Inspectors Will Focus on Brake Linings and Pad Violations
Inspectors will focus on brake linings and pad violations at this summer’s Brake Safety Week, scheduled for Aug. 20-26.
During the special enforcement effort, commercial motor vehicle inspectors will highlight the importance of brake systems by conducting inspections of their components and removing trucks and buses from roadways found to have brake-related out-of-service violations. They will remain off the road until the violations are corrected.
Throughout Brake Safety Week, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance-certified inspectors will conduct their usual inspections. However, in addition, they will be reporting brake-related inspection and violation data to CVSA, which will compile that data and publish the results this fall.
“The focus of this year’s Brake Safety Week is on the condition of the brake lining and pads,” said CVSA President, Maj. Chris Nordloh with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Brake lining and pad issues may result in vehicle violations and could affect a motor carrier’s safety rating.”
When inspectors conduct the brake portion of a Level I or Level V Inspection, they will:
- Check for missing, non-functioning, loose or cracked parts.
- Check for contaminated, worn, cracked and missing linings or pads.
- Check for S-cam flipover.
- Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
- Check 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.
- Ensure the brake system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa) and measure pushrod travel.
- Inspect for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake.
- Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
- Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer.
- Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.
Brake safety awareness, education and outreach are major elements of the Brake Safety Week campaign.
By being transparent, CVSA aims to remind drivers and motor carriers to take proactive steps to ensure their commercial motor vehicles are safe and compliant with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks or buses, posing a serious safety risk.
To prepare, motor carriers and drivers should check CVSA’s vehicle inspection checklist for details on the brake portion of a Level I and Level V Inspection. They also should download CVSA’s 2023 Brake Safety Week flyer for 10 tips on keeping their brake linings and pads healthy, and view inspection procedures and previous brake-safety campaign results.
They also can check CVSA’s eight latest inspection bulletins, which provide important information to augment the existing inspection program.
CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program is dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The goal is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.
During Brake Safety Day in April, 6,829 commercial motor vehicles were inspected throughout Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Inspectors found brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on 11.3% of the vehicles inspected, indicating they were unfit and unsafe for roadways. As a result, inspectors restricted those 773 commercial motor vehicles from travel until the violations were corrected.