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How To Prepare For CVSA Brake Safety Day

CVSA Brake Safety Week is rapidly approaching. But unlike the unannounced Brake Safety Day, you have a heads up about when you need to be prepared. This provides you with an opportunity to repair your fleet to ensure they don’t fall out of commission. 

There’s no reason why you can’t be prepared. Read on to find out what Brake Safety Day is as well as what Brake Safety Week is! We’ll also let you know when it happens and what you need to do to properly prepare for Brake Safety Day. 

What Is CVSA Brake Safety Day?

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has two annual inspections. The CVSA Brake Safety Day is an unannounced inspection that can be held anytime throughout the calendar year, which was held in April 2022 this year, though the date may change every year. 

Throughout the United States and Canada, a total of forty-six jurisdictions participated in CVSA Brake Safety Day. During the inspection, the CVSA focuses on the brake system and its components. 

This year, there were 9,132 commercial vehicles were inspected, and 1,290 of those were placed out of service. The other inspection that is conducted annually is Brake Safety Week. 

This safety inspection also focuses on the safety of commercial vehicles’ braking systems, but it is announced in advance, giving you time to prepare and fix your vehicles before they are placed out of service. 

When Is Brake Safety Week?

The CVSA Roadcheck 2022 for Brake Safety Week will be held from August 21 to August 27. This pre-announced brake safety enforcement campaign also provides CVSA inspectors an opportunity to inspect the brake system of commercial trucks and buses to locate brake-system violations. 

Why Is CVSA Brake Safety Day Important?

During roadside inspections, brake-related violations have the largest impact on vehicles that are cited. In fact, in the 2022 Brake Safety Day inspection, 14.1% of vehicles inspected were placed out of service. 

The CVSA brake safety week 2021 had an out-of-service rate that was 15.4%. That’s a large portion of vehicles that are operating with hazardous brake systems. In years prior, the brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for conditions that forced vehicles out of service more than any other violation during the International Roadside Inspection and enforcement initiative. 

Brake Safety Day and Brake Safety Week are both vital when it comes to keeping your staff, your assets, and fellow travelers on the road safe. Many of the violations are hazards to keep the roads safe. 

With proper maintenance, fleets can prevent their vehicles being placed out of service, but having these two safety checks annually provide peace of mind for everyone on the roads. 

What Is CVSA Looking For?

The CVSA is looking for violations that compromise the braking system, including the following: 

  • Missing, non-functioning, contaminated, cracked, or loose parts
  • Non-manufactured holes
  • Broken springs in the parking brake
  • Audible air leaks around components and lines
  • Air pressure between 90psi to 100 psi
  • Slack adjusters are equal length
  • Air chambers are equal size
  • Breakaway system on the trailer
  • Tractor protection system

What Are the Violations on Brake Safety Day?

In addition to reporting on the total vehicle inspections and out-of-service violations, the CVSA inspectors will also submit the data on the brake hose or tubing chafing violations. 

There are four categories of violations for the brake hose or tubing or chafing process. They are as follows. 

Category 1

This violation is what arises when the wear of the brake hose/tubing extends into the outer protective material. This is not considered an out-of-service condition.

Category 2 

This violation is for when the wear of the brake hose/tubing extends through the outer protective material and into the outer rubber cover.

Category 3

This violation is for when the wear of the brake hose/tubing made the reinforcement ply visible. The ply remains intact, so this violation will not result in an out-of-service condition. 

Category 4

This violation is for when the wear of the brake hose/tubing causes any part of the steel/fabric reinforcement ply to fray, be severed, or be cut through. 

How To Prepare for CVSA Brake Safety Day 

A poorly maintained braking system is a severe risk to public safety, not just to the safety of the vehicle driver. During an emergency or even the routine day to day transportation process, you count on your brake systems to properly function. 

To keep everyone safe, the CVSA provides two annual safety inspections. If you want your fleet to be fully prepared and compliant, consider the following tips. 

Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspection

Having a vehicle that is out of service not only impacts the driver, it impacts the company. If a truck breaks down and needs to be towed, or if regular maintenance and repairs are ignored, you not only can’t get your shipments from a to be, but you also end up with lost revenue. 

Regular pre-trip and post-trip inspections are a great way to help your fleet stay profitable and productive. You can investigate repairs and maintenance issues before they become a problem and before you fail a roadside inspection. 

Know What They Are Looking for

The CVSA website provides updated pass-fail criteria for braking systems to ensure that they are fully operational and not compromised. Consider taking a deep dive into the criteria so you understand what the CVSA is looking for and to make sure you’re properly prepared for the inspections. 

Understand the Key Components of Air Brakes

You, or your drivers, could be quizzed during the CVSA inspections. That’s why it’s important that you and your team of drivers know the maintenance aspects, specifications, and benefits of operational air brakes

The 4 Fs: Friction Fit, Form, and Function

No matter if your vehicle has drum brakes, air disc brakes, or both, they all have one aspect in common. Friction material (brake lining) serves a vital role in all brake configurations. It’s important that you understand and establish the 3 Fs of friction material to properly keep your brakes operational. 

The friction must properly function in order to stop or slow the vehicle. The friction form must be properly composed of materials that blend together to provide torque, long life, or other key qualities. Lastly, the friction must fit the required spec’ing options to follow the reduced stopping distance (RSD) regulations. 

What Happens If You Don’t Pass the CVSA Inspection?

During your CVSA inspection your vehicle will either receive a pass or fail rating. If the vehicle has violations that make it not pass, the vehicle will be out of service until the conditions or defects are fixed and corrected. 

Stay Ahead of Safety Day With Routine Inspections

Having your fleet receives an out-of-service inspection can not only be costly for the repairs but can cost you revenue for not being on the road. By staying on top of regular inspections, you can identify and correct issues when they arise.

It’s necessary that you catch them early before they become excessively expensive or result in you not being able to drive on the road. The CVSA will always have two inspections annually, so if you’re always prepared, you’ll never need to worry.

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