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Old 09-09-2003, 10:55 AM   #11
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Location: Cincinnati Ohio USA
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Patrick...I have always blown the truck down everynite to drain the moisture out of the system/dryer....It takes 2 minuites to blow down/blow up and do a walk around the truck at nite and in the morning before going over-the-road the next day.I do it as part of my pre/post check along with making sure my wheels are choked front and rear. It also gives me time to check tires and for any liquid leaks or lite bulbs out....I got used to it when I drove over the road in the 70's and the 80's....now I do it automatically/by habbit/obsessionly... One thing you guys need to do is check those compartments doors to make sure they are closed/locked properly....I looked at a Kingsly yesterday and one compartment door was not closed properly....Our new village Firetruck has a alarm/lite warning system so all compartments must be shut and locked when moving the truck....It is made by using magnetic contacts off a bugler alarm system and very effecive as a truck driver[engineer] can't do a walk-a-round before heading off to a fire.....also helps to indicate that all the doors/personel/equipment are aboard as the driver checking all that is almost impossible because of the noise of the electronic radio noise /Q-"SCI-REEN" and air horns....might be a thing you guys might want to install on your larger motorhomes to monitor your kids/wife safety and to check if doors are ajar or windows open....and also to supprise anyone that your dog doesn't hear when camping...after all not everyone is honest/trustworthy as we are.....as yes before you all ask-"I'm packing" for my protection-I heard of a guy fending off a black bear attack with a marine flare pistol.....FWIW.....geof-near Cincinnati
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Old 09-09-2003, 11:35 AM   #12
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Location: Gilmer,TX. USA
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I agree -- about 60 pounds is where the "low air warning" light/buzzer comes on.

My bus conversion has 4 air tanks and 1 air gauge -- My Freightliner Class 8 Conversion has 3 air tanks and 2 gauges. The truck will show 100 pounds or more on each gauge, but the main tank can be empty of air (as checked by dumping air via manual dump valves). The bus will show zero air when I still have air in two of the tanks. Guess it depends on where the gauge is installed in the air system. On my bus, I can see the compressor cycle between 90 and 130 pounds; on the truck one gauge sits around 130 while the other is at 115 --- and they don't move very much unless I apply a LOT of brakes. (They go to zero when I drain the tanks fully)

Air bags on the bus -- tag axle will empty out in about 6 hours --- (no check valve in the tag axle air system). All other air bags take about a week to show the coach to be somewhat lower so I run the bus once a month to get back to level once again (they all have check valves).

Have not noticed the truck air bags going down, but I don't have any weight on it either until hooking up my little trailer.

Will your truck pass the normal "Air Brake Test" that you perform prior to starting out in the morning on a trip?

don
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Old 09-09-2003, 11:47 AM   #13
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What "test" would that be Don?
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Old 09-09-2003, 01:41 PM   #14
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Air Brake Test.

Same test that a license examiner would give someone taking a drivers license test in a vehicle with air brakes. Same test that should be done prior to setting out each day --- test can help spot many air leak problems. One example: my used Freightliner tested fine for 2-3 weeks after I purchased it. One time it showed a small loss of air ie it failed the air brake test --- took truck in and had one of the rear brake air chambers replaced - was leaking when brakes were "off" -- no leak when "on".

You can check various State Commercial Drivers License Manuals on-line to see how it is done - that is one source. -- or someone on the forum might have good verbage of the test and can post the required steps - test is all done from the drivers seat.

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Old 09-09-2003, 01:57 PM   #15
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Tell us how you test yours!!
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Old 09-09-2003, 04:22 PM   #16
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Patrick:

I re-read my post and I did a poor job in answering a question, I come across as a complete A** Hole!! Sorry that I did not fully answer your question --- if I could cut/paste on this forum I'd supply the exact info. Let me see if I can do a better job (I don't consider myself as a complete AH <grin&gt

So here goes (and others, please feel free to jump in --- this is how I do it on both my bus and truck).

==============

Chock the vehicle to prevent it from rolling!

Fully charge the air system -- (125#)
Turn off engine, release parking brake and time air pressure drop. Should not be more than 2# in 1 minute. (note: my truck failed this when one air brake canister was leaking)
Apply service brake (brake petal) (90# on brake application gauge if your vehile has this feature). After initial pressure drop - time for 1 minute -- no more than 3# should be lost. (note that these figures are for truck only -- not truck with trailer with air brakes)

Turn key "ON". engine "OFF". Rapidly depress the brake petal up/down while observing the air gauge. Warning light/flasher/buzzer (whatever your vehicle might have) should come on when pressure reaches 60#.

Continue the rapid on/off of the brake petal while observing the air gauge. The emergency parking knob should pop out when air pressure is between 20 - 40 #.

Start engine and observe how fast the air pressure builds up. Should reach 85 - 100 in about 45 seconds. This depends on vehicle, number and size of air tanks, etc.

There are also checks for the governer cutin/cutout pressure.

It takes less time to do the test than it does to read it. But I'd recommend getting the straight info that is available in various Drivers License Manuals.

Hope this helps.

Also it is good to note your vehicle has three brake systems:
Service (foot petal)
Parking (pull out knob)
Emegrency (knob comes out when air pressure is between 20 - 40#

don
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Old 09-09-2003, 05:51 PM   #17
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Thanks Don!! This is priceless info! I will print and laminate this test and execute it before every outing. I learned something else today...the low air alarm is not ajustable. There is a sensor on the air brake system that controls when the alarm goes off (supposed to be 60-70 psi). I was told to look under the hood near where the brake pedal comes through the firewall for a 1/4" diameter sensor with either 1 or 2 wires. These sensors run $4 at a local truck supply. Thanks Don, this forum will soon be a wealth of information for newbies like myself!
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