Overheated semi truck brakes are something that no driver wants to have to deal with. And often, this kind of problem can be prevented entirely. However, there are cases in which the brakes overheat – and sometimes even catch fire!-before the problem is identified.
It’s important to get regular checkups to ensure that your brakes are in good condition. This will reduce the chance of your brakes overheating while you’re driving, which is dangerous for you and other drivers on the road.
What are the Most Common Reasons for Brake Fires?
There are a number of reasons as to why your semi truck brakes might overheat and catch fire. These reasons include:
Poor Braking Method
Not every driver uses the right braking method. Are you ever guilty of this? If so, you should work to get in the habit of braking correctly! If you see or smell smoke after braking, you need to pull over and turn the truck off right away. If you’re on a downhill slope, get to the bottom of the hill and stop there.
Brakes that are dragging as you drive can lead to issues such as overheated brakes. Not just that, but also wheel bearing failure or wheel grease fires that can even make their way to the tires of the truck. This kind of issue is most common on the rear trailer of the semi truck.
A brake imbalance can result in the overheating of disc brakes. This can lead to the bearing grease catching fire. Poorly-balanced brakes occur most often in a multiple-trailer semi when not all of the trailers are braking properly, thus the imbalance.
Wheel Bearing Failure
As stated above, dragging brakes can result in failed wheel bearings. This means that the wheel axis is off the center line of the axle. When it’s off-center and the brakes are dragging, a fire can occur from overheating. Plus, when one is off-center, another might soon follow, causing even further issues.
What You Can Do to Lower Your Chances of Overheating
It’s important that you get regular maintenance checkups with a mobile tire truck repair or 24-hour truck tire repair service in order to lower your chances of experiencing serious problems on the road. It is also important that, if you do notice anything strange while driving, you pull over and do your own inspection or call a mobile truck repair service or 24-hour truck repair service to give you a hand and make sure that your truck is safe to drive.
You can conduct your own inspection by looking at the brakes, wheels, and tires, checking for blown wheel seals and other potential issues. You should also make sure that there is no buildup of oil or grease around the wheels, axles, and engine.
What to Do if a Fire Starts on Your Truck
If any part of your semi does start fire, use your fire extinguisher to attack the base of the fire. You should then call a truck road service company to get help.