CVSA Brake Safety Week September 6-12
Operation Airbrake is a comprehensive campaign designed to help educate drivers and technicians on brake safety, encourage brake safety compliance, and enforce the regulations designed to ensure safe operation. This Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) model has been used successfully in other areas of traffic concerns (most notably seat belt usage), and has been adapted to address the issue of brake violations. The Operation Airbrake Campaign was initially developed in Canada in 1998.
Operation Airbrake is an international truck and bus brake safety campaign dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America.
The goal of Operation Airbrake is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.
Have You Checked Your Brakes Today?
Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake system violations combine to represent half of all out-of-service violations issued for commercial vehicles on the road. Brake systems that are improperly installed or poorly maintained can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks or buses, a serious safety risk.
Drivers can inspect their brake systems every day. Even if you can’t go under the vehicle, you can listen for air leaks, check low air signals and look for component damage. If you can go under your vehicle, you can measure pushrod stroke the same way a CVSA-certified inspector does, and compare the results to the pushrod stroke limits set by regulation.
What You May Not Know About Brake Systems and Inspections
Automatic brake adjusters are required
How to verify that your ABS is working
What is your regulation brake stroke limit?
How to identify chaffed or worn hoses
What is a PBBT inspection?
CVSA Lists 10 Things You Need to Know about Commercial Vehicle Brakes
- Commercial vehicles are powered forward by fuel. They are stopped by brakes that use heat as their energy source. Brakes are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle because they enable the vehicle to stop.
- Braking systems are complicated and contain many parts that need constant inspection and attention to ensure proper operation and performance.
- To be able to rely on your brakes in every driving situation, they must be properly adjusted, maintained and inspected before and after every trip.
- The only way to know when you have a brake adjustment problem is to measure the stroke.
- Poor brake adjustment reduces the ability of the service brakes to stop a vehicle and also reduces the ability of the emergency/parking brakes to stop and/or hold a vehicle.
- By far, brakes comprise the largest percentage of out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections.
- Highway warning signs are usually for automobile drivers; truck drivers must translate them for trucks.
- Highway design engineers often do not know the margin of safety for trucks in their design. As a result, even if your brakes are adjusted and performing properly, when you are able to see a potential problem ahead your chances of stopping are less than that of car drivers.
- Be especially careful about how you apply your brakes when driving in mountainous areas.
- Additional factors besides brakes that affect the vehicles’ ability to stop include tire compound and tread depth; loading and dynamic weight shift; vehicle speed; driver condition, mental state and knowledge of surroundings; traffic congestion; pavement surface characteristics; and stopping-sight distance.