Hit the brakes! The annual Brake Safety Week conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has changed! Learn what you need to know to make sure you keep rolling.
Brake Safety Week = Brake Safety Day
Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) runs a national inspection blitz in September focused on brake safety. This program is known as Brake Safety Week and is part of Operation Airbrake. The CVSA partners with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to run this event across North America.
This year, the format has changed! Rather than a one week program, it will be a one day program taking place on September 7, 2017. The CVSA announced this change during a CVSA Workshop on April 24, 2017. As a heads-up, you'll also want to watch out for an unannounced brake check day that usually takes place in May. Keep an eye on our social media channels for an update.
Why Focus on Brake Safety?
Brakes are a critical part of safely operating your commercial motor vehicle (CMV).You want to ensure your brake systems are installed properly and maintenance is performed regularly to make sure you can stop - for your safety and the safety of the public.
Even though we all know how important it is, and we've got advance notice of these special inspection programs, thousands of people get hit with brake-related violations every year! Brake-related violations are actually the most common out-of-service (OOS) violation during roadside inspections. During the 2016 Brake Safety Week, 18,385 CMVs were inspected. Of that, 13.2% of vehicles had OOS brake violations and 14.8% had non-brake related OOS violations!
What Are Inspectors Looking For?
During these two events, the unannounced blitz and Brake Safety Day, inspectors will be looking for issues with your brakes including out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations. These issues will be identified by conducting a Level IV - Special Inspection which focuses on one specific item. A complete breakdown of FMCSA rules regarding brakes can be found under CFR § 393.40. Inspectors will also be looking for non-brake related violations.
Make Sure You're Ready
You've got lots of notice, now let's make sure you're ready! Park your CMV on a paved surface, shut-off your engine, chock your wheels, and check the following:
- Normal release of brakes
- Listen for air leaks
- Look for any damaged or missing parts - common issues are broken chamber brackets, and missing pins
- Check for rubbing hoses against other parts - watch for worn lines
and visible nylon braids
- Measure your brake pads - air dums must be above 1/4 inch at the center, air disk brake must be 1/8 inch
- Watch our for cracked/dried pads and shoe rust
- Rust - drum rust is common with inoperative brake systems
- Excessive movement in camshaft - this can be a sign of worn bushings
Make sure your are regularly conducting this inspection to ensure your CMV is in tip-top shape! If you find any issues, ensure that they're fixed quickly. You don't want to get caught off-guard during the unannounced blitz! Get into a routine now.
How BigRoad Can Help
Before you hit the road, make sure you complete a pre-trip inspection, including a detailed review of your braking system. With the BigRoad Mobile App you can create driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) in just a few taps! Don't get stopped at the roadside, get BigRoad by your side! Download the free BigRoad Mobile App today!