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Old 11-13-2012, 12:13 AM   #29
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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.
I have seen people on here asking questions about air brakes that have no idea of how their air system works. One such question involved driving down the road with a huge air leak. I always maintain knowledge is safety. It might not work for you but it could for some one else.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #30
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Pulling a late model coach in for a brake inspection during a blitz is all for show.


I wonder how many Motorhomes have had accidents due to brake failure caused by out of adjusted self adjusting brakes


This extra regulation on RVs is totally unnecessary but it does bring in tons of revenue. Better then raising taxes I guess.

Actually, when asked, the MTO inspector told my father that automatic adjusters need to be used on a regular basis to keep them freed up and working properly, he said that about one third of all the air brake equipped motorhomes they inspect have at least one defective component in the system, be it a leaking chamber, seized up auto slack adjuster or just sticky mechanism somewhere that isn't moving freely.


Sitting parked is the worst thing you can do to any machine, a m/h is no different.

The Highway Traffic Act doesn't use the word "convenient" anywhere, it does however say that each time you drive a vehicle with air brakes, you must make sure that there are no defects and that the vehicle complies with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and regulations made thereunder.

If they want to get fussy, they can give you a fine just for driving down the road without first inspecting the brakes.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #31
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Trucks average 5000 miles every two weeks all year long. Motorhomes average 5000 miles per year. Motorhomes are an extremely safe demographic but all of a sudden we need the government to step in and educate us and for a fee.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:53 PM   #32
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Trucks average 5000 miles every two weeks all year long. Motorhomes average 5000 miles per year. Motorhomes are an extremely safe demographic but all of a sudden we need the government to step in and educate us and for a fee.
That my friend is exactly the problem.

A vehicle sits, with a brake system designed to ingest outside air on a constant basis when operating, then it's driven, usually for a considerable distance on the highway, without any concern for, or examination of, that braking system.

Moisture, inhaled as humidity in the ambient air, condenses in the system and is distributed throughout it by operation of the brakes. That moisture can and will result in rust, deterioration of rubber components and in low temperatures, ice. All of which will compromise the operation of the braking system.


Which is why the law says you have to check them.

I'm not sure how you checking your brakes or not generates any revenue for the government, but that's another matter.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #33
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OK... Just my $0.02. I have the air brake certificate, but I would also be a great example of where a little knowledge is dangerous. Under NO circumstance should I be under my Coach inspecting or adjusting my slack adjusters...NO way does an air brake course qualify me....or anyone ......to be working on air brakes!

If the MOT, the OPP or whomever is that concerned about the safety of recreational MH's then the answer is...."every operator must carry a current / annual inspection certificate from a certified brake technician and shop".

Again, only my opinion, but the only adjustments we as amateurs should be performing is the "10 hard pump" procedure...if, after that, there is any other doubts about your brakes...have them professionally inspected.

In addition, if current air brake technology & materials are so primitive that you need senior citizens crawling underneath their MH's to inspect and certify the systems are correct/safe.....then I seriously question whether or not air brakes are suitable in recreational vehicles!
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #34
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There is so much bum scoop here I won't even try to correct it. I was a commercial unit supervisor with the CHP for two years and my best advise is to contact the DMV or State Police commercial unit to get the CORRECT info.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:15 PM   #35
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #36
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Again, only my opinion, but the only adjustments we as amateurs should be performing is the "10 hard pump" procedure...if, after that, there is any other doubts about your brakes...have them professionally inspected
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:41 AM   #37
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Thank you all for your value input. However having now realized the complexity of the air brake conundrum : Are they better than hydraulic brakes? At least for the non tech savvy guys like us.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:44 AM   #38
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Thank you all for your value input. However having now realized the complexity of the air brake conundrum : Are they better than hydraulic brakes? At least for the non tech savvy guys like us.
YES, the reason air brakes are used in big heavy equipment is because air travels faster down the line than hydraulic fluid does therefore providing you faster response and firmer braking.

This and many other things youll learn when you take the air brake endorsement course, highly recommended!
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:53 AM   #39
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Air brakes provide a significant degree of safety over hydraulic brakes without question. If you lose air you know about it right away. First by alarms and second the brakes will lock on with the absense of air pressure. If you lose brake fluid with a hydraulic system the first time you may know about it is when you step on the pedel and it goes to the floor just before you hit the brick wall or crash into the vehicle in front or behind you in the event you are backing up at the time.

I have an airbrake endorsement, I read the book and passed the exam. (in Ontario no course required to pass the exam - knowing the correct answers determines if you get the endorsement.) I did the same for the "D" license - no course but know your stuff and be prepared to demonstrate your skill and knowledge. (Vehicle weight is one factor that determines grade of license required in most jurisdictions. Ontario is no exception.) Age is one factor in determing if a medical is required for a "D' license. Over 65 normally requires a medical certificate from a Dr.

It is illegal to drive a vehicle without the proper license and endorsements required for the vehicle type, and your insurance is likely invalid of you do not have the correct credentials.

Bottom line I am certain all agree that Air Brakes have more safety features than Hydraulic brakes and big rigs have air brakes for this reason.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:40 AM   #40
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YES, the reason air brakes are used in big heavy equipment is because air travels faster down the line than hydraulic fluid does therefore providing you faster response and firmer braking.

This and many other things youll learn when you take the air brake endorsement course, highly recommended!
Actually that's wrong, hydraulics are faster than air.

Air was used (first in trains, later in trucks) because it allowed a fast, simple, secure and safe way to split and rejoin the braking system when hitching or unhitching trucks to trailers or railway cars to one another.

Technology has caught up though and soon you will see transport trucks running hydraulic brake systems.

Air brakes are an unnecessarily complex and expensive system, it just so happens they're historically popular.

I'm not sure where the idea of adjusting brakes came from, but it sure wasn't me, all I said was that the law requires you to "inspect" the system.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 AM   #41
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Actually that's wrong, hydraulics are faster than air.

Air was used (first in trains, later in trucks) because it allowed a fast, simple, secure and safe way to split and rejoin the braking system when hitching or unhitching trucks to trailers or railway cars to one another.

Technology has caught up though and soon you will see transport trucks running hydraulic brake systems.

Air brakes are an unnecessarily complex and expensive system, it just so happens they're historically popular.

I'm not sure where the idea of adjusting brakes came from, but it sure wasn't me, all I said was that the law requires you to "inspect" the system.
I'm not an engineer but from understanding, I have to agree with Murf2U. I think air brakes are used because they are (were) the better way of attaching / detaching split brake systems but from a design / performance point of view, they are inferior to hydraulic brakes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #42
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As far as air brakes versus hydraulic brakes, air brake systems are far superior in braking heavy loads. If hydraulic was better they would be in use. Light duty trucks use hydraulic and heavy duty use air. Light duty motorhomes use hydraulic and heavy duty use air. When you get a heavy vehicle braking on a long hill the brake fluid in a hydraulic system will heat up and boil in some cases rendering brakes useless.

As far as seniors having to crawl around under motor homes, they don't have to, but they should be aware that they need to have it done and understand it. Thus air brake course. If someone (Government) does not enforce this then no one else will. It is no different then the Government making sure you are competent to drive a car.

Air brake systems are not that complicated and anyone can drive an air brake equipped vehicle down the road. Knowing the dynamics of how they work are key to doing it safely .
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