Brake Defects Up in CVSA's September Inspection Blitz

January 5, 2015

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File photo courtesy Kentucky State Police.
File photo courtesy Kentucky State Police.

Last September’s Brake Safety Week inspections resulted in 16.2% of 13,305 commercial trucks examined in the U.S. being placed out of service, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. That’s several points higher than the activity in 2013, the organization said, though fewer trucks were inspected in 2014.

During the Sept. 7-13 campaign, local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico conducted roadside inspections to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations.

Loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums and rotors, excessive pushrod stroke, and malfunctioning warning lights for antilock braking systems were among items inspected.

The out-of-service rate for brake adjustment rose to 10.4% from 9% in 2013. The OOS rate for brake components was 9.3%, up from 7.1% in 2013. The 2013 OOS numbers hit a historic low.

Out-of-service rates for Canadian jurisdictions are historically lower than those in U.S. jurisdictions. This can be seen again this year with the OOS rates for brake adjustment violations (10.8% in the U.S. versus 4.6% in Canada; 10.4% combined), brake component violations (9.5% in the U.S. versus 6.8% in Canada; 9.3% combined), and total brake violations (16.6% in the U.S. versus 11.0% in Canada; 16.2% combined).

CVSA gave no statistics from inspections in Mexico.

“The ultimate goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles,” said CVSA President Capt. William Reese of the Idaho State Police. “We strive to reach that goal by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, motor carriers and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.”

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA and in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected during Operation Air Brake since the program’s inception in 1998.

CVSA members conduct approximately 4 million driver and vehicle roadside safety inspections each year throughout North America.


  1. 1. João Reis Simões [ January 06, 2015 @ 05:34AM ]

    Safety must be the first goal in a Transport Operator, not only in maintenance works but also in driving. In maintenance the technicians that inspect the system brake should be suitably formed and use their knowledge to understand the complaints of the drivers.
    In the article and in the paper “have you checked your brakes today?” I see no reference to the global check of the system that can be done using a deceleration equipment, with a print report, which should be used as soon as possible after an accident, with the presence of the driver, and after the “monthly” inspection. Annually and after complex accidents a more accurate test should be done, using a dynamometer roller equipment, that measures the brake force in each wheel.
    Every day just after putting the vehicle in motion, the driver should apply the brakes several times so as to perceive the answer of the brake system. When he leaves the company yard, mainly after a brake repair, the driver should perform a brake test, running at a predefined speed, for what to lines in the floor, at a suitable distance, must be painted.
    Another concern is the distribution of the cargo, in the beginning and along the service, mainly in less-then-load situations, with the purpose of not modifying the longitudinal and lateral position of the center of gravity and to lower its vertical position.
    Being the distance to the vehicle running forward a major condition for safety driving, the driver must be aware of the implications of running at a speed higher than the enforced one, carrying a load higher than the capacity or having a brake efficiency lower than the suitable. For a speed 20% grater the distance to stop will increase 44%; for a mass 20% higher the distance to stop will increase 20% and for an efficiency reduced in 20% the distance to stop will increase 25%.


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