Law enforcement's annual focus on the brakes of commercial vehicles is just nine days away.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week will be held Aug. 21-27. During that time inspectors from law enforcement jurisdictions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will conduct their usual North American Standard Level I and V Inspections and capture and report brake-related data to CVSA.
According to the CVSA, brake-related issues comprise the largest percentage of all out-of-service vehicle violations cited during roadside inspections. Data from last year’s three-day International Roadcheck found brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations.
During the brake portion of a vehicle inspection, inspectors will:
- look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system, and non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes and holes created by rubbing or friction) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake
- listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines, and ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa)
- check for S-cam flip-over and measure pushrod travel
- check to see that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size
- inspect required brake-system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices
- ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer, and inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
In addition to reporting total inspections and brake-related out-of-service violations, inspectors will also capture and provide data on brake hose/tubing chafing violations – the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week.