA Mechanics are qualified to fly/taxi the Aircraft they work on....
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:49 PM   #49
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Just as many pilots have A&P's in their list of certifications. In the corporate aviation world, that's just the kind of thing it might take to remain competitive among your peers....
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:06 PM   #50
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Have you read the Freightliner manual for my chassis? BTW, this is not my first Freightliner chassis, just my newest. People here are recommending adjustment procedures that are specifically not recommended by Freightliner. All that stopping 8 or 10 times are for adjusting NEW breaks and if you need to manually adjust it may be hiding a problem and to take it to an authorized repair station. All I suggested was to read your chassis manual, is that a bad recommendation? You are also telling me that air break technology is stuck in time and what was recommended 15 years ago holds true today.
Dont need to read your manual to know your 'New' brake system, is'nt very New at all. Automatic Slack Adjusters have been the standard since the 1960's, So I guess it is kinda 'stuck in time' is'nt it!
I would'nt recomend anyone thats not a certified tech, manually adjust their automatic slack adjusters !
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:42 PM   #51
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Depending on someone else for you and your families safety is OK with you, It's OK with me

Yes a lot of IA Mechanics are qualified to fly/taxi the Aircraft they work on....
So only mechanics are safe on the highway or should own rigs with air brakes???

Unless things have changed - I can assure you Air Force Pilots are not jet engine mechanics, nav techs, air traffic controllers, etc. The world runs just fine with specialization and division of labor.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:01 PM   #52
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When someone asks the question of (How can you tell if your air brakes are in need of service) that says to me that they do not understand their brake system at all.
Having the knowledge of the basics of how the system works is not an unreasonable expectation.
You do not need to take a mechanics course and need to repair them yourself but you should know how they work and that they periodically need service and adjustment. If you know how it all works you you can pick up on a problem before it becomes a dangerous problem
Having this knowledge also protects you from unscrupulous repairers that take advantage of people that don't know and just leave it up to the mechanics.
I have seen posts on this and other forums where people can't understand why their air supply keeps dropping and yet they are driving it down the road. The simple understanding that if you have an air leak you fix it before you drive it does not play. Another one is my brakes don't seem to be stopping me the way they should, geeez maybe they need adjustment!
The point is if you have a basic knowledge of your system then you will know what is needed whether you do it yourself of not. If something goes wrong out on the road your mechanic isn't riding with you to advise you.

People are fixated on tire pressure and monitor systems and all kinds of other stuff and yet their brakes are no big deal?
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:06 PM   #53
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steined, one of the reasons I'm an advocate for all owners of diesel pushers being tested for the special non-commercial driver licenses is that I believe in most states that do require a non-commercial Class B or whatever class license the specfic state requires, is that most also require the applicant to pass the air brake endorsement tests. I believe that all diesel pusher owners have a rudimentary understanding and be able to demonstrate elementary knowledge of an air brake system.

I've posted the attached video previously but it's worth posting again. It's an instructional video for transit drivers at King County Metro in Seattle in preparation for the CDL test. Diesel pusher owners in Washington state do not require a non-commercial license but in those states that do, as mentioned, most require an air brake endorsement also. I was once a commercial bus driver and I feel that the KCM video makes good viewing for any diesel pusher owner whether their state requires a special license or not for as I say, it's good for any pusher owner to understand the basics of air brakes. Most do but many do not.

Much of the video you can skip but the brake sections are scattered throughout. Since a transit bus is similar to most pusher mothorhomes, the descriptions and tests in the video will be relatively close to what you have or can apply on your own coach.

Braking and air system demonstrations:

3:03 to 5:13 ...includes air leak test, low air warning devices, parking brake protection valve, and air governor cut-out.

12:52 to 14:10 ...front brake components, slack adjusters, etc.

16:24 to 17:44 ...rear brake components, etc.

Again, this is just an elementary instructional video that shows what must be demonstrated on the CDL exam or in some states, if you are taking the non-commercial test with air brake endorsement. You may know some of what is being shown already but in case you don't, it's still a good primer for new diesel pusher owners whether they are in a state that requires a test or not ...it's just good common knowledge that every pusher driver should have.

I know it doesn't answer your question on "wooden feel" on the pedal. My experience in both driving a bus and in my motorhome is strictly subjective and from the seat of the pants but I know the brakes are slack when I "feel" nervous about not being able to stop in time. In my early days of driving buses back in the 1970s, I drove many buses that I immediately called in and refused to drive further because of slack brakes. However, nowadays, transit buses very rarely are put out on the road with slack brakes. My experience with newer buses and in my motorhome is that if the brake systems are checked, maintained, and adjusted regularly, very seldom will you have slack brakes ...or that feeling of being on the verge pooping your pants because you almost didn't stop in time before hitting the car in front of you, etc.

Personally, every once in awhile, I'll secure everything in the motorhome and in an empty parking lot, make several "emergency stops" to get a feel of how the brakes are performing. You may not have the opportunity (or let's hope not) to do several hard braking maneuvers out on the road in reality so I do this intentionally every so often in a controlled environment so that I can get a subjective feel for the braking ability of the coach. It's no tapley test (most transit agencies do use a Tapley in addition to other tests to determine braking ability of the coach) but it still gives me an idea on how the brakes are performing.

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Old 07-05-2015, 09:20 PM   #54
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When someone asks the question of (How can you tell if your air brakes are in need of service) that says to me that they do not understand their brake system at all.
Having the knowledge of the basics of how the system works is not an unreasonable expectation.
You do not need to take a mechanics course and need to repair them yourself but you should know how they work and that they periodically need service and adjustment. If you know how it all works you you can pick up on a problem before it becomes a dangerous problem
Having this knowledge also protects you from unscrupulous repairers that take advantage of people that don't know and just leave it up to the mechanics.
I have seen posts on this and other forums where people can't understand why their air supply keeps dropping and yet they are driving it down the road. The simple understanding that if you have an air leak you fix it before you drive it does not play. Another one is my brakes don't seem to be stopping me the way they should, geeez maybe they need adjustment!
The point is if you have a basic knowledge of your system then you will know what is needed whether you do it yourself of not. If something goes wrong out on the road your mechanic isn't riding with you to advise you.

People are fixated on tire pressure and monitor systems and all kinds of other stuff and yet their brakes are no big deal?
Very well said!
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:24 AM   #55
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Very well said!
X2, You have a lot more patience than myself!
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:13 AM   #56
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brakes

Maybe I missed it I was told to always take airbrake parking brake off before pushing on service brake pedal as with parking brake on damage could happen to brakes, is this correct? Thanks:
rebel
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