Inspectors from every Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) jurisdiction and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct more than 30,000 brake inspections across North America during the Brake Safety Week from Sept. 8-14.
The objective of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of crashes on the highway caused by faulty brakes.
CVSA sponsors Brake Safety Week each fall as well as an unannounced brake inspection blitz each spring. During the fall Brake Safety Week, brake specific Level IV special study inspections were conducted, as well as some Level I inspections. Last year, over 21,000 trucks were inspected and one out of every seven was placed out of service.
The CVSA Operation Air Brake program supports this week, which includes checking all brakes and brake-related technologies on commercial vehicles. As a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, the Operation Air Brake program seeks to reduce the amount of out-of-service trucks during each inspection.
In just the few minutes it takes to adjust air brakes or check for other brake defects, a driver may prevent a life-changing accident. Many drivers do not adjust brakes because they lack the education and commitment to do so.
The visual inspection looks for leaks; worn pads, drums or rotors; loose or missing parts; and possible measure pushrod stroke.
The steps of the Operation Airbrake inspection procedure are as follows:
- Check Air Brake Mechanical Components
- Check Steering Axle Air Brake Mechanical Components
- Check Brake Adjustment
- Build the Air Pressure to 90 - 100 PSI
- Check the Air Brake ABS System (If Applicable)
- Test Air Loss Rate
- Test Low Air Pressure Warning Device
- Check the Tractor Protection System
- Finalize paperwork, and provide the results to the driver (i.e. out-of-service, etc.)
In 2012, the out-of-service rate for brake violation during Brake Safety Week was 15.3 percent. This figure was slightly higher than the previous three years, but lower than 2007 and 2008.
These campaigns are held to promote truck and bus safety. Trucking companies are encouraged to get involved by educating drivers and mechanics about the importance of inspections and brake maintenance before a trip.