The Different Types of Truck Brakes Worth Knowing

What are the different types of truck brakes you know? Brakes play an essential role in the performance of your truck, and it is, therefore, essential to ensure that your brakes are in perfect working condition. You can do this by regularly checking the brake fluid levels and the braking system’s entire condition whenever you take your truck for routine servicing and maintenance. Doing this will help you catch up with the parts that are wearing out and replace them in time.

There are different types of truck brakes, some work independently, while others work jointly. In this guide, you shall learn about the various brakes used by trucks. 

The Main Types of Truck Brakes

There are four common types of brakes, which vary depending on the structure and how they operate. They only vary in structural design, but they all play a similar role in safeguarding and stopping your truck. Here are the common types of brakes you should be aware of. 

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are mainly popular in modern vehicles. Such brakes have brake pads, calipers, rotors, and hydraulic fluid that work hand in hand to stop your truck. When you press the brake pedals, the pressure pushes the hydraulic fluid in the system to the calipers, which presses the brake pads against the rotor to stop your truck. 

The disc brake has a simple design, performs better in wet conditions, and has better heat dissipation when braking, giving you full stopping power. 

Drum Brakes

They have a small round drum, which is where the name drum brakes came from. The drum has a set of brake shoes and other components. When you press the brake pedal, the shoes press on the side walls of the drum, and this action stops your truck. Drum brakes are relatively cheap to maintain.

Drum brakes are the least popular because the drum can hold water inside, making it ineffective when braking. Water can also cause rust in the inner components of the drum brakes. They cannot handle heat like disc brakes, significantly interfering with your truck’s stopping power. 

Anti-Lock Brakes

Technically, anti-lock brakes are not a type of brake but a technology incorporated into the braking system that prevents brakes from locking. When you press the brake pedal instantly, chances are high that the wheels will lock and your truck will skid. The ABS sense the speed at which every wheel rotates, and if it senses that a wheel is locked, it sends brake pulses to the wheel, reducing your truck’s speed. Such action aids your truck in gaining traction and prevents it from skidding.

Emergency Brakes

The emergency brakes are also known as the parking brakes. This is one of the most crucial of the different types of truck brakes when the vehicle is parked. It is directly connected to the main brakes of your truck through a cable. Depending on your truck, you can engage it using a hand lever, foot pedal, or even a button. Emergency brake aids in keeping your truck in a single spot. It also comes in handy whenever the main brakes fail.


Your truck has all of the 4 different types of truck brakes. Although some trucks have disc brakes all-round, most have disc and drum brakes. The anti-lock brakes are safety features that prevent your truck from skidding when you abruptly press the brakes. 

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