Air line tips from a pro trailer technician

Get a Clean DOT inspection every time with this expert advice

Worn trailer air lines are some of the most common reasons drivers are cited during DOT inspections – but you can avoid this by checking for signs of rubbing or chafing lines during your pre-trip inspections. Wondering where to start? Check out the video below from Derik S., one of our lead mechanics.

We’re currently have trailer technician job openings, so if you are a trailer technician looking for new opportunities, check us out. If you aren’t trained, but watch the video and think you’d like to do the type of work Derik does, apply to become a trailer technician apprentice at Halvor Lines. The paid apprenticeship offers the hands-on training you need to become a trailer technician – and qualified candidates may qualify to go on to a paid diesel mechanic apprenticeship.

There are some basic qualifications, including a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or GED. We’re also looking for people who know they like working with their hands, solving problems, and working both independently and as part of a team. You’ll find the full list of our qualifications on our Mechanics page or apply through our Diesel Technician and Mechanics Job Inquiry page.

Learn how to avoid DOT air line citations and violations in this video with Halvor Lines Lead Mechanic Derik S. He is an experienced trailer technician and diesel mechanic who oversees trailer technician apprentices undergoing paid hands-on training at Halvor Lines.

The DOT air lines video is subtitled, and an abbreviated transcript of his advice is included below.

Hi, I’m Derek. I’m a lead mechanic with Halvor Lines, and I’m going to cover common issues you’ll see with semi-truck air lines. And we’ll cover ways to prevent out of service violations from the DOT.

We’re going to focus on chafing air lines and air lines that are rubbed through to the cords. If the air lines are chafing, that is a violation. If they are rubbed further than the chafing down to the cord or through the outer housing of the hose, that would be a out of service violation or shutdown.

A common issue we see is related to air line clips. Sometimes these clips will be making contact and rub through on the hoses. Sometimes a hose gets replaced on the road and they don’t get secured back the way they should, either because it is clipped wrong or wasn’t clipped or tied up at all. Also the hangers holding the air lines can break, and the springs holding them up can break. When this happens, the hoses will fall down on the axle.

Make sure to check your air line hoses after any brake repairs. If a brake chamber gets replaced on the road, a lot of times the hoses get put back together really sloppily.

You’ll also often find issues around the inflation hoses, which come out of the manifold. It’s common for them to rub. In our shops, we often put Lume on these hoses and zip tied them up securely to try to prevent wear there. That’s a very common spot to look for hose wear.

If you’re on the road and you see something that’s rubbing or causing some chafing on airlines, a quick fix is to grab some hose separators or some zip ties. If you see some hoses have been replaced or hangars broken, you could just install a hose separator or zip tie to keep hoses from rubbing on each other.

If you are a Halvor Lines driver and have any questions related to trailer air lines, reach out to our shop, our 24-hour road service team, or our driver service specialists.

Additional reading materials:

Drive With Halvor!

How To Become A Driver

OTR Finishing Program

Driver Feedback

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