U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 24, 2023
(a) Reservoir capacity for air-braked power units manufactured on or after March 1, 1975, and air-braked trailers manufactured on or after January 1, 1975. Buses, trucks, and truck-tractors manufactured on or after March 1, 1975, and air-braked trailers manufactured on or after January 1, 1975, must meet the reservoir requirements of FMVSS No. 121, S5.1.2, in effect on the date of manufacture.
(b) Reservoir capacity for air-braked vehicles not subject to FMVSS No. 121 on the date of manufacture and all vacuum braked vehicles. Each motor vehicle using air or vacuum braking must have either reserve capacity, or a reservoir, that would enable the driver to make a full service brake application with the engine stopped without depleting the air pressure or vacuum below 70 percent of that indicated by the air or vacuum gauge immediately before the brake application is made. For the purposes of this paragraph, a full service brake application means depressing the brake pedal or treadle valve to the limit of its travel.
(c) Safeguarding of air and vacuum. Each service reservoir system on a motor vehicle shall be protected against a loss of air pressure or vacuum due to a failure or leakage in the system between the service reservoir and the source of air pressure or vacuum, by check valves or equivalent devices whose proper functioning can be checked without disconnecting any air or vacuum line, or fitting.
(d) Drain valves for air braked vehicles. Each reservoir must have a condensate drain valve that can be manually operated. Automatic condensate drain valves may be used provided (1) they may be operated manually, or (2) a manual means of draining the reservoirs is retained.