This year the CVSA is holding the Brake Safety Week a week early from last year’s event. For 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration is having Brake Safety Week from September 15 to 21. Check out what you need to know to prepare for this weekly event in terms of truck inspections. That way you can rest easily knowing you have fully prepared on your end for any potential inspections during that week. By the way, Brake Safety Week in the US is running concurrently with Operation Airbrake Program up to our north in Canada. So if you are handling cross-border cargo, be doubly ready for inspection.
All About the Brake Check
Brakes are essential to the trucking industry. According to CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson, “We all know how important a properly functioning brake system is to vehicle operation. All components of the brake system must always be in proper operating condition. Brake systems and their parts and components must be routinely checked and carefully and consistently maintained to ensure the health and safety of the overall vehicle.”
While truck drivers know how important brakes are, it is easy to overlook the most basic parts of your equipment. For many drivers, a crack in a part or malfunction in equipment can leave them with brake issues without any warning. That is why it is so important to maintain your truck with preventative maintenance. Yet there is always the chance that some drivers or equipment is not running up to standard. This is why the CVSA conducts these regular, routine, and publically announced safety inspection weeks throughout the year.
The reason that the CVSA holds Brake Safety Week every year is to cut down on the number of truck crashes caused by faulty brakes. A bad brake system can leave your truck in a very unsafe situation. Along with harming yourself and others, you risk destroying equipment and your pricey cargo.
That’s also why the CVSA conducts roadside truck inspections during Brake Safety Week. The goal is to help identify brake problems and system failures before these cause you grave danger. Since most OTR truck drivers are out and covering thousands of miles between PM and servicing, this is a great opportunity to get a double-check on potentially unsafe big rig brake systems.
What to Expect During a Brake Check
If your truck gets pulled for a DOT inspection by the CVSA for Brake Safety Week, the inspection will involve a performance-based brake tester. The PBBT is used to test the overall braking efficiency for your vehicle. What is the magic number in terms of how efficient your brake system needs to measure? You are required to have at least 43.5 percent braking efficiency for a truck hauling more than 10,000 lbs.
That percentage is applied to all Class 8 big rigs and OTR truck drivers. The braking efficiency requirement comes from the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the out-of-service criteria for vehicles. If your truck tests at more than 43.5 percent in braking efficiency, you will need to have your brakes maintained and possibly replaced by a diesel technician.
Top Violations for Brake Safety Week
What kind of issues are most frequently reported? According to the CVSA, the biggest reasons why truck drivers get pulled off the road during Brake Safety Week are:
- Out-of-adjustment brakes
- Brake-system violations
The CVSA states these two violations accounted for almost half of the inspection violations for the past three years of Brake Safety Week. So start with making sure your brakes are adjusted and your brake-system is in check. You should also make sure you have performed all PM as required. If you have an upcoming PM scheduled but it is close to the inspection time, consider going ahead and getting your truck inspected early. It will help ensure your brake system is in proper working order in case you are inspected during Brake Safety Week.
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Source: CVSA – Info