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The power booster uses vacuum from the inlet manifold to reduce the amount of pedal pressure required to operate the brakes. The hissing sound is air leaking into the booster. If it were to fail completely the brakes would still work, but the pedal pressure needed to stop the vehicle would be greatly increased. You did the smart thing.
The air pressure in air-assisted brakes on trucks, etc., is used to release the brakes. In the event of a failure, the brakes lock on.

Maybe it was the deflation of Keith Windschuttle's theories you were hearing.

I think the easiest answer is to ask the owner of the cab what the problem was, seeing he had it attended to!

Or is that too simple a solution? I guess it's a bit like a man asking for directions, isn't it? They've never quite grasped that yet! ;)

Well done Dirk, you've confirmed my initial suspicision and this knowledge will be helpful in future.
lg, I rang the owner from work but he was unable to establish the problem until checking it out. When I resume work tomorrow he'll most likely confirm Dirk's diagnosis.

My comment was purely done with humour, Adrian...I'll now remove my tongue from my cheek! ;)

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