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Old 07-18-2019, 09:10 AM   #1
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Scary situation with BRAKES?

I was travelling down to Coburg OR. yesterday and along the way traffic was flowing OK when all of a sudden all the traffic started to brake hard because a tractor trailer had lost its load. When I hit the brakes a bit of fear came over me as I felt as though the rig was not going to stop in time. I usually give a fair distance while I'm driving but this all happen while going around a curve and there was the surprise. Not being that I've ever had to make a stop like this before with the rig I was surprised to find that I was all the way on the pedal and pressing over the top of the air, not a good feeling. I've had the brakes checked two diffent times and both shops said they were fine.
Not being used too air brakes my question is, Is this a normal feeling with air brakes or do you think there's a problem?
So a little more info: I was travelling about 65 and it took about an 1/8 of a mile to bring the rig to a stop. I know there's a lot of weight but I'm so used to hydraulic and when you push it's a much more solid feeling. Sorry for rambling on but I need to know what to do as we are planning to leave Aug. 4th for a one to two year or more tour of the US and want to be sure we and others are all safe. Thanks for any input!!!!! Always appreciated!
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
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I don't know what you mean by "pressing over the top of the air". Hydraulic brakes have a more solid feel than air brakes, but you should be able to lock the brakes with a full pedal application - even at 65 mph.

Then the ABS will pulse (apply-release-apply-release, etc.) the brakes so you still have steering control. If you cant lock the brakes, something is wrong.

Secure all the loose items, then go out to an empty stretch of road and do a full, hard, brake application. If the brakes don't lock then have them checked out again (could be lining is "glazed" from overheating - in which case lining looks thick (not worn out) but there is a loss of braking ability). You would then need to replace the lining.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfleetwood View Post
I was travelling down to Coburg OR. yesterday and along the way traffic was flowing OK when all of a sudden all the traffic started to brake hard because a tractor trailer had lost its load. When I hit the brakes a bit of fear came over me as I felt as though the rig was not going to stop in time. I usually give a fair distance while I'm driving but this all happen while going around a curve and there was the surprise. Not being that I've ever had to make a stop like this before with the rig I was surprised to find that I was all the way on the pedal and pressing over the top of the air, not a good feeling. I've had the brakes checked two diffent times and both shops said they were fine.
Not being used too air brakes my question is, Is this a normal feeling with air brakes or do you think there's a problem?
So a little more info: I was travelling about 65 and it took about an 1/8 of a mile to bring the rig to a stop. I know there's a lot of weight but I'm so used to hydraulic and when you push it's a much more solid feeling. Sorry for rambling on but I need to know what to do as we are planning to leave Aug. 4th for a one to two year or more tour of the US and want to be sure we and others are all safe. Thanks for any input!!!!! Always appreciated!
Well, I may be banned.
We, or at least you, need to know some things that you have not posted. 1) What are your axle weights, and GCVW compared to the ratings? (Got brakes on toad?)
2) Most important. When was the last time you checked the slack adjusters? By law, a CDL driver has to check his every day. I understand you are not a CDL driver, but neither the brakes or the little girl you run over know the difference.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
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Don't get confused about the feel of the brake pedal, it's just a feel. More important is the function of the brakes. You should not be able to skid the tires, which I consider locking the brakes, with ABS. If the ABS senses a wheel slowing compared to the other wheels, it pulses the pressure to that slower wheel until that slower wheel regains speed compared to the other wheels. With full and immediate brake pedal deflection at higher speeds, you should be able to feel that pulsing, it will shake your rig; sometimes you feel it on airliners when they land, as pilots are trained fully deflect the pedals at high speed to get the speed down quickly, in conjunction with reverse thrust.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
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You should not be able to skid the tires, which I consider locking the brakes, with ABS.
I messed up my response - I was typing faster than my brain could process the words I was writing.

