The CVSA set the Annual Brake Safety week for late August from the 23rd to the 29th. During this time, the organization will laser-in its attention on brake awareness, and the focus will relate to all things brakes. You want to take care of this because of how the week-long spree of enforcement will lead inspectors to look for out-of-service violations for brakes.
What Is It?
During this time, inspectors look for violations, and any drivers found in violation will be restricted from using their vehicles until they have corrected it. The vehicles that pass the inspection receive a decal as proof.
The ultimate goal behind programs like this is to improve the levels of safety and make it a top priority for American highways. This will ensure that all vehicles meet the regulations and safety standards. As much as possible, we want to ensure that we keep truckers safe on the road, and by doing this, we will make the roads safer for everyone.
The thing about semi-trucks and accidents with cars is that when it happens, they often prove fatal. For that reason, we have to take active measures to make it safer for everyone. During this month, the ultimate goal of education to drivers comes to the center stage. To some, they might consider it a bit of an inconvenience, but these things bring greater safeness to the American highways.
What They Will Check For
Some of the things that they will check for include:
- Undamaged brakes
- No leaks on the hoses or tubes
- Appropriately flexible
- Proper attachment
When they checked for these things in 2019, they found 13.5 percent of all the trucks were in violation of this rule. As this happened, they placed them out of service.
What Does This Mean for Drivers?
As drivers, it means that if you don’t want to be inconvenienced, you may want to get your brakes up to code before this time. Proper maintenance matters especially because if a semi-truck gets into an accident, fatalities often result from it. They will look at performance, maintenance, and operation to ensure that everything works well.
The biggest thing is that if you don’t come prepared for it, you could face violations that will put you out of service. That can be a huge pain.
How to Prepare
To get through this, your best bet is to prepare for it. Conduct preventative maintenance ahead of time to catch the issues before they can arise. Review your records to learn about any brakes that might need servicing. In this way, you can stop it before inspectors can violate you for it. You may also want to coach your drivers about not being so hard on the brakes because of how this can have a negative impact on the brakes and cause them to wear out faster.
Some of the things that you might do this week to prepare include:
- Check to see the low air warning system works.
- See that you have made preventative maintenance current.
- Have registration, RODS, license, and authority number ready.
- Check for loose hoses and leaks.
- Look for friction of the brakes.
- Examine the brake rotors for cracks.
You have to remain diligent in actively catching the problem because it will cost you less to catch it now as opposed to letting the inspectors catch it. Not only that, but it keeps you safe on the road, and it protects everyone else on the road, too. We have to look at this as a positive.
Education: Chief Importance
We do this every year with the ultimate goal being education. The CVSA doesn’t want to make these violations, but it promotes education while making the highways much safer than without it. Everyone should make sure that they remain up to speed on braking, inspections and maintenance.
As much as possible, we want to ensure that truck drivers remain safe on the road. We do this through education.
History of the Program
The program first started in 1998, and they have seen some incredible success, having inspected more than 3.4 million brakes. It belongs to the Operation Airbrake program, and they work in close coordination with the FMCSA. You should, however, understand that every year, more than $200 million in violations have been found, and that is why you should take active measures to get ahead of the problem. Don’t wait for the iceberg to hit when you can see it floating ominously ahead.
Why Prepare Ahead of Time
In 2019, the CVSA conducted 34,320 inspections, which should highlight the scale of this operation. Getting into check with this isn’t just a good idea to avoid getting violated. Someone who fails to keep their brakes in check could risk getting into an accident. The problem with this is that the person that they got into an accident with could come back and sue the company. That is why it is better to keep the working components of the truck up to date and prepared. A failure to do this will lead to more problems in the long term than what it is worth even if they were to slip past the program without a violation.
The Cost of a Violation
Someone found in violation of this could face a fine that ranges from $4,787 up to $21,780. It depends on the extent of the violation, but people should be aware of it ahead of time and remain within code.
What is the true cost of a violation? Even looking aside from the fines that drivers will face, there are other issues that can arise, such as:
- Loss of productivity
- Damage to the brand
- Loss of credibility with customers
- Inability to attract qualified and experienced drivers
These costs don’t get accounted for, but you better believe that they can have a negative impact on your company. You have plenty of costs that people never even consider, but they need to look at the full cost that goes even beyond some of the more obvious things.
Track Driving Information through Apps
For fleet managers, one of the things that they might do to stay ahead of these violations is through using a fleet tracking app that monitors vehicle performance and maintenance. Meanwhile, it keeps a close record of the services, and if anything approaches close to a need for maintenance, alerts will get sent so that you can keep better track of these things. The other thing that apps like this can help you to do is to eliminate waste. These apps will often look at hazardous driving behavior and improving the routes. In this way, it reduces the amount of fuel used on the road for greater savings.
We have to stop looking at this organization as the enemy of our companies. It doesn’t help to take this view. Instead, we should look at them as a company that has the purpose of helping us to improve highway safety for all. No one wants to get a phone call that their loved one was in an accident, and they were killed. That’s the big picture of what this organization tries to prevent.