Most Common Truck Failures on the Road: Faulty Breaks

Most Common Truck Failures on the Road: Faulty Breaks

A boot on a brake

On the road, your truck’s safety is the most important thing.  

If your truck is in poor or dangerous condition, then it is a threat to you and other drivers.  

Since trucks are such heavy machines that see thousands of hours of activity per year, there is much that can go wrong. Regular maintenance is a must, but it is also good to know which parts most frequently struggle, and some warning signs to look out for.  

This post will go over one of the most common problems your truck may face, faulty brakes.  


Faulty Brakes are One of the Most Common Causes of Truck Failure 


In a perfect world, your truck would never fail.  

However, if truck failure should happen, one of the most common reasons is faulty brakes.  

Data on truck failure is difficult to come by, but it is estimated that around 5% of all truck failures are caused by malfunctioning brakes.  

The brake system is one of the most common repairs for a truck. Modern braking systems are susceptible to fluid or air leaks due to heavy cargo putting significant strain on your brakes.  

Brake components can also wear out due to heavy use, contamination from dirt, corrosion, or moisture. These factors can lead to brake failure if not properly dealt with.  

In short, every time a truck's braking system is engaged, it is subject to extreme strain. When fully loaded, the brakes must bring an 80,000-pound vehicle to a stop at speeds upwards of 60 miles per hour.  


Common Brake Issues to Watch Out For 


Since truck brake systems see so much use, there are several ways they can break down.  

Several user errors can contribute to brake system failures.  

Here are a few of the most common issues.  

Improper Maintenance.  

Brakes need to be constantly maintained to ensure that they are working correctly. If your truck is not being taken in for regular maintenance, then the consequences could be disastrous.  

Improper Loading.

Loading your rig correctly is imperative. If you have a poorly balanced load, a standard braking system may not be able to stop your truck in proper time and you could be looking at an accident.  


Braking needlessly or using excessive force can lead to overtaxing your braking system. 

Brake Lock.  

When drivers or truck owners do not properly maintain their trucks, brake lock is one of the most common issues. A brake lock occurs when the brake shoe becomes stuck. Signs include sluggish acceleration. It can feel like your truck is being held back. This occurs because the brake shoe is struggling to release after being engaged.  

Brake Fade.  

Brake fade occurs when drivers overheat their brake drums and is another common problem that can arise from improper driving practices. When you over-pump your brakes as a result of a weakness in the air brake system. You can avoid this issue by using short, hard, intermittent brake applications instead of holding the brakes for long periods.  

Damaged Airlines.  

Brakes can become damaged when parts of the truck’s airlines are punctured, cracked, or broken. This means that air is no longer pressurized properly, leading to ineffective braking.  


Here’s What You Do if You Experience Brake Failure 


There is nothing worse for a truck driver than experiencing brake failure.  

Here is how you can offset these issues and keep yourself and others safe. 


  • Downshift 

  • Use the emergency brake to come to a stop 

  • For hydraulic systems, pump the brakes 

  • Find an escape route or run-off ramp 


The most important thing is that you do not panic. Prioritize bringing your truck to a complete stop and call for help.  

In an emergency, be sure to make noise with your horn and alert other drivers of your presence. 


Truck Maintenance Made Easy with Beamers Piggyback 


Maintaining your truck does not have to be difficult. 

When you work with Beamers Piggyback, we make it simple. Our team is highly experienced at maintaining all of your truck’s systems, and we know how to spot the signs of truck brake failure before an incident occurs.  

If your truck needs maintenance in Sharonville, Cincinnati, Blue Ash, Hamilton, Miami, Norwood, Beckett Ridge, Centerville, or Fairborn, reach out to Beamers Piggyback today! 

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