Air Brakes

Length of Course: *New Brunswick only

20 hours (Air Brake Course)

4 hours (Air Brake Refresher Course)

# of Participants: 8-24

Recommended for:

Professional Drivers


Prerequisites: None


Air Brake Systems are a critical component on any commercial vehicle. These systems are the responsibility of the driver. The driver needs to understand how the systems work both in theory and from an operational perspective. Too often, “typical” air brake courses are delivered with a focus on passing the exam.

AFSI’s approach is to ensure students fully comprehend OR understand the importance of staying safe with air brakes. Instruction includes key areas such as how to maximize brake performance, reduce the risks associated with poor braking performance, and how to troubleshoot problems in the system.

The air brake systems on modern vehicles are adapted from systems originally designed for locomotives. Air brake systems have changed over time and so has the technology that allows vehicles to stop safely. Professional Drivers must stay informed about these ever-changing systems and review the fundamentals on a regular basis. This type of training will improve the braking performance of the vehicle for drivers and reduce maintenance costs for companies over time.

The Air Brake Course (certified) is 20 hours in length (16 hours of theory and 4 hours of practical), government certified, professionally-targeted, and client-specific. Upon completion, the student will have the knowledge base and confidence to obtain the air brake endorsement, qualifying the student to write the theory exam and obtain his/her endorsement to operate air brake equipped vehicles.

The Air Brake Refresher Course is 4 hours in length and provides an in-depth review of an air brake system, its components and how to troubleshoot basic defects generally identified in the pre-trip inspection. Stopping distances and vehicle dynamics related to braking are reviewed in detail. This program can also be targeted and client-specific.

Upon completion, the driver will have an updated knowledge base with new information relevant to the maintenance and operation of an air brake system. The employer will have demonstrated their commitment to due diligence and standard of care.

Air Brake and Air Brake Refresher courses are ideal for professional drivers, supervisors, and personnel who should understand the perils of operating a vehicle with poorly maintained brakes, or the risk involved permitting an untrained driver to operate a vehicle equipped with air brakes.

Course Components:

Air Brake Systems and Components: includes Combination Vehicles and Parking Brakes

Driver Responsibilities: Pre-trip Inspection and Brake Adjustment

Pre-Trip Inspections: Why do Them?; Make it your Own; What do I Check?

Preventing Downhill Runaways: The Energy Cycle; Adjustment, Downhill Braking Tactics, Planning Descents

Technical Advancements: Automatic Slack Adjusters, Automatic Front Wheel Limiters, High Pressure Systems (250 PSI)

Practical Application

Both the Air Brake Course (certified) and Air Brake Refresher Course utilize a portable air-board that enhances the classroom learning environment and discussions. The portable learning model allows AFSI to bring the course to the client and is an effective tool for drivers and maintenance personnel to troubleshoot common issues and problems. Participants must perform a practical pre-trip inspection of an air equipped vehicle as part of the certification course.

Printable PDF