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Old 12-27-2016, 10:21 AM   #1
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Air brake check

In Nevada you need a class B license to drive a rig over 25,000 lbs. In the handbook it talks about a air brake check posted here.

"Failure to perform an air brake check will result in an automatic failure of the vehicle inspection
test. Air brake safety devices vary. However, this procedure is designed to see that any safety
device operates correctly as air pressure drops from normal to a low air condition. For safety
purposes, in areas where an incline is present, you will use wheel chocks during the air brake
check. The proper procedures for inspecting the air brake system are as follows:
• With the engine running, build the air pressure to governed cut-out (100-125 psi).
• Shut off the engine, turn key to ON position.
• Chock the wheels.
• If necessary, release the tractor protection valve and parking brake, push in valves.
• Fully apply the foot brake and hold it for one minute.
• Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than three pounds in one
minute (single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute (combination vehicles).
• Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly applying and releasing the foot brake.
The low air warning device should activate before the air pressure drops below 60 psi.
Page 57 of 75 Revised 12/2012
• Continue to fan off the air pressure. At approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle, the tractor protection valve and parking brake valve should close
(pop out). On other combination and single vehicle types, the parking brake valve
should close (pop out)."

I tried to do this but after the air had gone down to 35 lbs the brake valve did not pop out. That meant that if I lost all air pressure I would have no brakes what so ever unless I pulled the valve actuator. With a little persuasion I was able to get it to work. But I thought I would post this for someone else's safety. Here is the handbook from Nevada. It has all kinds of safety things including how to put out a fire and winter driving. Enjoy.

http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/dlbookabj.pdf
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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the biggest problem here is this is a commercial vehicle test situation
they need to write a script strictly for Class A motorhomes
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by select55 View Post
the biggest problem here is this is a commercial vehicle test situation
they need to write a script strictly for Class A motorhomes
Air brakes are air brakes. This is a very important test, even if not part of licensing. As already hinted, you do NOT want to be in, or in front of a large 26k+ vehicle if it loses air pressure and the emergency brake, large springs that continually push the pads toward the drums for the point of the test, fail to do their job and deploy near or below 60 pounds.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWat View Post
Air brakes are air brakes. This is a very important test, even if not part of licensing. As already hinted, you do NOT want to be in, or in front of a large 26k+ vehicle if it loses air pressure and the emergency brake, large springs that continually push the pads toward the drums for the point of the test, fail to do their job and deploy near or below 60 pounds.
Absolutely, The OP needs to have the brake system inspected and repaired.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:32 PM   #5
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What you describe is the basic tutorial that all CDL applicants nationwide must be able to demonstrate. All truck and bus drivers that have an air brake endorsement have gone through that procedure during training and/or testing for the CDL.

I know you didn't post this thread to have us editorialize but this is a pet peeve of mine. It is one reason I don't agree that individual states can set their own rules as to who can drive a motorhome over 26,000 lbs. GVWR and with air brakes. Some states do not have any requirements to drive a diesel pusher and some, like Nevada (which I also hold a drivers' license and a CDL), require a class B license to drive a diesel pusher motorhome over 26,000 lbs GVWR. I believe that ALL states should require testing and a special license to drive these rigs. It should be mandated federally and a requirement in all states for those who are licensed drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs GVWR.

I went through all kinds of training decades ago to operate air brakes and drive big rigs ...and again when CDLs were instituted in the mid 1980s. Yet those licensed to drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs. GVWR in some states do not need any training nor required to understand air brakes or anything else that a commercial bus or truck driver is tested on. Driving such a motorhome is exactly the same as driving a commercial bus yet one needs lots of training with testing and the other needs no training or testing. It makes no sense and the Feds should step in and mandate this across the nation.
/rant

When you say that you used a little persuasion to get it to work, what did you do?
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWat View Post
Air brakes are air brakes. This is a very important test, even if not part of licensing. As already hinted, you do NOT want to be in, or in front of a large 26k+ vehicle if it loses air pressure and the emergency brake, large springs that continually push the pads toward the drums for the point of the test, fail to do their job and deploy near or below 60 pounds.
I agree, but also wonder how many DP owners even know that you should at least do that.
Having an air loss driving down the road should be noticed and reacted to before your emergency brakes apply. If they come on at highway speed it is like a full brake application and they won't release again until fixed.
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Old 12-27-2016, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
What you describe is the basic tutorial that all CDL applicants nationwide must be able to demonstrate. All truck and bus drivers that have an air brake endorsement have gone through that procedure during training and/or testing for the CDL.

I know you didn't post this thread to have us editorialize but this is a pet peeve of mine. It is one reason I don't agree that individual states can set their own rules as to who can drive a motorhome over 26,000 lbs. GVWR and with air brakes. Some states do not have any requirements to drive a diesel pusher and some, like Nevada (which I also hold a drivers' license and a CDL), require a class B license to drive a diesel pusher motorhome over 26,000 lbs GVWR. I believe that ALL states should require testing and a special license to drive these rigs. It should be mandated federally and a requirement in all states for those who are licensed drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs GVWR.

