“The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Sept. 15-21. Throughout that week, enforcement officials will conduct roadside safety inspections on commercial motor vehicles throughout North America. Vehicles with critical brake violations, or other critical vehicle inspection item violations, will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected. Vehicles without critical vehicle inspection item violations are eligible to receive a CVSA decal indicating that the vehicle passed inspection.” ¹
Many states start these inspections early and run later than the announced event date to work with inspector’s hours, facility hours and to accomplish several thousand inspections. We also know that tools used to normally by-pass the scale for carriers with Green/Pass CSA SMS Scores are turned off thus bringing more tractor trailers through the scale house for inspection. Other states select designated highways in which they will assign numerous state troopers to work multiple sections pulling tractor trailers over to ramps for road side inspections
It seems like we finish one inspection focus just to be followed by another. Though the official violation counts and OOS data from some of the 2019 inspections are not in yet, it is still alarming to see the counts of violations being found, whether out of service or not, when we always know to expect these inspections each year.
As safety advocates, most of us work with our state troopers numerous times a year at the scale houses or through our safety organizations where we can visualize and learn what they are finding during inspections. “During this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors will be paying special attention to brake hoses/tubing. While checking these brake system components is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting brake hoses/tubing as a reminder of their importance to vehicle mechanical fitness and safety.” ¹
“Routine brake system inspections and component replacement are vital to the safety of commercial motor vehicles. The brake systems on commercial motor vehicles are comprised of components that work together to slow and stop the vehicle and brake hoses/tubing are essential for the proper operation of those systems. Brake hoses/tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible. Brake hoses/tubing are an important part of the braking system so when they do fail, they can cause problems for the rest of the braking system.
“We all know how important a properly functioning brake system is to vehicle operation,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “All components of the brake system must always be in proper operating condition. Brake systems and their parts and components must be routinely checked and carefully and consistently maintained to ensure the health and safety of the overall vehicle.”
Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations represented 45 percent of all out-of-service vehicle violations issued during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck enforcement campaign. And, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics, brake-related violations accounted for six of the top 20 most frequently cited vehicle violations in 2017.
The goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of crashes caused or made more severe by faulty brake systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and identifying and removing unsafe commercial motor vehicles from our roadways.” ¹
Hopefully you are well ahead of this reminder and have decided to reduce your odds in becoming a statistic in these inspections. Remember to keep your entire company involved, accountable and ready for these inspections and the daily safe operation of the fleet. Many of our clients have added additional pre-maintenance programs to their fleet to not only combat these inspections but to reduce road repair costs. Often times road repair costs are 3 to 4 times of that in your own facility or with your selected vendor. Many have also taken advantage of trailer pool locations and created the time to accomplish repairs and inspections to help avoid breakdown and prevent inspection violations.
What a great accomplishment it would be to have our clients’ teams show either “No Violation” inspections or a major reduction in all inspection violations affecting your CSA SMS scores for the next two years.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
Source: ¹ Brake Safety Week is Sept. 15-21 (June 18, 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-brake-safety-week/ , accessed 9/6/19.