The Importance of Properly Operating Brakes
Article credits to Denise Rondini at TruckingInfo.com
Everybody talks about the importance of properly operating brakes, but, unfortunately, the talk doesn’t always translate into action. Last fall’s Brake Safety Week inspections conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance resulted in 2,162, or 16.2%, of the 13,305 commercial vehicles examined in the U.S., being placed out of service.
During these roadside stops inspectors looked for and in many cases found:
● loose or missing parts
● air or hydraulic fluid leaks
● worn linings, pads, drums and rotors
● excessive pushrod stroke
● malfunctioning warning lights for antilock braking systems
As a result, brakes out of adjustment violations accounted for 10.4%, or 1,388 of those out-of-service citations. This was up 9.3% from the 7.1% in 2013 when out of service numbers hit a historic low. Canadian fleets did much better with only a 4.6% out-of-service rate for brake adjustment violations.
So where is the disconnect between fleets saying they are concerned about brakes and the reality that lots of trucks are operating with some type of braking issue?
Some of it could be that drivers aren’t being diligent in completing their pre- and post-trip inspections so fleet maintenance managers aren’t aware there are problems. But it also could be that technicians simply don’t have enough training in proper brake maintenance and repair.