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Air Fittings For Trucks And Trailers With Air Brake Systems

Air operated brakes are almost standard on medium and heavy duty European and American trucks and all heavy trailer combinations. These use the compressed air supply from the truck compressor, and advances in technology have allowed a gradual transition to disc brakes and EBS controls. By contrast, Japanese truck brakes are often hydraulic, relying on wheel cylinders that operate as a form of wedge brakes inside the truck brake drum.

Like all truck parts, air brake controls are made from many smaller but important components, one of those being air fittings. Let’s take a closer look at this often overlooked component, and why it is so crucial to effective operation of air brake systems.

What do air fittings do?

Air fittings might not be the first truck parts you think about, but they’re vital to your vehicle’s safe operation. In short, they provide a secure connection between critical air brake system components, particularly air tubes and air brake controls.

If your air fittings are worn or damaged, they can compromise the entire brake system. Although air brakes are designed to be failsafe, locked brakes can be a safety risk and are definitely a serious operating concern. This is why truck owners and operators should always use the latest generation of high-quality DOT air fittings.

Types of air fittings used in air brake systems

Several types of air fittings are used in heavy vehicles such as trucks, trailers, semi-trailers and buses. Here are some of the types you might encounter:

·        Push-to-connect fittings: These are perfect for quick, tool-free connections. They’re durable, reliable and simple to fit, making them an appealing option.

·        Compression fittings: In high-pressure applications, compression fittings are a popular choice. They offer a secure connection and are best used in conjunction with high-pressure tubing material.

·        Barbed fittings: These fittings offer a tight grip, but are usually only suited to flexible tubes and hoses.

The type of air fittings you should use depends on your air brake system. The main things to consider are the air tubing material and the pressure delivered from your truck compressor to the brakes. You will generally get good advice from a local supplier of high quality European truck parts or American truck parts.

Maintenance and care for air fittings

Just like all parts of your vehicle, your air brake system requires regular maintenance and servicing to maintain safety and performance. Here are some tips on keeping your air fittings in good working order.

·        Regular inspections: Perform a visual check for any signs of wear or damage.

·        Cleanliness: Keep the fittings clean to prevent dirt or debris from entering the brake system. A quick wipe is all it takes.

If you do find any problems when performing regular checks, the next section gives you some pointers on common issues.

How to address common issues with air fittings

Regularly checking your air fittings helps to identify any problems before they turn into more expensive issues. However, that doesn’t mean problems won’t arise.

Common air fitting issues include leaks, loose fittings, and wear or corrosion. It may be as simple as tightening the fitting or replacing a worn-out one. However, this is best done by a trained diesel mechanic to avoid complications.

As a truck owner or driver, understanding, choosing, and maintaining the right air fittings can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance. Remember, every component counts, no matter how small, when it comes to your safety on the road.

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