Twice a year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA) conducts braking system inspections. Brake Safety Week for 2022 is scheduled for August 21 – 27 across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Brake systems are obviously the single most critical feature of federal motor carrier safety and demand maximum attention. Four of the 14 amendments to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) for 2022 were focused on brake systems. The hoses on commercial freight vehicles are of special concern because they are so exposed to the elements, road conditions and the constant motion of trailer couplings, axles and wheels.
During Brake Safety Week, in addition to the visual inspection that can spot hose wear, some inspectors will be using Performance-Based Brake Testers (PBBT). These devices test the entire system and help identify leaks, poor fittings, or weak spots (which bulge under pressure). Such issues are not as easy to spot with a visual inspection but can be even more serious. If drivers have any concerns about the age or soundness of any component of their braking system, that deserves a more technical inspection.
This can be part of overall preparation for Brake Safety Week. To help drivers get ready, here is a preparation checklist produced by the CVSA’s Operation Airbrake.
Trouble areas to look for include:
- Chafing or rubbing air lines against other air lines and/or other components
- Air lines that are worn to the extent that the diameter of the hose has been reduced
- Damaged, broken or missing components (such as brake chamber bracket, clevis pin, slack adjuster,
- cam shaft, etc.)
- Pads or linings that are cracked, contaminated or worn below safe thicknesses
- Excessive up/down and sideways movement on the camshaft, indicating worn bushings
- Rust on the drum due to inoperative brake or external drum cracks
- Rusted (holes) in the brake chamber
- Audible air leaks in the emergency side of the brake system
Beyond the brakes, inspectors will be conducting complete North American Standard Level I and V inspections. Drivers will want to use this opportunity to make sure their certifications and vehicle are up-to-date and compliant.
These inspections enhance the safety of every individual driver, along with the general public and the industry overall. If you have any questions about how to keep your operations moving smoothly, contact an NTG representative.