Brake Safety Week inspections run Aug. 22-28

North American enforcement teams will focus the spotlight on braking systems this week, as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recognizes Brake Safety Week.

This year’s event, which runs Aug. 22-28, will also turn special attention to violations relating to air brake hoses and tubing. 

“Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance,” said CVSA president John Samis.

Twelve percent of the 43,565 commercial vehicles checked during Brake Safety Week in August 2020 were placed out of service for brake-related violations. In Canada, 1,829 inspections were conducted, leading to a related out of service rate of 14%.

Hose and tubing violations were also a focus last year, when 6,697 hose chafing violations were reported.

Participating enforcement teams will conduct Level 1 and 5 inspections, with steps that the CVSA notes includes:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for S-cam flip-over.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
  • Ensure slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Ensure the air system maintains proper air pressure.
  • Look for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
  • Mark and measure pushrod travel.
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.

Vehicles that pass the inspections without violations will be eligible for a CVSA decal.