Caging brakes is only done when an air brake system failure has happened and you need to get your unit to a safe haven only, not normal operation.  This procedure releases the spring tension within the brake chamber and will render that wheel with no brakes when completed. 

I recently had a problem with my air spread axle on my step deck trailer that caused my brake system to lock up on the sliding rear axle.  It ended up being a air valve failure that couldn't be fixed on the side of the road anyway.  I had to cage the brakes on both sides of my rear sliding trailer axle.  Since I was empty, I had enough braking power on the other 4 axles to safely travel to the nearest shop and get repaired.  This saved me quite a bit of money for avoiding a service call.


  • To do this, crawl under truck or trailer and find brake chamber to the wheel with brakes you want to release. 
  • On the chamber itself, you'll find the internal hex pipe plug.  It'll be mounted on the clamp of the brake chamber.  Remove the nut, washer and tool from the holder.
  • Remove dust cover from brake chamber
  • Insert caging tool into chamber and turn 1/4 clockwise to seat the tool
  • Insert washer and nut
  • Tighten to about 2.5 inches of caging tool exposed.  This is hard work as you'll be compressing that spring by hand.
  • At this point, your brakes should be released on that wheel.  If not, continue to turn until released

Remember, this procedure is not for normal operation, but to get to a safe haven where repairs can be performed.  Stay safe out there!


Comments (6)

Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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Yeah, I've had my share of bad luck. Thankfully, it could've been worse with a service call to pay for!

June 09, 2014 19:16:31 PM

That does not look like fun. You are supposed to be having a better time than this while you are working Joey.

June 09, 2014 18:51:23 PM

Thanks for reading Tyrone. I hope you never need this!

June 08, 2014 18:11:19 PM

Thanks for the tip!

June 08, 2014 17:39:59 PM

Thanks for the nice comment Lorence.

June 08, 2014 14:50:05 PM

Wow Joey! Thanks for teaching me how to do something new!

June 08, 2014 12:12:38 PM