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Heavy duty truck has lots of weight to stop once it gets going, making the braking system incredibly important. The braking system in heavy-duty trucks and trailer uses air instead of hydraulic fluid. As the system is based on air, you’ll never run out of fluid or don’t have to face significant braking troubles due to a fluid leak.

Having a damaged, improperly functioning, or worn-out brake system is a danger to all those on the roadways. Therefore, it’s crucial for drivers to be aware of brake issues and how to avoid them with the help of a heavy-duty truck repair shop.

Here are five symptoms that indicate your heavy-duty truck’s brakes are failing and require immediate attention from a truck repair shop.

High-Pitched Squealing

If you start hearing a high-pitched screaming sound that stops when you apply the brakes, it could be the sound of the brake pad wear indicators. It signifies that your brake pads are worn out, and it’s probably time for brake pad replacement, which should need to be replaced every 50,000 miles.

Grinding Sound When Brakes Are Applied

There could simply be some gravel or a stone caught in the caliper unit. Due to this, you hear metal on metal that could create grooves in the brake rotor, which is very harmful. In this case, move promptly to avoid paying for far more costly repairs.


If you experience vibrations when braking normally, warped rotors can be the reason. Warping can occur over some time or from carrying heavy loads.


When you use the brakes, your vehicle should keep moving straight ahead. If you feel your truck pull to the left or right as you engage the brakes, you may have uneven brake pad wear or a problem with an air brake line. It can also indicate issues with your truck wheel alignment. Either way, you should need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Soft Braking

If you press down on the brake pedal and it readily falls to the floor, there could be air or dampness in the braking framework, or your brake pads are probably wearing out.

How Do Truck Air Brakes Work?

Air brakes work using compressed air instead of hydraulic fluid. Air brakes can be either drum, disc, or a combination. The entire air braking system is well-designed and, in most circumstances, works flawlessly. An engine-mounted compressor pressurizes air. Then the compressor pumps the air into the air storage tanks. These air storage tanks store the compressed air until it’s needed.

Brake Problems with Heavy Duty-Trucks

Some of the most prevalent reasons for heavy-duty brake problems include the following:

Brake Shoes:

Brake shoes are designed to wear evenly. However, they may become unbalanced and wear unevenly in certain circumstances, which weakens one side and might cause braking problems. Squeaking or scraping sounds should be signs of unsteady beak shoes.

Incorrect Loading:

Properly loading a trailer is critical since improper loading may result in various complications, including braking issues and trouble stopping.

Servicing Issues:

Like many other heavy-duty truck parts, brakes also need regular servicing to ensure they operate correctly. Maintenance is essential, particularly for the braking system and emergency backups.

Brake Fade:

Brake Fade happens when drivers overheat the brake drums by pressing the brakes too hard. The air brake system has a flaw in the form of brake fade. Instead of holding the brakes for lengthy periods, use short, intermittent brake applications to prevent brake fade problems.

Damaged Air-line:

The brakes might be damaged when specific elements of the truck’s airline are damaged or broken due to the air system. Indicates that the air is no longer appropriately pressured, resulting in unequal braking.

How to prevent Common Heavy Duty Truck Braking Problems

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. The same applies to your truck’s brakes as well. If you go for regular truck maintenance, you can avoid most of the issues related to the brakes. Always pay attention to how the brake feels and sounds. If the brakes feel soft or non-responsive when pressing the brake pedal and you hear sounds from it, and If it breaks and takes too much effort to bring the vehicle to a stop, it’s time to service the brakes.

Routine brake service is key to preventing any braking system issues. A change of brake pads and an inspection of brake pads and rotors are necessary to keep the brakes in perfect working condition. Hence, regular truck maintenance can prevent brake failures. You can contact SRB Equipment for vehicle-breaking issues. Our professional team has extensive knowledge and technical know-how to repair heavy-duty truck braking systems.

What Should You Do If Your Brakes Fail?

Everyone on the road is in a danger zone when a vehicle’s braking system is broken, malfunctioning, or worn out. As a result, drivers must be aware of potential braking problems and know what indications to look for to avoid them. The following are some strategies that experienced drivers may use to keep themselves and others on the road safe:

  • Downshift to slow down
  • Stop using the emergency brake
  • Pumping the brakes (if hydraulic)
  • Look for a way out for another lane or shoulder of the road
  • Make use of an emergency stop ramp

Bottom Line

Nothing is more crucial than a functioning braking system. No doubt, airbags, and seatbelts are reasonable, but if the brakes are in good condition, they may be able to stop the disaster altogether. Many brake-related issues may cost horrible situations. ‍Head on to SRB Equipment if any of these indications show up and get catered with the best-in-class mechanics that investigate, isolate and cure your vehicle of any braking problem that might persist in your vehicle.