Brake Safety Week kicks off on Aug. 21.
August is Brake Safety Awareness month, so it’s a fitting time for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to hold its Brake Safety Week.
During the annual safety blitz, which runs Aug. 21-27, inspectors will be paying close attention to vehicle brake systems, with a focus on brake hoses and tubing, according to the CVSA.
The 2021 Brake Safety Week saw more than 4,000 vehicles – 12% of all vehicles inspected – put out of service for brake-related violations, the CVSA reports, And so far in 2022, brake issues have led to tens of thousands of violations, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, putting nearly 50,000 commercial motor vehicles out of service.
When it comes to brake health, the stakes are high: At a minimum, brake issues can result in your CSA score taking a hit – not to mention revenue loss if a truck is put out of service. Worse, though, defective or malfunctioning brakes can lead to potentially catastrophic safety issues on the road.
Initiatives like Brake Safety Week are a great reminder to carriers and drivers about the importance of preventative maintenance and conducting thorough pre- and post-trip inspections to ensure the brake health of tractors and trailers.
Related: Brake Safety Checklist
What Should Drivers Expect During Brake Safety Week?
Though brakes are the emphasis of Brake Safety Week, drivers should expect a full North American Level I Inspection, including review of drivers’ records of duty status (RODS) and hours of service and a comprehensive vehicle inspection (more inspection details here).
Preparing for Brake Safety Week
- Make sure drivers have their license, registration, authority number and RODS ready for an inspection
- Stay on top of preventative maintenance
- Inspect all brake shoes and drums
- Look for cracks on air disc brake rotors
- Inspect brake friction, looking for thickness, cracks and visible wear in linings
- Examine air systems, making sure they are not contaminated with oil or other fluids
- Ensure that low air warnings are working
- Check low air signals and listen for leaks
- Walk around tractor-trailer to check for leaks and loose hoses
Related: Roadside Inspection Checklist
How Fleet Telematics Can Help
Your electronic logging device (ELD) can provide alerts for preventative maintenance and make it easy for fleet managers to review records to ensure that brakes and other components are being serviced regularly.
Also, ELDs provide data about driver behavior, such as harsh braking, providing driver coaching opportunities to correct the behavior, resulting in less wear and tear on the brake system.
Finally, an ELD with an integrated driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) supports more consistent, higher-quality pre- and post-trip inspections, which helps carriers stay current with preventive maintenance.
In addition, trailer telematics can help you avoid violations. For instance, sensors can provide data on trailer ABS issues and let you know when the ABS lamp is out, letting you know there might be an issue with brake safety. According to the FMCSA, inspectors have handed out more nearly 32,000 violations this year for defective ABS malfunction indicator lamp.