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Old 11-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #15
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The air brake endorsement is a tax grab. No audible leaks and your air gage reading is normal is all you need to know. The rest of it is for the mechanics. It doesn't matter if you have been driving your air braked vehicle for many years, someone wants there hand in the pie.
Then be careful where you drive, in every jurisdiction I've every seen the reg's for they all say the same thing, something to the effect of "operator must be able to demonstrate that the push rod travel is within acceptable tolerances.".

In more and more places this is becoming required for any vehicle with air brakes, commercial or otherwise.

The operator must also demonstrate (i.e. show the police or DOT inspector the inspection form) that they've performed the required daily inspection of the system.

Lots of places are also starting to enforce weight limits on vehicles and drivers licenses too.

Ontario sure is!

On holiday weekends especially they hold "safety blitz's" on major highways where police cruisers will pull almost any vehicle with a trailer off the road for a safety inspection. Any 3 'safety faults' (even a single required light bulb is a safety fault) means the vehicle is parked right there until the defects are cured. If the vehicle is deemed unsafe it's towed at the owners expense to "truck jail" until the required repairs can be made and it passes inspection.

A neighbour of mine had his 5'er towed off the road after they found defective electric brakes on it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #16
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Then be careful where you drive
I wasn't suggesting for anyone not to get the air brake endorsement where required, just that it is a big tax grab and unless you are a commercial truck driver you will never have to go under your rig to demonstrate push rod travel.

My point is that after taking the air brake test you will gain some knowledge on how air brakes work but it wont make you any safer.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Do you belong to AAA or CAA? They have a course for Motorhome Operation that includes air brake endorsement. Check it out. Money well spent if you have not driven a vehicle of this weight and length before.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #18
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Hi

I'm your neighbour in Alberta and in late summer I bought a diesel pusher with Air brakes. My insurance company said Yes I need an air brake endorsement on my license. I took a 1 day course at a local truck driving school. There was no driving involved.it was all classroom stuff and then a quick pre-trip inspection. When you passed that which all 9 of us did you get a form that you take to motor vehicle and do a 30 multiple choice test. You are allowed 5 mistakes.
When finished(passed) they send you a new drivers license with a Q endorsement on it.
Cost was $225 for the course and another 60 I think at the registries place for the test and admin. costs.
The course is set up mostly for truckers but I did learn a lot so I would recommend it., and the insurance lady I personally know said if you Don't have the endorsement and get in an accident your up S Creek .

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #19
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The air brake endorsement is a tax grab. No audible leaks and your air gage reading is normal is all you need to know. The rest of it is for the mechanics. It doesn't matter if you have been driving your air braked vehicle for many years, someone wants there hand in the pie.
If all it is is a tax grab, then I guess they should not require truckers to get trained. Having the knowledge of how air brake systems work can save you problems by being able to recognize them before they are a problem.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #20
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I agree with all the comments but the tax grab! The air brake system is so superior to conventional braking. You should understand how they work as well as how the engine brake works. Just as a simple example - you do not apply an air brake the same way you apply a convensional brake. In class you learn why. I've been driving all sorts of vehicles for over 55 years and I learned a lot in the class.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:35 PM   #21
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unless you are a commercial truck driver you will never have to go under your rig to demonstrate push rod travel.
Then I stand by my statement "be careful where you drive" made earlier.

My father got pulled off the 400 at the northbound service center (at King City) in a safety blitz on the Friday of the August long weekend, on his way to drop the coach off at The Hitch House at Gasoline Alley. They not only wanted to check push rod travel, but wanted him to demonstrate that he knew how & where to check for PR travel and how much was allowable.

They told him (afterward the inspection) if he didn't know, he wouldn't have been leaving.

The OPP & MTO have taken on a 'zero tolerance policy' with vehicle safety.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #22
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They not only wanted to check push rod travel, but wanted him to demonstrate that he knew how & where to check for PR travel and how much was allowable.
OK....I'll show my ignorance...I have had 16hrs of instruction....have an air brake endorsement on my license...but I haven't got a clue...what is the "push rod travel" and how much is allowable...and how do you check for push rod travel? Are you talking about "slack adjusters"?

