Air Brakes

Old Town, Fethiye

The truck was fitted with air operated mechanical drum brakes. Normally, they worked well and were extremely efficient. However, on a long steep descent, in spite of being in the lowest gear and applying the brakes sparingly, the engine soon reached maximum rpm, then the brakes overheated causing brake fade ­čś▒. When this happened we would have no option but to pull over and allow things to cool down.

The solution we chose was to fit an exhaust brake, a solenoid operated valve which was placed in the exhaust after the turbo, operated by a switch in the cab. When deployed it restricted the exhaust gases, thus slowing the engine.

Mr Google put us in touch with Mustafa in Konya, 300 miles from Fethiye. We asked Mustafa to order the exhaust brake components so they would be ready for our arrival. We planned to leave Fethiye as soon as our toilet part arrived – currently held up in Customs at Dalaman Airport. We would then head for Konya for the brake modification.

Meanwhile we were enjoying a relaxing life on Çalis beach. We took the bus into Fethiye centre once or twice a week. The little buses ran every ten minutes or so and cost us 45p each, a twenty minute journey. Everyone wore masks on the buses but social distancing was impossible when the bus was full.