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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Apr 2000
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    88

    Smile Testing Air Brakes

    Just curious how everyone else tests their air brakes.

    I personally test the truck I'm driving everytime I do "daily checks". I've heard of several different procedures, but I want to see if I'm doing the right steps.

    I've met with some resistance regarding the testing of the
    brakes, but in my opinion, it's my right to make sure
    the brakes perform properly.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    New Zealand
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    Default

    Why would someone "resist" testing a safety device, thats as crazy as not testing a BA because "It always works".

    What do your sops say for the vehicle daily test?
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2001
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    I would have to agree with Kiwi why would you not want to test probably the most important piece of saftey equipment on the unit.

    As far as testing the air brakes the method I have always used to do a daily test is as follows:

    1) Disconect station air supply and / or shore line

    2) Start Truck and build air pressure.

    3) Shut the motor off but leave the ingnition in the on possition

    4) Watch the air pressure for 2 minutes the pressure should not drop.

    5) Depress the brake pedal all the way, the air pressure should not drop in 1 minute.

    6) Release parking(spring) brake and start pumping the brake pedal, the parking brake should set just under 55 - 60 psi.

    7) Continue pumping the brakes until the air system is empty

    8) Start truck up and let the air pressure build at idle. Depending on size of the air tanks this should take from 2 to 5 minutes.
    We may get paid. We may volunteer. The most important thing is that we all have a job to do and we all want to come out alive after the call is over!

  4. #4
    Member
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    Jun 2002
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    41

    Default Brake Test

    Sir:

    You have made the right choice. When an accident occurs, the courts will ask, when were the brakes checked last. Your answer will be factual. This morning. While some Gov't agencies would like to quote that they are exempt, the only thing that Gov't is exempt from is payment of tax. When an accident occurs, you will find that your agency is held to the very same rules of the road as commercial trucks. When NAFTA was adopted, it brought the US trucks and licensing to a universal standard. All trucks must be "Pre-trip" inspected daily prior to use. For the Fire Service that usually means at shift change time, daily. Proof of inspection must be maintained by the FD for 5 years. If you do not have an SOP for daily pre-trip inspections, you can go to the local truck stop and pick up pre-printed check forms. And, you can always do more, but not less. The standards are 'minimum standards'. Inspections are performed to Federal Routine Minimum Safety Standards.

    Unfortunately, judgements are now being handed down on the Engineer driving the apparatus if the vehicles are found deficient. If you find a rig deficient, get it logged as deficient and pass the info on to the proper people for correction. You are responsible for the vehicle operations once the wheels begin to move and you are behind the wheel.

    Remember, exempt means nothing in court.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Tony

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    19

    Default

    Step 6 SHOULD read, Chock the Wheels, release parking brake, exit the vehicle and go to each rear wheel and listen for air leaks(then it should continue with the check of the automatic engagement of the parking brakes or maxis for air loss as listed)
    The rear brakes operate automaticly by spring pressure and release when air is released into the brake can forcing the spring to release. As the diaphrams in these cans get older they tear and begin to fail. A total failure would cause the air pressure in the trucks air system to drop, initiaing the appropriate warning alarms then rear axle(s) brake lockup. You'll simply hear air blowing out of these when you relase the parking brake without the noise of the diesel running, just dont forget to chock the wheels first.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Long Beach, California
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    18

    Lightbulb Pre-Trip / Air Brakes

    I agree with all of you. You are required by law to make sure that the vehicle you are operating is safe and properly checked out. If you fail to do a complete Pre-Trip exam (once in the morning is sufficient) then you may be found guilty of a misdameanor on operating an unsafe vehicle. Also, here in California, the California Highway Patrol and other policing agencies have the right and responsibility to check out and test all your safety devices and braking system any time your vehicle is involved in an accident. They may also make you (the driver) produce to them an air test on the system. We have encouraged all of our companies to carry a copy of the state recommended pre-trip exam in the vehicle. That way if they get caught up in one of the inspections, they can just follow the steps. We have altered the form to make it easier and self explanitory...it is a word document in an outline fashion and consists of 18 pages. I know it sounds lengthy, but it really isn't. Also, as stated in earlier responses, as the operator of a fire apparatus, you are held to the laws that govern commercial vehicle operators. And yes, A FIRE APPARATUS IS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE, and is deemed so under the law...check your local vehicle codes. Even though many states offer a "non-commercial firefighter" driver license, it is considered a commercial license while on duty. And don't be fooled, most fire apparatus are Class B vehicles and require a Class B driver license(with air brakes and tank endorsements).

    If anyone would like a copy of our pre-trip exam, contact me via email at rweaver@lacofd.org and I will zap it out.

    We are all in this together and we must share our info.

    TheWeave
    Los Angeles County Fire

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    M1NFD You are right about chocking the tires. We should be chocking the tires whenever the truck in parked. I don't think about it in conjuntion with a brake test in station because all of our bays have 3.5" high sloped parking blocks bolted to the floor fore and aft of the rear tires so the rigs are "chocked" when ever they are in the station. This came out of an accident several years ago when a new driver accidenily hit the parking brake release as he was grabing his gear to get out of the engine. Needless to say the chief blew a gasket when the engine rolled back into HIS locker behind it about 45 seconds after the driver had gotten out. The next day the chief was doing research on how to keep that from happening again.
    We may get paid. We may volunteer. The most important thing is that we all have a job to do and we all want to come out alive after the call is over!

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Apr 2000
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    Thumbs up

    Thank you all for your input. This is what I wanted. It's nice to see what other department's are doing. Again, Thank you for your replies.

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