The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced that their annual Brake Safety Week is scheduled for September 15-21, 2019. There was also an unannounced DOT inspection in May focusing on brake safety as well..
In that time enforcement officials will conduct roadside safety truck inspections on commercial motor vehicles and will focus on brake hoses and tubing.
During last year’s three-day International Roadcheck enforcement campaign, 45 percent of all out-of-service vehicle violations were related to out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA), brake violations accounted for 6 of the top 20 most frequently cited vehicle violations in 2017.
What is covered in a roadside brake safety truck inspection?
Roadside truck inspections cover all areas of the air brake system; however, the CVSA will focus on brake hoses and tubing, ensuring that all are attached and secure, flexible, and free of leaks, corrosion, and any other type of damage.
Brake inspections consist of a visual check as well as an air brake test using a performance-based brake tester (PBBT) in the 14 jurisdictions where it is available. The performance-based air brake test measures the slow speed brake force and weight at each wheel and uses those measurements to determine the efficiency of the braking system.
According to the US federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, if your brake system efficiency falls below the minimum of 43.5 percent, your vehicle will be put out-of-service.
How can I prepare for a truck inspection of my air brakes?
You should inspect your air brake system and all brake components regularly to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition. The list below covers some items you can visually check on a regular basis to ensure they are securely attached, leak-free, and free of damage, such as corrosion and holes.
- Air brake chamber
- Brake hoses and tubing
- Cotter pins
- Clevis pins
- Slack adjuster
- Air lines
The CVSA has answered some frequently asked questions about your air brake system and inspection and have also provided an air brake inspection checklist, which is a great way to be sure you are prepared for your roadside safety inspection.
What should I know about my air brake system?
If you know your brake system you are more likely to know if there is an issue. You should know what size and type of air brake chamber you have and learn how to properly identify it. Most air brake chambers will have a marking on them, letting you know what type and size it is. If you know the type of chamber you have, you will also be able to determine the maximum allowable push rod travel for that brake chamber and whether it is in or out of adjustment.
What are some types of air brake chambers?
Common air brake chambers for the front are clamp type 20 or clamp type 24 and clamp type 30 is the most common for the rest of the tractor trailer and can be a long or regular stroke.
Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
Read about the 2018 Brake Safety Week results.
If you have any additional questions, call one of Compliance Navigation Specialist’s DOT Consultants .