Ready for winter: Truck air line inspection/replacement tips

Ready for winter: Truck air line inspection/replacement tips

Air lines should be inspected for damage to avoid failure on the road.

In preparation for the winter months ahead, air lines should be inspected for damage to avoid failure on the road.

However, component replacement is not only for the winter months; it can apply all year round. Although not always necessary, it’s a good practice to replace air lines, and air line accessories, annually to ensure proper working order. 

However, during routine PMs, or during pre-trip inspections, if any of the following issues are noted, air lines should be replaced much sooner to avoid possible air line failures, leading to downtime, or CSA violations:

  • Chaffing or damaged jacketing;
  • Rusted springs and/or fittings;
  • Nylon cables that are stretched out and no longer recoil; and
  • Kinked nylon cables.

When selecting air lines for a tractor/trailer, most know that it is recommended, and in some cases even required by law, to choose air lines with the following features:

  • Air line assemblies that display the appropriate markings which signify compliance with DOT regulations (fequired by law);
  • Swivel fittings on the tractor end to avoid corkscrewing during installation;
  • Spring guards to protect the hose or tubing from a sharp bend at or near the fitting (fequired by law);
  • Added handle grips at the trailer end to provide protection from kinking of air lines during gladhand connection and disconnection;
  • Coiled assemblies that extend to their maximum expected service length and return to their retracted position without sag;
  • Proper overall working length for the tractor-trailer application; and
  • If operating in harsh environments, using cables rated for extreme temperatures (lower than the typical standard of -40°F).

When installing new air lines, its always important to remember the following:

  •  If cables or handles are color coded, be sure to stall/couple them with their correlating connections (red to red, blue to blue); and
  • Always remove the old fitting from the tractor protection valve and install the new fitting attached to the new air lines.

This article was contributed by Phillips Industries.  

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