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CVSA Brake Safety Day results: Under 12% OOS for brake violations

June 18, 2024
The surprise safety inspection day focused on brake pad and lining safety, the same focus for this year’s Brake Safety Week. Inspectors found 185 violations regarding brake pads and linings.

According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), inspectors handled 4,898 inspections during the 2024 Brake Safety Day, placing 11.6% (570 vehicles) out-of-service (OOS). The safety and compliance event was held April 30 throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

While fleets are given ample warning for Brake Safety Week, CVSA gives no such grace for Brake Safety Day, though operators overall performed slightly better on the roadside pop quiz versus last year's planned examination. During the 2023 Brake Safety Week, 12.6% of total vehicles inspected were placed OOS. 

Inspection results

Inspectors issued 330 "20%" violations, which are issued when 20% or more of a vehicle's service brake had an OOS condition leading to a defective brake. This accounted for nearly 60% of all the brake OOS violations.

The CVSA found 256 vehicles (44.9%) had other brake violations that did not necessarily place them OOS, including worn brake lines and hoses, broken brake drums, inoperative tractor protection systems and low-air warning devices, air leaks, and hydraulic fluid leaks. Finally, 73 vehicles had steering-related brake issues, which accounted for 12.8% of brake-related OOS violations.

Additionally, nine U.S. jurisdictions held performance-based brake tests (PBBT), where vehicles must have a minimum braking efficiency of 43.5%. Of the 88 PBBT inspections, four vehicles failed and were placed OOS.

This year’s focus for Brake Safety Day was brake lining and pad health, the same focus for 2024’s Brake Safety Week coming up in August. During inspection day, officials found 108 power units and 66 towed units with lining and pad violations, with 114 violations on power units and 71 on towed units.

The top issue for power units was contamination, while cracks and voids were the top violation for towed ones. Both of these issues were the top violations for power and towed units overall, a fact which hasn’t changed from last year’s Brake Safety Week where these problems comprised 68% of violations.

Brake lining and pad care tips

To avoid lining and pad violations for 2024’s Brake Safety Week, careful pre- and post-trip inspections by drivers and service inspections by technicians are key.

Read more: CVSA schedules Brake Safety Week for August 25-31

In particular, Bendix Vehicle Systems advised that technicians always examine brake linings for cracks, missing portions, oil or grease contamination, and below-regulation thickness.

“If you notice it’s time for new brake friction, make sure to keep things up to spec: Not all friction that is marketed as ‘acceptable’ under current Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) regulations will actually perform to that standard,” said Mark Holley, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End, in a recent release. “Whether you’re replacing air disc brake pads or drum brake shoes, select components that will ensure the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements are met so the vehicle remains compliant. If the friction needs to be replaced, it must be replaced on both sides of the axle.”

Additionally, CVSA recommended both drivers and technicians look for grooves in the drum due to rivet contact, as well as inspecting shoe-to-drum clearance and leaks from the hub and components. Exposed rivets and lining blocks, cracks and voids, and missing lining blocks and pads are also indications that a vehicle is not road worthy.

With Brake Safety Week coming up Aug. 25-31, fleets should keep these tips in mind to increase their performance during the planned safety event.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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