I went through all kinds of training decades ago to operate air brakes and drive big rigs ...and again when CDLs were instituted in the mid 1980s. Yet those licensed to drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs. GVWR in some states do not need any training nor required to understand air brakes or anything else that a commercial bus or truck driver is tested on. Driving such a motorhome is exactly the same as driving a commercial bus yet one needs lots of training with testing and the other needs no training or testing. It makes no sense and the Feds should step in and mandate this across the nation.
/rant

When you say that you used a little persuasion to get it to work, what did you do?
Well said. I pulled on the valve actuator and or popped. It needed to be replaced. That is why I posted this. You are absolutely right. When I was told I needed a class B license for my motorhome I didn't believe it. After looking into it I realized that I did indeed need a class B license. I went through the air brake check and was absolutely shocked to find out that my air brakes needed some work. Subsequent to getting my Class B license my air dryer went out and I lost our pressure, and I knew exactly what to do. I pulled off to the side of the road immediately and within a short period of time my emergency brakes popped and I had no ability to drive the motorhome. If I did not get my Class B license I probably would have been stuck in the middle of the highway and my wife could have been injured. Now I am an advocate I'm doing this test every time I take the motorhome out. I even have it in my checklist. This is extremely important.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdreamlv View Post
Well said. I pulled on the valve actuator and or popped. It needed to be replaced. That is why I posted this. You are absolutely right. When I was told I needed a class B license for my motorhome I didn't believe it. After looking into it I realized that I did indeed need a class B license. I went through the air brake check and was absolutely shocked to find out that my air brakes needed some work. Subsequent to getting my Class B license my air dryer went out and I lost our pressure, and I knew exactly what to do. I pulled off to the side of the road immediately and within a short period of time my emergency brakes popped and I had no ability to drive the motorhome. If I did not get my Class B license I probably would have been stuck in the middle of the highway and my wife could have been injured. Now I am an advocate I'm doing this test every time I take the motorhome out. I even have it in my checklist. This is extremely important.
Good job.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:59 PM   #9
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Ah, thanks for the explanation, Bill. Also, I appreciate your posting this thread as a reminder to those who drive diesel pushers and are licensed in states which require NO training/testing or a special license, to study CDL manuals such as the one you posted for Nevada (I believe that just about all states have similar manuals for CDL purposes) and to also perform the needed checks especially for air brakes but other components exclusively used in heavy vehicles as well. Thank you.
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdreamlv View Post
Well said. I pulled on the valve actuator and or popped. It needed to be replaced. That is why I posted this. You are absolutely right. When I was told I needed a class B license for my motorhome I didn't believe it. After looking into it I realized that I did indeed need a class B license. I went through the air brake check and was absolutely shocked to find out that my air brakes needed some work. Subsequent to getting my Class B license my air dryer went out and I lost our pressure, and I knew exactly what to do. I pulled off to the side of the road immediately and within a short period of time my emergency brakes popped and I had no ability to drive the motorhome. If I did not get my Class B license I probably would have been stuck in the middle of the highway and my wife could have been injured. Now I am an advocate I'm doing this test every time I take the motorhome out. I even have it in my checklist. This is extremely important.
Good post and good on you! It isn't rocket science but not having that knowledge can get you and loved ones in bad predicaments!!
So many people just don't realize that!
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:18 PM   #11
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I understood this academically and I have performed this test, however I was not in the habit of doing it every time I start out. So here is my question; does one go through this every time you shut down? That is to say stopping for fuel or lunch? I receive multiple trailer loads at my business every week and have for years, I cannot remember a driver ever bleeding the air off to set the emergency brake before leaving, even though they may have been at our location for a couple hours.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:30 PM   #12
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Once before a trip is all thats needed, unless something seems wrong.

You should do a brake check within 50 ft of driving, from a shutdown. Just to make sure they work.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:29 AM   #13
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In PA you are required to pass a Class B Non commercial test with Air Brake certification. I already have a Class A Commercial. I perform the test before leaving for a trip (only part timers). I also watch my gauges out of the corner of my eye on brake applications etc, if anything looks off I find a spot to pull over and check the system.
I have met others that have major air leaks and don't care, one guy was loosing so much air his compressor was always cutting in, he told me its been like that since he bought the coach from a dealer and thought it was normal and had no desire to address it, even after I explained to him how serious it was.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
What you describe is the basic tutorial that all CDL applicants nationwide must be able to demonstrate. All truck and bus drivers that have an air brake endorsement have gone through that procedure during training and/or testing for the CDL.

I know you didn't post this thread to have us editorialize but this is a pet peeve of mine. It is one reason I don't agree that individual states can set their own rules as to who can drive a motorhome over 26,000 lbs. GVWR and with air brakes. Some states do not have any requirements to drive a diesel pusher and some, like Nevada (which I also hold a drivers' license and a CDL), require a class B license to drive a diesel pusher motorhome over 26,000 lbs GVWR. I believe that ALL states should require testing and a special license to drive these rigs. It should be mandated federally and a requirement in all states for those who are licensed drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs GVWR.

I went through all kinds of training decades ago to operate air brakes and drive big rigs ...and again when CDLs were instituted in the mid 1980s. Yet those licensed to drive motorhomes over 26,000 lbs. GVWR in some states do not need any training nor required to understand air brakes or anything else that a commercial bus or truck driver is tested on. Driving such a motorhome is exactly the same as driving a commercial bus yet one needs lots of training with testing and the other needs no training or testing. It makes no sense and the Feds should step in and mandate this across the nation.
/rant

When you say that you used a little persuasion to get it to work, what did you do?
Agreed! Said better than I could ever say it.
Can't tell you how many times I have been in discussion with a DP owner and brought up air brake checks and I get a deer in the head lights look. "We Don't need to do that. They just work".
It should be required. Period. End of Story.

THIS SHOULD BE A STICKY
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