Several weeks ago, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sponsored Brake Safety Week. Though well-maintained brakes are critical for the safety of all vehicles, brake safety can be particularly crucial in the prevention of devastating truck accidents.
During Brake Safety Week, the CVSA targeted large trucks for critical brake safety inspections. In particular, the CVSA was concerned that all large commercial vehicles were equipped with well-maintained low air warning devices, brake drums and linings, tractor protector systems and had effective pushrod travel. In addition, CVSA inspectors were concerned with air loss rate of air brakes.
It is important to note that these Brake Safety Week inspection priorities remain critical throughout the year. Experts recommend that pre-trip brake safety inspections be conducted before every long haul. Given the prevalence of truck accidents which are caused by brake issues, this recommendation is not surprising.
Before each long haul, truckers should listen for audible leaks while walking around the perimeter of the vehicle, after conducting a 90 to 100 psi brake application. The truck's low air pressure warning device should also be inspected for leaks. Finally, brake shoes should be checked for lining thickness standard compliance and cracks.
Large commercial vehicles are critical to the American transport system and to the economy as a whole. However, they are also very dangerous pieces of machinery. Failure to take brake safety seriously can endanger truckers and surrounding motorists alike. The CVSA's annual Brake Safety Week provides commercial carriers with an important reminder of that fact.
Source: TruckingInfo, "Brake Safety Tips for Brake Safety Week," Sep. 7, 2012