As Hurricane Ian hit the east coast at the end of September, it brought devastation in its path. And cities in Florida needed thousands of truck drivers to help aid in relief and rebuilding efforts.
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, it’s important to check your vehicle after being exposed to flood waters. Some of the items to inspect and recondition are air brakes, wheel-ends, and other safety components. Bendix provides its top tech tips for post-flood inspection and reconditioning.
Check the air brake system:
- Inspect each component in the pneumatic brake and accessory systems.
- Drain any pressure remaining in the service reservoirs.
- Mark and remove all pneumatic and electrical connectors at each valve.
- Check for evidence of water or contamination inside the connectors, air hoses, or the component itself.
- Carefully use dry compressed air pressure (from a stationary compressor or similar) to blow air through the pneumatic tubes and hoses. Watch for evidence of water or contamination.
- If water or contamination is found inside the component, replace the component.
- Repeat this process as you continue to inspect all the valves in the air brake system. Replace any nonfunctioning valves or those showing evidence of ingestion of water or contaminants.
- Inspect tractor and trailer glad hands and the supply and control hoses. Water and contaminants frequently enter the air brake system through unprotected glad hands.
Check the charging system:
- Inspect the air intake, compressor, and air dryer for signs of water or contaminant ingestion.
- Carefully use dry compressed air pressure (from a stationary compressor or similar) to blow air through the pneumatic tubing and watch for evidence of water or contamination.
- Use dry compressed air from a stationary air compressor (or suitable portable unit) to get any residual water out of the service tanks.
- Air dryers remove moisture in compressed air, but they will not remove moisture that’s present in the system beyond the service tanks.
Examine all wheel-ends:
- Water pooling in drums
- Corrosion between brake lining material.
- The integrity of the friction couple between the friction and disc or drum
- Remove any fittings and mounting stud nuts for any water exposure.
Hurricane season is from 1 through November 30. Hurricane Ian was one of the biggest but might not be the last of the season. To keep your fleet prepared throughout hurricane season, Work Truck has you covered. You can read more about hurricane fleet prep here: Hurricane Safety: Protecting Your Fleet and Dealing with the Aftermath of the 2021 Season.