The results of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) unannounced Brake Safety Day held back on April 27 have been released. Canadian and American inspectors conducted detailed inspections on trucks and trailers in the 24-hour safety blitz, focusing on the brake hoses/tubing for wear and tear.
Of the 9,132 braking system inspections held, a total of 1,290 Out of Service (OOS) violations, or 14.1%, were issued. In total, 1,534 brake violations were reported in the press release. The brake hose violations are divided into four categories, with only the fourth causing an OOS hold until it is repaired. The CVSA has made a diagram that helps explain the difference between the grades.
Extremely damaged hoses increased by over 17% from last year
Back on April 1, 2022, the CVSA made an amendment to the North American Out of Service Criteria making any category 4 damage the “point of no return” for issuing an Out of Service violation. Category 4 occurs when the steel or fabric braiding in the middle layer of the hose is cut, torn or frayed.
That category 4 damage increased by 17% to 18% from last year’s event. It is even higher than last year’s combined categories 4 and 5. Category 5 was removed in the revised guidance.
CVSA uses new brake testing equipment to check performance
Performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) are a relatively new device inspectors are using to measure the braking abilities of commercial vehicles. Either by roller-dynamometers (roller-dynos) or flat plate brake testers, officials can measure the effectiveness of your braking system.
“The PBBT measures the slow speed brake force and weight at each wheel, adds up the total vehicle brake force, and divides it by the total vehicle weight to determine overall vehicle braking efficiency. U.S. federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria require a minimum braking efficiency of 43.5%. If your vehicle’s braking efficiency is below 43.5%, they are not providing the minimum stopping power required and are in need of service.”– CVSA
During Brake Safety Day, PBBTs were implemented in 92 inspections, yielding six OOS violations, 6.5%, for not meeting braking effectiveness standards. This is usually due to faulty slack adjusters not maintaining pressure between the brake pad and drum. Even if you have “automatic” slack adjusters installed, a daily, or even more frequent, “pump down” is required to make sure they reset themselves.
Brake Safety Week is August 21-27
If you think we are done with the brake safety campaigns for the year, do not celebrate just yet. The main event for the CVSA, Brake Safety Week, is scheduled for August 21-27. With the results of the one-day event in hand, I’d bet my bottom dollar a very active response is being planned.
I’d wager a higher amount than the usual added enforcement will be used. The nearly one-in-five OOS violations will be just cause for additional time in the inspection barns. So please, get your equipment inspected by trained mechanics. There is no cause to be running sub-par equipment in this safety-minded industry.