One of the most important parts of truck driving training is knowing about air brakes. Nearly all commercial trucks and vehicles come equipped with air brakes and it is mandatory of a truck driver to have an air brake endorsement on his license.
Air brakes are essentially a system for stopping a heavy vehicle through pressurized air. Through various pipes and valves, compressed air is released whenever the brake pedal is pressed. The system was originally developed by George Westinghouse in the 19th century, air brakes were used in railroads only. Their success in stopping heavy trains led manufacturers to put them into heavy trucks, buses and trailers.
A complete understanding about how air brakes operate and their maintenance is essential when you are on the road as a truck driver. If you do not keep the brakes on your vehicle maintained, it can lead to serious accidents. One must know various technical facts such as air pressure buildup rate, the standard operating pressure and how to prevent water from collecting in the air pipes (it can lead to brake failure in colder temperatures where the water tends to freeze).
All truck driving schools offer an air brake endorsement (Z) course. So, don’t forget to enroll in one!