September 2, 2015 by Minuteman Trucks
Initially developed in Canada back in 1998, Operation Airbrake is an international truck and bus brake safety campaign dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America. To achieve its goal of reducing the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles, Operation Airbrake helps educate drivers and technicians on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance, and operation.
Half of all out-of-service violations issued for commercial vehicles are represented by out-of-adjustment brakes and brake system violations. Improperly installed and poorly maintained brake systems can reduce a vehicle’s braking capacity, a serious safety risk.
Drivers can avoid such issues by conducting simple daily inspections. If you can go under your vehicle, you can measure pushrod stroke the way a CVSA-certified inspector would and compare the results to the pushrod stroke limits set by regulation. If you cannot go under your vehicle, you can still listen for air leaks, check low air signals and look for component damage.
CVSA’s List of 10 Things to Know about Commercial Vehicle Brakes
- Commercial vehicles are powered forward by fuel and their brakes use heat energy to bring them to a stop.
- Brake systems are complicated with many parts that need constant inspection and attention for proper operation and performance.
- To rely on your brakes in any situation, they must be properly adjusted, maintained and inspected before and after every trip.
- The only way to tell if you have a brake adjustment problem is to measure the stroke.
- Poor brake adjustment not only reduces the ability to stop a vehicle, but also reduces the ability of the emergency/parking brakes to stop and/or hold a vehicle.
- Brakes represent the largest percentage of out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections.
- Highway design engineers do not often know the margin of safety for trucks, so your chances of stopping after spotting a potential problem ahead are less than that of a car driver’s, even if your brakes are adjusted and performing properly.
- Since highway signs are aimed at automobile drivers, truck divers must translate them for trucks.
- Take extra care when applying your brakes in mountainous areas.
- Other factors that may reduce the ability to stop: tire compound and tread depth, loading and dynamic weight shift, vehicle speed, driver’s condition, traffic congestion, environment and awareness, pavement surface, and stopping-sight distance.
This safety bulletin is brought to you by Idealease.