How does a handbrake Work in a Truck – Handbrake Easily Explained

How does a handbrake work? If you do not know about that, then this guide is for you. The braking system is an essential component of a truck that reduces speed, enabling you to stop. A typical truck has two braking segments – the front and the handbrake. Everyone knows the functions of the hydraulic front brake, but what of the handbrake?

What is a Truck Handbrake?

The handbrake can be called emergency or e-brake and is either mechanical or foot-operated. The handbrake connects to the rear wheels through a metallic cable. Many think that the hydraulic power system connects the handbrake to the power terrain. Such thought makes sense because the handbrake will take your truck to a standstill, even if the hydraulic brakes fail.

In most trucks, you will find the handbrake next to the driver’s seat in between the two front seats or at the left side of the brake and gas pedals. 

How does a handbrake Work

The handbrake in a truck is made to bypass the hydraulic braking system if they fail and you critically need to bring your truck to a halt. Applying the handbrake will enhance the pulling power through the metallic cable connecting the inner and outer components. It has an equalizer whose primary role is to split the power equally between the brakes.

In many trucks, you will realize that the disc or drum brakes connect to a mechanical lever. The caliper piston is connected to an extra lever and corkscrew if it is the disc brake. If you pull the brake, the lever will force the corkscrew against the piston. In case it is a drum brake, the metallic cable is directly attached to the lever at the brake shoes.

You have already known how a handbrake works. Never apply it when the foot brake is functional because it will interfere with the brake balance, making it hard to control your truck.

Functions of a Handbrake

How does a handbrake work? Knowing how a handbrake works compels us to know its functions and whether you can use it as an alternative to the hydraulic brake. The primary role of a handbrake is to remain engaged in parking mode until you push the release button, and this will prevent your truck from rolling when parked on sloping ground.

It also comes in handy to stop your truck if the hydraulic brake system fails. When driving and you realize that your brakes have become unresponsive, consider using the handbrake.

If you have a modern truck, you will have only to use the handbrake when parking since the systems in these trucks are very efficient and reliable. Modern trucks have sophisticated mechanisms like dual-circuit hydraulics and the low-brake fluid sensor, ensuring that your braking system is operational.


The handbrake in a truck comes in handy occasionally, and many usually use it when parking. After taking time to read this guide, you now understand how necessary the handbrake is, especially when the hydraulic brake fails and you are in dire need of stopping your truck. Inappropriate usage of the handbrake can also be dangerous to you and other road users.

Posts Tagged with… ,