Is OPP or the Highway Safety actually suggesting that I crawl underneath my MH, which has about 9" of clearance, to check my AUTO slack adjusters? Really?
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #23
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The OPP & MTO have taken on a 'zero tolerance policy' with vehicle safety.
Pulling a late model coach in for a brake inspection during a blitz is all for show. The media eats it up. Usually they will pull in all the old ratty looking trucks which look like they are held together with duct tape and then report to the media that they took 90 percent of the trucks inspected off the road. Then everyone thinks 90 percent of all trucks are unsafe.

I wonder how many Motorhomes have had accidents due to brake failure caused by out of adjusted self adjusting brakes. FYI it is illegal for you to make any kind of adjustment to your Air brakes unless of course you are a certified mechanic. This extra regulation on RVs is totally unnecessary but it does bring in tons of revenue. Better then raising taxes I guess.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:52 PM   #24
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If all it is is a tax grab, then I guess they should not require truckers to get trained
Apples and oranges. Motorhomes and trucks.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #25
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"FYI it is illegal for you to make any kind of adjustment to your Air brakes unless of course you are a certified mechanic."

Well in Canada, it is not only legal, it is a requirement of your air brake endorsement. All persons with an air brake endorsement have to be capable of adjusting the brakes on their air brake equiped vehicle, doesn't mean they have to do it, but it does mean they have to know how, and be able to demonstrate it to an enforcement officer. This means having the tools to do it on board your vehicle. Self adjusting slack adjuster are not immune to failure.

"what is the "push rod travel" and how much is allowable...and how do you check for push rod travel? "

There are several ways to check brake pot push rod travel, and yes you generally have to be under the vehicle to do it. With two people, one in the cab, one under the vehicle: vehicle should be on level ground, block tyres with chocks so vehicle cannot move, Release maxi (parking brakes), build up air pressure to cut out pressure, shut down engine, person under vehicle measures distance from slack adjuster clevis to fixed spot on brake pot mounting bracket or other, on each brake, and records same. The person in the cab then applies (under direction) full air pressure and holds it untill the person under the vehicle measures and records the same distances measured previously. Brakes are then released and parking brake applied. The push rod travel is the difference between the first and second measurement, and depending on the type and size of the brake chamber, the allowable push rod travel can be determined. There is also a tool that allows you to pull on the slack adjuster to check travel, if you are working alone. Although most cases of excess travel can be remedied by adjusting the brakes through the slack adjuster, this is sometimes not enough to bring the travel into spec. Worn slack adjuster, worn "S" cam bushings (bearings), worn brake shoe cam rollers, worn anchors/ bushings all can contribute to push rod travel.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #26
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Well in Canada, it is not only legal, it is a requirement of your air brake endorsement. All persons with an air brake endorsement have to be capable of adjusting the brakes on their air brake equiped vehicle, doesn't mean they have to do it, but it does mean they have to know how, and be able to demonstrate it to an enforcement officer. This means having the tools to do it on board your vehicle. Self adjusting slack adjuster are not immune to failure
In Canada the air brake endorsement does not give you the legal means to adjust your brakes. If you want to adjust your own brakes you must be certified to do so which means taking a separate course on brake adjustments. ( not the air brake endorsement) In the old days truckers were allowed to but not now. If you get hauled over for inspection the MTO will do the inspection, usually while you are in the drivers seat pushing the brake pedal. If you brakes are out of adjustment, you will have to get a mechanic to come out and adjust them, then the MTO will reinspect and away you go.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #27
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In Canada the air brake endorsement does not give you the legal means to adjust your brakes. If you want to adjust your own brakes you must be certified to do so which means taking a separate course on brake adjustments. ( not the air brake endorsement) In the old days truckers were allowed to but not now. If you get hauled over for inspection the MTO will do the inspection, usually while you are in the drivers seat pushing the brake pedal. If you brakes are out of adjustment, you will have to get a mechanic to come out and adjust them, then the MTO will reinspect and away you go.
I agree...this has become a silly discussion and adds nothing to the OP's question concerning the necessary licensing requirements in SK.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:58 PM   #28
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O P, like someone else said earlier you most likely will require an air brake endorsement. We previously lived in Alberta and while I have a commercial licence my wife would need an air brake endorsement on her regular licence. It was a 1 day course and $125. Check with your Sask. DMV.
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