Hello Dan --
Until Larry can respond -- I'll post my 2 cents worth -- Based on my lifetime as a commercial driver and your post.
As you may know -- there is a slight delay in service brake application and the braking effect. Without going into the brake system -- Just realize the delay of a second or so.
Unlike a hydraulic brake system -- Where the operator has pedel feedback -- That is -- The more application -- The harder it is to push the brake pedel. Not so -- When applying air brakes. The resistance felt in pushing the full service brake pedel is generated by a spring. This doesn't represent the force being applied to the brakes.
To gauge how much application air is being applied to the brakes -- Simply look at the application air gauge on the dash -- To see how much air is being applied.
You mentioned you drive a yard mule. This may leed to a bad habbit -- Stabbing of the brakes to stop a fully loaded commercial trailer. You may be just using the brakes of the yard mule to stop. If the air line is hooked up to the trailer and you are using the trailer brakes also -- Are they in adjustment? Is the balance between the yard mule's brakes and the trailer correct? Usually with a yard mule -- You are hooking up only the charged air line -- As this is needed to release the maxi's on the trailer -- Braking is done just by the mule.
Once you are in a highway tractor -- Braking is completly different -- As that of a yard mule.
You will have a balanced braking system.
You will be sitting up much higher -- And have a commanding view -- Thus you will be able to anticipate service braking much sooner.
It is also imperative -- That one drives Defensively -- Thus avioding the Panic Stop.
When applying the service brakes properly -- There are no problems.
I hope this has helped ......
To the Administrator -- If this reply is successful -- It is by accident -- As using the "Reply" button has no "Post Now" button to click onto. I've tried responding to other posts this past week with no success on posting.