Got A Lvl 1 Inspection Today, Went Pretty Okay!

Topic 33185 | Page 2

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PackRat's Comment
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I call it "New Trailer and a 6 Pack". I do this every time I hook up to any trailer, even the same trailer if I drop it and drive away bobtail. Once I return, I repeat this process.

Hook up to a trailer, fifth wheel, air lines, electrical connection, landing gear raised.

Apply air to trailer. Red knob pushed in.

Wait 5 minutes.

Operate the brake pedal to apply 60 to 75 psi for 10 seconds. Let off the pedal and wait 30 seconds. Repeat this 6 times.

This should cycle the trailer brakes, set the automatic adjustments, and clear any air pockets from the system. Never adjust modern brakes unless you are a certified, qualified mechanic.


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Bill M.'s Comment
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Big adventures as of late. Way to keep hanging in there. It's my understanding that today's trailer brakes self-adjust. But that doesn't mean they can't be out of adjustment.

You asked if anyone calibrates the brakes on every trailer they pick up. My answer is YES. I use the procedures some have outlined here. It adds a few minutes to your stop, sometimes less, but it can save us from the grief of an OOS.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Pianoman's Comment
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I was thinking of this thread this last week and oddly enough it came up for me yesterday as I was doing my post trip inspection. The trailer I’m currently using has drum brakes and the pads looked super close to the drums even with the brakes released so I was looking up exactly how to check my brakes and this is what I found:

Air brake inspection

The old timer we rent the yard space from also got under there with me and showed me how to do a quick check by tapping on the drum lightly with a hammer and listening to the sound it makes—if the brakes aren’t dragging it’ll ring a tad. If they’re dragging then the drum won’t “ring” when you tap it.

The article I linked should cover it pretty well. My typical method of inspection for years (I’ll admit it’s not the greatest but it will generally give a good idea if brakes are at least WORKING) is to compare the angle between the pushrod and slack adjuster when the brakes are applied vs when they’re not applied. I used to pull on the pushrod like it says to do in the article to check that the free play is no more than 3/4 inch and I should probably go back to doing that for drum brakes anyways. Disc brakes are a whole different animal. I did look up a little about disc brakes but for the most part there’s not much we can do to inspect if they’re adjusted properly.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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