Brake System

The mechanism which allows a vehicle to slow down or stop through friction; requires regular inspections for safety.

Components of a Brake System

Brake Pads/Shoes: These create friction against the rotors/drums to slow down the wheels. They wear down over time and need regular replacement.

Rotors/Drums: Rotating discs or cylindrical components that provide the surface for the pads/shoes to create friction. They may require resurfacing or replacement when worn.

Calipers/Wheel Cylinders: These hydraulic components clamp the brake pads/shoes against the rotors/drums when the brake pedal is pressed.

Brake Lines & Hoses: These flexible lines transmit hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder to the calipers/wheel cylinders.

Master Cylinder: This converts the force applied to the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure for the brake system.

Brake Fluid: This hydraulic fluid transmits pressure within the system. It needs to be maintained at the proper level and periodically flushed.

Types of Brake Systems in Fleets

Disc Brakes: Most common in modern vehicles, featuring brake pads that clamp onto a rotating disc.

Drum Brakes: Typically found on older vehicles or rear wheels, utilizing brake shoes that press against a rotating drum.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS): A safety feature that prevents wheel lockup during hard braking, maintaining steering control and minimizing stopping distances.

Effective Brake System Management

Regular Inspections: Pre-trip inspections should include a visual check of brake components for wear and tear, leaks, or damage.

Preventive Maintenance: Performing scheduled brake pad replacements, rotor resurfacing/replacement, and brake fluid changes based on manufacturer recommendations and wear patterns.

Driver Training: Educating drivers on signs of brake problems (soft pedal, grinding noises, increased stopping distances) and the importance of reporting any concerns promptly.

Technology Integration: Some newer vehicles have electronic brake wear sensors that can alert drivers or fleet managers when brake pad replacement is needed.

An effective brake system ensures safe and precise control over your vehicle.