As TonyMac said, you should not be able to "skid the tires with ABS brakes". Without ABS the tires will lock up (skid), with ABS they will not lock up.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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"Over the Top" means that I would be able to push beyond the pedal and feel the air relieve and the pedal would bottom out. I'm quite aware of what ABS feels like and it did not kick in! The wheels did not lock up in any way and I felt uncomfortable with how they stopped the rig. 40K is a lot to stop! I'm going to have them checked by a proffessional to be sure with removing the wheels for a more thorough inspection.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:05 AM   #7
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It sounds like you are a very cautious driver, and probably because of that, you never apply your brakes hard.
Constant very light braking can glaze the linings to an almost polished finish.
Go out and do 6 or 7 hard brake applications on a deserted stretch of road. speed up to 50+ mph, brake to 10mph, and repeat.
Hopefully that will take the glazing off.
Happy Glamping.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #8
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Hi Dcfleetwood; Hello fellow Washingtonian! First I agree totally what others here have posted today. Do not know if your coach has drum or disk brakes. You may have a combo of disk on the front and drums on the rear or drum all around or disk all around. On my 01 Monaco Windsor I have air drum brakes on the front and rear. I always perform a check to make sure the auto slack adjusters are doing their job. My brake pedal is always right at the top and to bring the coach to a good hard stop the pedal has very little travel. I have had to make a few hard stops over the years and I am very glad to be seat belted in as I know I would be shot right over the steering wheel. If you have that much pedal travel as you mentioned I would find a good commercial truck shop and have them go over your braking system from stem to stern. I also leave a huge space in front of me when driving the coach, not that it lasts too long and it seem I am traveling backwards. Just my opinion, but I would not feel safe driving your coach from what you have described. Let us know what you find out after an inspection an possible repair so others here can benefit from your experience. Travel safely!
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:39 AM   #9
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apoligies if I missed it, but I didn't see any mention of supplemental brakes on the toad. Hopefully you have them, since your signature acknowledges pushing. MAYBE that system should be looked at as well as the coach brakes.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #10
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Doing the math from your statement....you're saying it took you just over two football fields to stop at 65 mph (650 ft). To me, that sounded like a lot of distance, but than I looked up average stopping distances. The average stopping distance at 65mph is 525 feet. I'm sure those numbers were for a car, but depending on your toad brakes, if any, you may have been pretty close to the average distance.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Doing the math from your statement....you're saying it took you just over two football fields to stop at 65 mph (650 ft). To me, that sounded like a lot of distance, but than I looked up average stopping distances. The average stopping distance at 65mph is 525 feet. I'm sure those numbers were for a car, but depending on your toad brakes, if any, you may have been pretty close to the average distance.

You might want to check out this chart from the Utah DOT. It seems like your distance as a little long but not outrageously so.


https://www.udot.utah.gov/trucksmart...ing-distances/
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:34 PM   #12
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Feeling as you do about your vehicle's braking dynamics, if I were driving your vehicle, I'd simply drive a bit slower.
Driving slower will give you and your rig more time to react and that can't be a bad thing for anyone involved.


Enjoy your year's long journey....and be safe out there.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:42 PM   #13
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There is a slight "time lag" with air brakes when applied (air compresses unlike hyd. fluid)
The minimum following distance from the vehicle ahead of you should be no less than 4 or 5 seconds driving anything over 30,000 lbs.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:01 PM   #14
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I always perform a check to make sure the auto slack adjusters are doing their job. My brake pedal is always right at the top and to bring the coach to a good hard stop the pedal has very little travel. !
I'm sorry, but statements like this display a total ignorance about how air brake systems work, and are common enough to show that everybody that drives a air braked system should be required to take a test to prove they know that the only thing pedal feel will tell you is where the pedal is.
I could take the drums off, build air, and you push on the pedal and would think adjustment was fine. The only way to be sure the brakes are adjusted properly is get down there, put you face within arms length of the slack adjuster, grab hold of it and check how far it moves.
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