The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced its annual Brake Safety Week, occurring September 7-13. More than 30,000 brake inspections (Level IV Inspections) are expected to be conducted on trucks and buses throughout North America during the event. According to CVSA, some Level I Inspections also will be performed.
A Level IV, Special Inspection, typically is a one-time examination of a particular item, and the results are used in support of a study or to confirm or refute a suspected industry trend.
When inspecting brake-system components, roadside enforcement will identify:
Make sure you pass!
Whether it’s Brake Safety Week or at any other time, a motor carrier should have checks and balances in place to ensure its brakes will pass each and every vehicle inspection. How is this accomplished? Before your vehicle leaves the yard your team needs to be confident that the vehicle’s brake system is in good condition. Your technicians and drivers both play a vital to role.
Your technicians should be instructed to check the brake system during all preventative maintenance. Under this approach, any time the vehicle is in for scheduled maintenance or for any repair, the brake system is checked by a qualified technician.
Drivers should be trained on how to correctly inspect the brakes, including visually inspecting the “at the wheel” components, such as:
But a cursory look is of little value if the driver does not know how to check all of these components, what to look for, and what is considered “passing and failing.” Drivers should be instructed how to conduct a “system check” that includes a leak check, a check of the low-air warning device, a test of the emergency brakes, a check of the compressor build-up rate, a check of the parking brakes, and a rolling check of the service brakes.
If maintenance experts are consistently monitoring the condition of the brakes and drivers are observant to any defects, the brake system should pass inspection.