In the automotive world, a breakdown of any kind is to be avoided if possible because it can either have relatively minor consequences or be potentially devastating. It may not be too inconvenient if your family car breaks down in the driveway on a Saturday morning, but there will be many bad repercussions if your commercial truck fails to deliver a refrigerated load of food. As you have to worry about the latter situation more than the former, you will need to pay a lot of attention to preventative maintenance and in particular your vehicle's brakes. Where do you need to focus your attention?
Areas of Concern
The larger the vehicle and the heavier its mass, the more stress will be applied to its braking system. In the case of a truck like yours, you need to ensure that you pay attention to both balance and timing.
All About Balance
To begin with, the braking force must be distributed evenly between the right and left wheels, so that each side exerts the same energy when trying to bring the truck to a standstill.
You'll have to pay attention to the individual components and make sure they are serviced properly and at the right intervals. Otherwise, you may find that the interior of each drum will begin to glaze over, as this is a natural process that can build up over time. It is caused by excessively high temperatures, especially when trying to slow down the truck during a downhill descent.
You'll also need to make sure that the hoses and fittings are in good condition so that you can exert an equal amount of force on each side and service each wheel correctly.
You'll also need to be sure about timing so that each brake is applied in a particular order. Ordinarily, the brakes on the trailer must apply a split-second before the brakes on the towing tractor. Otherwise, the load will tend to push forward, and this could cause instability. You'll also need to ensure that the brakes release as efficiently as they engage, because if not, this could cause one or more of the wheels to lock and send the entire rig into a skid.
Despite your best efforts, you may come across a problem when you're on the road. A valve could malfunction and sabotage the timing, and this can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. If you notice that something is wrong when you are far from home base, you will need to call for assistance before you can proceed. Make sure that you have the number of a mobile truck repair service on hand, just in case.