Brake Safety Week to include special focus on hoses, tubing

Brakes continue to dominate out-of-service violations across North America, and they’ll once again be the target of a dedicated enforcement and education blitz. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will run Brake Safety Week Aug.

21-27, with a special focus on chafed hoses and tubing. “Poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of large trucks and motor coaches, which poses a serious risk to driver and public safety,” said CVSA president John Broers, a captain with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “In those split-second emergency situations, the proper functionality of the brake systems on large commercial motor vehicles is crucial.”

air brake gladhands(File photo: Jim Park)

Canadian inspectors checked 1,903 commercial vehicles during Brake Safety Week in 2021, recording an out-of-service rate of 15.4% – slightly higher than the 13.5% recorded in the U.S.

Across North America, 35,764 vehicles were inspected, and 5,667 brake hose chafing violations were recorded independent of whether vehicles were placed out of service. Canada recorded 168 chafing-related violations during the week, including:

  • Wear extending into the outer protective material, where applicable – 39%
  • Wear extending through the outer protective material into the outer rubber cover – 24%
  • Wear making the reinforcement ply visible, but with an intact ply – 19%
  • Reinforcement ply is visible and ply is completely frayed, severed or cut – 8%
  • Wear extends through the reinforcement ply to the inner rubber layer – 9%

During 2022 Brake Safety Week, inspectors will be looking for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked brake system parts; “non-manufactured” holes such as those created by rust or friction; and broken springs in the parking brakes. What they hear will be equally important as they listen for audible leaks and ensure air systems maintain pressures of 90-100 psi.

In the cab, the focus will be on brake-related and low-air-pressure warning devices. Chalk and rulers will be pulled out to measure pushrod travel and to see that slack adjusters are the same length from the center of the S-cam to the center of the clevis pin. Inspectors will be looking to ensure the air chambers on each axle are the same size, too.

When it comes to the trailer, breakaway systems will need to be operable, as will the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.

Brakes accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations during the international Roadcheck inspection blitz held May 17-19.