Following the recent Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Brake Safety Week, brake maintenance remains a priority. With colder weather rapidly approaching, truck drivers and fleet managers need to ensure truck brakes are operational before hitting the roads in less than optimal conditions.
Brake Safety for Drivers
Truck drivers can take several steps to improve their brake safety. Some suggestions include:
- Inspect the vehicle to identify safety risks to the driver and other motor vehicles on the road. Pre-trip inspections should last 10-15 minutes and include the truck, trailer, cab, and all equipment.
- Go over the CSVA’s Brake Inspection Checklist. Drivers should check for damaged or missing components, worn or cracked brake pads, etc.
- Check tire pressure regularly. When truck drivers use their brakes, it accelerates wear and tear on tire tread. By making sure tires aren’t over or underinflated, drivers can prolong the life of their brakes.
- Practice defensive driving. Hard braking tears brakes. Sometimes, it may seem impossible to avoid hard braking when other motorists suddenly hit their brakes. However, if truck drivers maintain a good following distance, they can circumvent the situation. Other ways to avoid hard braking are to follow the speed limit, obey traffic signs, and slow down in work zones.
Brake Safety for Fleet Managers
Managing driver safety is a top priority for fleet managers, but this can be hard to do without being in the trucks with the employees. The following are several ways fleet managers can monitor and control brake safety:
- Utilize telematics data. This information can inform fleet managers if drivers are braking hard, speeding, or other behaviors that affect brakes.
- Create a culture of safety. Emphasize the importance of pre- and post-trip inspections to identify potential issues with brakes before they become a major problem.
- Implement preventative maintenance. Consistent maintenance can prolong the life of brakes as well as increase driver safety.
Brake safety is an issue that concerns drivers and fleet managers alike. By making it a company-wide issue, fleets can extend the lifespan on their brakes as well as reduce the risk of a brake-related accident. To learn other ways to reduce risk in your fleet, contact the experts at Cline Wood.
This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.fleet risk management, fleet safety, trucking best practices, trucking safety