Starting Sunday, Aug. 22, through Saturday, Aug. 28, commercial motor vehicle law enforcement personnel in North America will be out for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s last enforcement event of the year. Brake Safety Week is a vehicle safety initiative focused on the inspection and identification of brake violations in commercial motor vehicles.
“Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.
Throughout Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting North American Standard Level I and V Inspections. The area of special emphasis for this year’s effort is on hoses and tubing. When checking the brake system and its components, the inspector will:
- Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
- Check for S-cam flip-over.
- Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
- Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
- Ensure 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 air system maintains proper air pressure.
- Look for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
- Mark and measure pushrod travel.
- 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 bleed-back system on the trailer.
- Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.
In addition to checking brake systems, inspectors may also check cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers, etc.
Vehicles with critical vehicle inspection item violations may be placed out of service if they meet the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Those violations must be addressed before the vehicle will be permitted to proceed.