The recent publication of a third Allan C. Wright book is cause for celebration. This one is called ‘Inside Air Brake Valves and Devices, and How They Work’. With his usual clarity and economy, Al explains key components like air valves, air dryers, auto slack adjusters, service chambers, and spring brakes with the aid of many large, clear diagrams and photos.

It’s not a service or repair manual, the foreword says, rather the book simply aims to illustrate the main design features of various valves and other brake components to help technicians with diagnostics and troubleshooting. The book is a packed 117 pages.

Al Wright is also the author of two other definitive books on air brakes, ‘Air Brakes From the Driver’s Seat II’ and ‘The Air Brake Connection’ (both published by Wright himself – see below).

He wrote the first of those in 1985 and it was adopted as a standard text by the Canadian Armed Forces. He revised it in 1999, and it remains our military’s brake ‘bible’. In 2004 he assigned the book’s copyright to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, and it’s since been incorporated into the ICBC publication “Driving Commercial Vehicles”.

The second one was published in 1991, revised in 1999, a mechanic’s manual that’s still a standard text used in B.C.’s Commercial Transport Mechanics Apprenticeship Program. It’s still in print and available.

‘The Air Brake Connection’ and the new book are available for order from Presto Print in Richmond, B.C. Call them at 604-278-2428 or send a fax to 604-278-8549. The more contemporary souls among you will ship an e-mail to There is no website.

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