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Florida CDL Handbook: Air Brakes

With the Florida CDL Driver Handbook, you can study up on the issues that specifically relate to earning your CDL endorsement.

Florida CDL Handbook: Air Brakes

Table of Contents

5. Air Brakes

This Section Covers

  • Air Brake System Parts
  • Dual Air Brake Systems
  • Inspecting Air Brakes
  • Using Air Brakes

This section tells you about air brakes. If you want to drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a trailer with air brakes, you need to read this section. If you want to pull a trailer with air brakes, you also need to read Section 6, Combination Vehicles.

Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes must be well maintained and used properly.

Air brakes are really three different braking systems: service brake, parking brake, and emergency brake.

  • The service brake system applies and releases the brakes when you use the brake pedal during normal driving.
  • The parking brake system applies and releases the parking brakes when you use the parking brake control.
  • The emergency brake system uses parts of the service and parking brake systems to stop the vehicle in a brake system failure.

The parts of these systems are discussed in greater detail below.