The good news is that Brake Safety Day, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration’s unannounced inspection, which took place on May 3, 2017, found that 79% of the vehicles inspected had no major vehicle violations.
During the blitz more than 9,500 inspection were conducted — 8,140 in the U.S. and 1,384 in Canada.
The not so good news is that 21% of the inspected vehicles were placed out-of-service. Of those, 12% were found to have brake-related issues. The goal of Brake Safety Day is to conduct roadside inspections to look for vehicles with critical brake violations and remove them from the road. All of this is done in the hope of reducing the number of crashes caused by faulty brakes.
The inspectors also checked to see if anti-lock braking systems on trucks requiring them were being maintained properly, in accordance with federal regulations.
The inspections found violations on 8% of the air brake equipped trucks and tractors with ABS and 15% of the trailers equipped with ABS.
It seems to me that we talk a lot about the need for proper brake maintenance, yet every time there is a safety blitz around brakes, inspectors are finding brake violations severe enough to take trucks out-of-service.
We can’t undo what happened in the past but we can do something going forward. The next Brake Safety Day is September 7, 2017 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
It’s not too early for you to take a closer look at your brake maintenance process. When was the last time you reviewed your brake maintenance procedures? Are you re doing everything you can to make sure your vehicles will pass a brake safety inspection?
You might want to spend a few minutes talking to your technicians about what brake issues they are seeing on a regular basis and look at DVIR data, PMI reports and repair orders. You have a wealth of data at your fingertips that you can then use to take steps to put procedures in place that will allow you to find and fix brake-related problems across your entire fleet.
Taking action now will ensure you are ready on September 7 when inspectors again focus their attention on brakes.