Prepare Your Fleet For CVSA's Brake Check Week | Semi Truck Repair
The countdown timer is at less than a month now.
And though some of us might like to “brake check” the CVSA right in their forehead, it’s coming whether we like it or not.
The next “gubmint” (Thanks Wendy 🙂) sponsored brake check is set for September 6- 12th.
During this time, your friendly neighborhood highway inspectors will be pulling your trucks over and peeping under their skirts. (Wait… are trucks referred to as women like some 4 wheelers are? I’m still relatively new to the industry so feel free to check me if that metaphor doesn’t work.)
Anyway, as much as many people say there is some shadiness going on in the gubmental regions of commercial traffic and regulations…. I do stand behind the fact that there should be some regulations and checks to make sure stuff is safe. I’m a mom. I drive with my babies every day. And though I am fully aware that passenger vehicles are the cause of the vast majority of accidents involving commercial vehicles, I still want those big trucks to be safely equipped! (‘Cause Lord knows, there will forever be idiot drivers that can’t get it into their head that it takes much more than a couple feet to stop an 80,000 pound vehicle rolling at highway speeds.) And to all my non-trucker readers out there, did ya catch that bolded sentence? You have been successfully brainwashed by mainstream media. Truckers and their “Big Rigs” are not big, bad, and scary. Sure there’s a bad grape in every bunch; but the real problem lies with inconsiderate drivers and those who are uneducated about the big trucks they share the road with.
But I digress. Let’s put it in the terms of the opening sentence of a hypothetical “Commercial Brakes for Dummies” book:
“Brakes are important. Your big ol’ trucks need to stop fast; and it’s hard for them with all that weight behind them!”
All kidding aside, your maintenance manager really should be checking your trucks and trailers when they return to your yard; and your drivers should be taking a peek-see in their pre-trip. If you don’t have a maintenance manager, and/or you’re concerned your drivers aren’t checking properly–have them stop by one of our shops. We can make sure your brakes are road ready in just about 30 minutes. On top of that you’ll save yourself the time and the money that an Inspector will cost you if they deem your truck OOS. Just saying.
Anyhow, here are a few simple things to check on your fleet if you don’t have a maintenance manager nor the time to stop in our shop.
Ensure that your air lines aren’t chafing. They’ll ding ya for that without even lifting your skirt.
Check for any air leaks in your air lines and valves.
Make sure your ABS light turns on –and then off– when you start power to the vehicle. (If it doesn’t turn on at all, or turns on but not off–you’ve got a problem.)
Make sure your brakes are adjusted properly. (Click here to be taken to the handy pushrod stroke reference guide.)
Ensure that slack adjusters and S-cams are greased and functioning properly.
Check for cracks or grooves on your brake drums.
Check for excessive wear on the pad of the brake shoe itself.