Don't set your brakes!!!

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Catman131, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Catman131

    Catman131 Bobtail Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    quadcitys usa
    Don't set your brakes when your on a scale. New air ride suspension and some trailers with the anti dock walk WILL bind up a multi platform scale and give bad axle weights, (maybe not so much on a single platform scale) Setting brakes on a scale usually causes heavy steer weights and lite drive weights. When you set your brakes it dumps the air bags, but the brakes set faster than the air being released, so the truck wants to settle but with the brakes set it binds up the suspension also binding up a scale. Truck scales as big and well built as they are are still very sensitive to movement and need to move freely. bound up suspension wont let the scale find its center once the movement settles. Hope I'm making sense here. Older trucks and trailers with spring suspension usually wont cause a problem. If you have to set your brakes, set the trailer brakes only! or turn off your truck and put it in gear. So, next time your fighting your weights, sliding 5th wheel and moving tandems, ask yourself, Did I set my brakes on that scale??
    rabbiporkchop Thanks this.
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  3. strollinruss

    strollinruss Road Train Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    Montgomery, TX
    Why would you ever set your brakes on one to begin with? Other than on the truck mind you,
  4. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    Some understand this and you did a great job explaining the issue, but there will always be a lot who just can't be convinced or can't comprehend the dynamics.

    I feel it's okay to set tractor brakes ONLY, if you feel the need to, but only AFTER you come to a stop, get off the brake and let it come to a natural rest.

    Having a 35+ MPH wind at your trailer doors is a good example of when it may be a good idea to set a few brakes while processing your weight.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
    Bean Jr. and tscottme Thank this.
  5. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    A few scales I have been on roll you off if you don't set one component's brakes or shut it off in gear, (probably the best way unless there is a reason to not shut it off.

    Most times it will sit because the scale is level enough.

    There are some tricks with short scales and split weighing that I won't go into on this thread.
  6. driverdriver

    driverdriver Road Train Member

    May 30, 2011
    I just leave it in gear and shut it off
  7. Lyle H

    Lyle H Heavy Load Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    [QUOTE="Catman131, post: 5750597 When you set your brakes it dumps the air bags, ??[/QUOTE]

    On some trailers maybe, if you pop the emergency valve.
    I haven't seen a tractor yet that dumps the air bags when the brakes are set.
    snowwy, not4hire and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  8. WiggleWagon

    WiggleWagon Light Load Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Parked At The Fuel Island
    Makes sense to me. Causing a bind between the platforms, yes?

    VIDEODROME Road Train Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Mobile, AL
    What if you set only the trailer breaks? Would that hold the truck yet still let the scale move enough under the tires and settle?

    I've been on scales that are not perfectly level and I'll roll without breaks. I drive an auto shift so I'm not sure if I should turn my truck off in gear.
  10. special-k

    special-k Road Train Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Southern Ontario Canada
    I'm with Lyle. Set the tractor brakes if you need to and don't touch the trailer brakes. And you're good to go.
    lester Thanks this.
  11. striker

    striker Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Denver, Co
    I never set my brakes on a scale, regardless of suspension type. Few years back, picking up a grain load, scaling out loaded, I was on the scale, the girl weighed me and was doing my paperwork. Coworker standing beside me, I asked him to go pull my truck off and pull his empty on. He came back in 5 minutes later, couldn't figure out how to release my brakes (I have the custom woodgrain brake releases, he had the regular red/yellow buttons). I told him my brakes weren't set to begin with and since we drive matching trucks automatic trucks ( except I have a sleeper and he doesn't), he should have seen that the bright red P on the dash wasn't lit up and just put it in gear. He asked why I didn't set my brakes, told him I never set my brakes on the scale, it can throw off the actual weight, it allows the scale to settle out naturally. He didn't understand. He pulled his empty on, set the brakes and came inside. The scale showed one weight. Told him to go release his brakes and come back in, when he did, she showed him there was a difference of 600 lbs.

    He still didn't fully grasp it, then I explained when you roll across the scale at the POE, do you set your brakes? He said no, he rolled on slowly, tapped the brakes and waited till they changed the light. Exactly the point, you have a more natural weight.
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