Truckers should take care to mark off a set of upcoming dates on their calendars: September 11 to 17. During this week, law enforcement agencies from throughout North America will be conducting thorough inspections on many large commercial trucks and buses with the goal of identifying brakes and brake systems that are not in their proper adjustment, as well as finding violations of brake system and anti-lock brake system regulations.
September 11-17 has been designated Brake Safety Week by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and these inspections are set to be a primary point of emphasis as part of that designation. The outreach and enforcement campaign has become an annual event as a part of national efforts to increase the safety of commercial motor vehicles—specifically, their brakes.
Throughout the week, inspectors will be conducting what are referred to as Level I inspections. In locations that are currently using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) systems, the efficiency of the vehicle’s braking will also be tracked. Such systems feature a slow speed roller dynamometer, which measures the vehicle’s weight and brake force. This allows inspectors to determine the overall braking efficiency of the vehicle.
Inspectors will perform a thorough check of all brake components, and whenever possible will measure pushrod stroke. Any wrongly adjusted brakes or defective brakes will force violating vehicles out of service, at least until the problem is corrected.
Trucks are expected to have a minimum braking efficiency of 43.5 percent, according to the requirements outlined in federal regulations and the CVSA’s own criteria.
Since the program was installed in 1998, more than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected. The outreach week is a part of Operation Airbrake, a program sponsored by the CVSA in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Importance of high-quality brakes in commercial trucks
Brake failure is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents, which is one of the reasons why the CVSA takes this campaign so seriously.
Properly functioning brakes are absolutely critical to the safe operation of any commercial vehicle. Truck brakes must be able to withstand brutal, harsh conditions, and therefore must be inspected even more frequently than standard vehicles to ensure their proper operation throughout the vehicle’s entire life and service to the industry.
Any brakes that have been improperly installed or have not had regular maintenance throughout their life could lead to a reduction in braking efficiency, which in turn increases stopping distance for trucks. The longer it takes a truck to stop, the more dangerous the vehicle is to other drivers, pedestrians and general public safety. ABS systems can help to keep the driver in control and reduce the risk of some crashes, but no matter what type of braking system is in place, great care and routine maintenance is necessary for safety purposes.
For more information about the upcoming Brake Safety Week inspections, contact Osage Specialized Transport. Our logistics company in Aurora, CO is here to provide assistance to meet all of your heavy transportation needs.