Mercer Transportation


Brake Safety Week – The Results Are In!

We’ve got an update on the recent Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance‘s Brake Safety Week, and the results are in. Inspectors from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. joined forces to conduct 18,875 commercial motor vehicle inspections during this special event, which took place from August 20th to 26th. The focus? Brake systems and components. So, what went down during this brake-check bonanza?

Out-of-Service Brake Violations

Let’s cut to the chase. When inspectors found critical brake-related violations (as per the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria), they slapped those vehicles with an “out of service” label. Out of the 18,875 trucks inspected, 2,375 (that’s 12.6%) had to take a break from the road because of brake-related violations.

Examples of these violations include broken brake drums, loose air tanks, corroded spring brake housings, or non-functional tractor protection valves. It’s all about keeping those brakes in tip-top shape to ensure everyone’s safety on the road.

Focus on Lining/Pad Violations

This year’s Brake Safety Week put the spotlight on lining/pad violations. Inspectors were on the lookout for cracks, voids, contamination, and loose, missing, or worn brake lining/pads. A total of 379 power (tractor) units and 261 towed (trailer) units had these lining/pad violations.

Now, lining/pad issues might not immediately put your truck out of commission, but they still matter. These violations can affect a motor carrier’s safety rating and may lead to more serious problems down the road. If they team up with other brake violations, especially on the steering axle, it could mean trouble.

Breakdown by Country

So, how did the inspections break down in each country? In Canada, 1,327 commercial motor vehicles got a once-over, and 134 of them (10%) had brake-related out-of-service violations. Twenty-six power units and 25 towed units had lining/pad issues.

Over in Mexico, nine commercial motor vehicles faced inspection, with one (11%) getting sidelined due to brake-related violations. One power unit had lining/pad problems.

The United States had the lion’s share of inspections, with 18,031 commercial motor vehicles checked. Of these, 2,240 (12.4%) had brake-related out-of-service violations. And when it came to lining/pad troubles, there were 352 power units and 236 towed units with issues.

Performance-Based Brake Testers (PBBT)

Now, for some high-tech stuff! Eleven states used performance-based brake testers (PBBT) to conduct their inspections. These machines assess a vehicle’s braking performance. Out of 397 PBBT inspections, 18 trucks (about 4.5%) had to take a break from the road due to braking inefficiencies. However, 95 vehicles passed with flying colors, proving they meet the required minimum braking efficiency of 43.5%.

Operation Airbrake Brake Safety Week is just one part of the CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program, a comprehensive effort to enhance commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The ultimate goal is to reduce crashes caused by faulty braking systems by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators, and everyone involved in the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance, and operation.

So, folks, keep those brakes in good working order, and we’ll catch you on the open road! For more trucking news and updates, stay tuned to our Mercer Transportation Blog!

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