Slack adjusters are also referred to as brake adjusters. They are an essential component of braking systems installed on trucks. Their purpose is to regulate the distance covered by the air brake before it can apply friction to the truck's wheels. The distance increases as the driver continues to use the brake. Essentially, the working mechanism of the brakes on a truck begins with the operating rod pushing outwards on the slack adjuster. Consequently, the slack adjuster moves the S-cam, which in turn splits the brake shoes apart to apply friction and stop the vehicle. Without your slack adjuster, the air brakes will be out of adjustment, and you will not be able to stop the truck. Here is a comprehensive discussion about slack adjusters to help you understand them thoroughly:
Locating Slack Adjuster
The location of the slack adjuster on your vehicle depends on the type of braking system that you have on your truck. Today, most trucks use air brake systems because of their ability to generate high levels of braking force required to stop massive trucks. Air brake systems rely on slack adjusters to stay aligned and function properly. In such a system, the slack adjuster sits on the housing of the axle. It is on top of the air canister and close to the wheels.
You can also have some truck models that use drum brakes and disc brakes. In the drum brake system, the slack adjuster is located between the S-cam and the pushrod. On the other hand, the disc brake systems have the slack adjuster lying between the power screw and the pushrod.
Manual Slack Adjusters
Manual slack adjusters are present in many old trucks. Their name suggests that you have to keep an eye on them and tune them manually every time you feel that the brake is not functioning appropriately. Essentially, this means that you always have to look out for signs of a poorly aligned slack adjustment. There are a few signs you need to look out for when checking the alignment of a manual slack adjuster. For example, the slack adjuster should not angle more than ninety degrees to the pushrod whenever you apply the spring brakes.
Moving towards automatic slack adjusters is good news for the trucking industry. They are better than manual brake adjusters are. Here, the vehicle can detect when the brakes need adjustment and keep the braking stroke within the overall desirable limits. If the slack adjuster goes out of alignment, then there is a bigger underlying problem that needs to checked immediately.
To learn more, contact a company that carries items such as Hino truck parts.