Anyone Have An Alcohol Evaporator In Their Air Brake System?

Topic 30132 | Page 1

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I'm going through the CDL manual as I build a new version of the High Road CDL Training Program and I came across this statement:

Some air brake systems have an alcohol evaporator to put alcohol into the air system. This helps to reduce the risk of ice in air brake valves and other parts during cold weather. Ice inside the system can make the brakes stop working.

Check the alcohol container and fill it up as necessary every day during cold weather. Daily air tank drainage is still needed to eliminate water and oil (unless the system has automatic drain valves).

I have never driven a truck with an alcohol evaporator in it that needed to be filled. Has anyone here had this type of system?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
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It doesn't appear that you are getting a lot of responses to this question. I've not seen one of these in a long time. I've never driven a truck that had one.

Back in the day, when I owned a few trucks, I had an International with this system in place. I bought the truck with over a million miles on it. I was in the south and we used the truck locally. We took it to a mechanic for an air leak, and he removed the system because it was the source of my air leak. He said he had never seen one, but he was confident mine wasn't operational. The cheapest fix was to remove it and bypass it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Yeah, I think the combination of an air dryer and a heater to prevent the air dryer from icing up is all that's needed. The alcohol may have been used before they started putting heaters on there.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Brett;

In 20 plus years, Tom has never driven a truck that had one on it either. He's heard of them, but has never actually seen or driven one with this reservoir you speak of.

~ Anne ~

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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When I drove 88-93, my co-drivers talked about them, but we were in newer trucks that didn't have them that I'm aware of.

Laura

Errol V.'s Comment
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It's good to update the High Road, but without looking at official tests it's hard to know what you can drop.

Last week one of my students took the Tennessee permit test. Afterwards she asked me what an alcohol evaporator was (on the Air Brake Test). So the old stuff doesn't seem ready to go away.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

It's good to update the High Road, but without looking at official tests it's hard to know what you can drop.

Last week one of my students took the Tennessee permit test. Afterwards she asked me what an alcohol evaporator was (on the Air Brake Test). So the old stuff doesn't seem ready to go away.

Yeah, I'm definitely keeping everything there. I won't drop anything. Sometimes the challenge is figuring out which information to ask about when I'm building the multiple-choice questions. You don't want to waste anyone's time drilling information into their head they won't use, but it's worse to skip over things they'll need, even if it's just for the test.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

At one time a few years ago I was using CDL permit test videos on YouTube so old that the truck drivers in the videos had huge steering wheels to spin around to make turns, and muscles to match (no power steering). The questions where exactly the same as my current study materials.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Back in ancient times, I once drove an old Mack, and a Ford that each had these installed. Whether these systems worked, I have no idea. This was back in my high school, illegal driving days moving log trailers at night, a few years before I got my chauffeur's license.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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I recently learned that we should not drain our air tanks because it would drain all the anti icing fluid out.

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