How are your truck's brakes?
You may want to take time between now and Sunday, Aug. 22 to check. That's the start of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety Week, when law enforcement inspectors across North America will be looking for any commercial motor vehicles found to have brake-related violations that might place them out of service.
During last fall's brake inspection blitz, more than 5,100 commercial vehicles were placed out of service because of brake-related violations, including 4,565 in the U.S. In addition, brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for more vehicle violations than any other vehicle violation category, accounting for 38.6% of all vehicle out-of-service conditions, during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative.
And, during a special one-day brake inspection effort May 26, over 1,100 commercial vehicles were sidelined in the U.S.
What can you expect if you do get inspected?
The folks at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, which among other things makes air brake charging and control systems and components for commercial vehicles, says law enforcement officers checking brake systems will look for:
- Loose or missing parts
- Air or hydraulic fluid leaks
- Trouble-indicator lights on the dash, including antilock brakes
- Worn linings, pads, drums, or rotors
- Mismatched air chamber sizes across axles
- Warning device functionality (such as antilock braking system indicator lights)
- Proper brake adjustment
- Brake hoses and tubing condition (a special focus for this year)
A statement from Bendix adds that when possible, inspectors will measure pushrod stroke to ensure brakes are properly adjusted.