Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS)
Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) offer an important safety advantage by stopping your vehicle’s wheels from locking during emergency braking situations. An ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it does allow a driver to keep steering control and drive the truck more effectively.
How Anti-Lock Brake Systems Work
Sensors and computer logic detect potential wheel lock up by sensing excessive deceleration rates. An electronic control unit tells the appropriate modulator valves to decrease brake pressure to avoid wheel lock up. The brake pressure is then adjusted to a level providing the maximum braking without danger of lockup.
ABS work faster than a driver can respond to a potential wheel lock up. The system will only adjust the brake pressure to the wheels that are in danger of locking up.
Braking With ABS
- Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay in control.
- Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have AS on the tractor, trailer, or both.
Is Your Truck Equipped With ABS?
- Check the certification label for the date of manufacture and compare it with the ABS schedule.
- Locate the ABS malfunction lamps on the instrument panel on trucks.
- Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on the left side, on either the front or rear corner.
- Look under the vehicle for the ECU and wheel speed sensor wires coming from the back of the brakes.
ABS Not Working?
If your ABS malfunctions, a driver will still have regular braking capabilities. Drive and brake as normal, but get your system serviced.
ABS Will Not
- Allow you to drive faster.
- Prevent power or turning skids. ABS should prevent brake-induced skids or jackknifes; however, it will not prevent them if it is caused by spinning the drive wheels or going too fast in a turn.
- Shorten stopping distance.
- Increase or decrease stopping power.
- Change the way a driver normally brakes.
- Compensate for bad brakes or poor brake maintenance.