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Cold Country....Air Brakes

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by RockSet N' Grade, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Its been 20 degrees here lately. Air brakes froze up. Installed a new air dryer and flushed my lines. Just thought I'd give a heads up, its that time of year in cold country......
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    what truck are you running it hasnt got that cold here but at my part time job driving a tow truck my truck has air so i cant have them freezing up either
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Ive got an International 4900. Moisture had accumulated in the lines even though I have been pretty good about draining my tank on a regular basis. My air dryer was pretty old, so I replaced it.....$750. Poured some dryer down the lines to remove any accumulated moisture. Will do that about once a month.
    Anytime it gets below freezing, if you haven't cleaned your lines, there is probably moisture in there that can freeze.
  4. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I installed an air dryer on my truck last year. Very good investment if you're truck didn't come with one (mine didn't). $750 seems kind of steep. I think mine was only $250, but I installed it myself and it might have been remanufactured or something.
  5. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    We got our first snow here monday and yesterday morning we had to jump start the double tandem to get pressure to the tanks,450 hitachi was jumping the starter and the volvo rock truck to the battery ugh what a royal pain in the rear.
  6. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    here is a trick, if your brakes freeze up, put a bottle of rubbing alcohol, yes the kind you can buy anywhere. Pour it in your air tank and it will get you going quickly.
  7. 2004F550

    2004F550 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    If you have air brakes in cold weather you need to run alcohol systems.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    2004F550, not only do you need to run that system, you also gotta check it and make sure it works! Case in point: One of the companies that I work for was on Channel 5 news last night. One of their trucks (loaded) came off a job site, lost his brakes, took out trees, power poles, a front yard and the truck turned over and rolled into the house. No one was hurt.....but the point is, running in cold weather is a little different than "normal".....so, check those brakes - whether it be an air dryer, frayed air line, old can or whatever.....
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Too many people don't drain their air tanks enough a person should be draining them every 4 hours or if you have a air compressor that slobbers drain the tank more often. Also you should have a check valve that works properly that keeps your wet tank contaminating the dry tank. Always drain your wet tank first then once its expelled drain the dry tank.

    Even thou you have a air dryer its not fail safe, the old International I worked on had a air dryer and it caught most of the water but there was still moisture in the tanks. I used to drive a old MR Mack I cracked the tank valves and nothing but black snot come blowing out.

    That moisture also gets into the selector valves on Road Ranger transmissions and makes them sluggish.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I know too many guys that when you ask them if they drain their air tanks every day they say "Huh?". Kinda sad.

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