What Is An Air Brake Endorsement? Driver Licensing Guide

Drivers should possess several specialized skills according to their line of work and industry. Drivers must obtain the air brake endorsement to operate heavy trucks and even some recreational vehicles with air brakes. A driver can only operate a vehicle with an air brake system if they have an air brake endorsement on their driving license.

Candidates with a valid driver’s license in British Columbia need to fulfill ICBC requirements of completing a 16-hour mandated course at the Surrey, BC, truck driving academy, which will familiarize candidates with the critical heavy-duty vehicle safety measures.

An air brake is a friction brake for automobiles that uses compressed air pressing on a piston to apply the required pressure to stop the vehicle towards the brake pad. The air brake endorsement supports the driver’s ability to operate the air brake system on the vehicle.

One must have the following to become Air brake certified under ICBC:

Mandatory Entry-Level Training
If you are looking to become a class 1 driver, you might need to complete B.C’s Class 1 MELT course.
Enroll for a Class 1 License.

Air brake endorsement is categorized into two parts: 


On-Highway Air Brake Endorsement

On-highway air brake endorsement is used by heavy trucks, buses, and recreational vehicles (RVs) that travel on B.C.’s roads and highways. To obtain a single-unit on-highway air brake endorsement in British Columbia, you must:

  • Have appropriate air brake experience or have completed an ICBC-approved single-unit vehicle air brake course (contact us to see if your experience qualifies)
  • Pass the knowledge test for air brakes
  • Passing a pre-trip air brake test in a single-unit air brake-equipped vehicle
  • Pay for your license and driving test. (Road test would not be required)

To obtain a combination-unit on-highway air brake endorsement in British Columbia, you must: 

  • Pass the knowledge test for Class 1, including air brake content. 
  • Complete the MELT course, including the required training for air brakes.
  • Passing a pre-trip air brake test using a combination-unit brake-equipped vehicle.
  • Pay for your license and driving test.
Three tries at the knowledge test
The knowledge test has a three-trial limit. if you don’t pass, after three tries, you’ll need to repeat 7 hours of air-brake theory training,
Retest period for the Air brake
Be focused and study hard, to clear the test on the first go, but still if you do not exceed, you can give the test after 7 days.’ 

Off-Highway Air Brake Endorsement

Off-highway air brake endorsement is used frequently for moving natural resources on logging roads by huge vehicles with air brakes. 

Acquire an off-road airbrake endorsement: If you are operating unlicensed vehicles, equipped with air brakes then you must have this endorsement. Skidders, loaders, graders, and yarders can be operated on industrial roads without an off-highway air brake endorsement. 

Age Requirement: The age requirement for off-highway air brake endorsement course Surrey is at least 18 for single-unit vehicles and 19 years for combination vehicles.

The Air brake Endorsement Program Operates As Follows:

You will learn driving regulations and accident prevention techniques in classroom sessions led by driver training schools. After completing your in-class training, the next step is to check the air brakes before a journey. An instructor demonstrates how to inspect the braking system, all candidates must do it twice on their own throughout this lesson.

Then, if you succeed on the knowledge test, you can go further and take your road tests to obtain your air brake license.

After you pass with your practical program, a certificate of air brake assessment completion will be issued to you.

Advantages of Air Brake

Heavy commercial vehicles employ air brakes because they are dependable. For massive multi-trailer vehicles, they have several benefits: 

  • Since there is an endless supply of air, the braking system will never run out of operating fluid, unlike hydraulic brakes. 
  • Airline connections are simpler to install and remove than hydraulic lines; they also eliminate the need to bleed the brakes when doing maintenance and the possibility of air entering the hydraulic fluid. 
  • Trailer air-brake circuits are simple to attach and detach.
  • While the hydraulic fluid is almost incompressible, air not only acts as a fluid for the transfer of force but also stores potential energy when it is compressed, allowing the application of force to be controlled. In case the compressor fails, air-brake systems have an energy reserve that can stop the car.
  • Air brake systems are built with enough “fail-safe” capacity to safely stop the vehicle even while leaking since air brakes work even with significant leakage.
  • Air horns, seat adjusters, and doors for buses and trolleybuses can all be driven by the system’s inherent compressed air, which can be utilized for other accessory applications for which hydraulics are inappropriate.

The main focus of the air brake course Surrey is to take safety measures while driving large, heavy vehicles. The interactive courses offered by OTT Driving Academy are designed to give candidates the necessary practical skills and support materials.

With more than 15 years of experience, OTT Driving Academy is one of the trustworthy driving schools that never compromise student satisfaction. The following points are the main highlights of this course:

  • A comprehensive introduction to the air brake and its parts.
  • The completely air-based braking system for single-unit vehicles
  • Heavy-duty vehicle air brake system (trucks and trailers)
  • Air brake combination systems’ guiding principles
  • practical experience with the full-air brake system

How can I sign up for an air brake course in Surrey?

Air brake training is simple and convenient to enroll in. All you need to do is go to our contact us page and complete the form with the necessary information. You will receive a response quickly from our team, or you can come to see us in person to acquire all the crucial information.

We give practical instruction in air brake pre-trip and brake adjustment procedures, and subsequently, the ICBC Driver Licensing office will administer the Air Brake Knowledge Test.