What Kind of Brakes Do Buses Use?

What Kind of Brakes Do Buses Use?

In today’s blog article, we are going to discuss brakes, and, specifically the brakes that buses use. Buses almost always use air brakes, and there are good reasons for that.

Why do buses use air brakes?

Buses use air brakes for a few reasons. First, hydraulic brakes are used in cars because cars are lighter, easier to stop, and hydraulic brakes are cheaper than air brakes. Brakes for buses need more power than hydraulic brakes can provide.


Air brakes are safer than hydraulic brakes. If hydraulic brakes fail, then the vehicle has no brakes. If air brakes fail, then the vehicle will not move. In other words, air brakes fail in the closed position, while hydraulic brakes fail in an open position.

In addition, air brakes are more tolerant of leaks. Air brakes always have air under pressure from a compressor available to replenish any air that leaks out. Hydraulic brakes only have a certain amount of hydraulic fluid available. If that fluid leaks out, then the brakes will not work.


Since fluid is harder to compress than air, compressed air in air brakes can transmit more energy (over a distance) to braking.


One other advantage of air brakes is that air is lighter than hydraulic fluid. In order to use hydraulic brakes on a bus, you would need an enormous amount of hydraulic fluid. That large amount of fluid is heavy and would take away from the weight that the bus could carry in passengers. A lot of heavy hydraulic fluid would also cost more in fuel to run the bus fully loaded. So, it is considerably cheaper to use air brakes on heavy vehicles like buses and semis.

If you would like more information about buses and vans in Canada, call us at our toll-free number (888) 416-9333, and we can help you.

Dynamic Specialty Vehicles has been supplying and servicing mid-sized buses for over 30 years. We have branches in Metro Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary that service British Columbia and Alberta. With long-term contracts with demanding clients like BC Ambulance and BC Transit, Dynamic Specialty Vehicles knows how to keep their clients safe and their buses running smoothly.

If you have any questions about this article or would like further information about buses and/or services, please call us on our Toll-Free number, (888) 416-9333.

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