Bendix offers tips for CVSA Brake Safety Week

Management Truck Parts and Service Staff September 6, 2013

In support of the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Brake Safety Week campaign and inspections – taking place Sept. 8-14 – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is recommending fleets and drivers familiarize themselves with the CVSA inspection requirements and procedures.

Also known as Operation Air Brake, the effort is aimed at reducing the number of highway crashes caused by improperly maintained or faulty braking systems, and employs teams of CVSA-certified inspectors to conduct roadside checks of commercial vehicles and their drivers.

Targeting commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, the program is conducted in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to CVSA, more than 32,500 vehicles were checked in 2012 during Operation Air Brake, which covered Brake Safety Week and an unannounced inspection date in May.

“By emphasizing proper training and upkeep practices, Operation Air Brake provides a valuable reminder of the importance of successful inspections in today’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) environment,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs.

Operation Air Brake targets six items for inspection: driver’s license, registration, low air warning device, pushrod travel (adjustment), brake linings/drums, leaks/air loss rate, and tractor protection system.

In addition to emphasizing regularly scheduled preventive maintenance and pre-trip inspections, Bendix stresses the importance of proper replacement components, air system management, and ongoing technician and driver education.

Replacement Friction Matters

When regular maintenance or pre-trip inspections point to a need for friction replacement, it’s important to recognize the impact that friction selection has on safety and brake performance, noted Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions for Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB).

“With the federal Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) mandate now in full effect, fleets need to pay close attention to the issue of replacement brake lining performance and RSD compliance,” Ganaway said. “Because not all replacement friction marketed as acceptable under RSD will actually perform to the standard, fleets should ask for evidence of compliance from their friction supplier when replacing the friction on their RSD-equipped trucks.”

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