Did you know that a fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds? Thats the equivalent of 40 tons! Trucks play a vital role in our economy, and they are responsible for transporting goods all over the country.
But with so much weight behind them, its important to make sure that these vehicles are driving safely on our roads. Making sure that your brake has regular brake inspections is one way to help ensure the safety of both the driver and other motorists on the road. Here are some reasons why brake inspections are important for commercial vehicles.
To Maintain Vehicle Safety
Your brakes are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. It’s important to make sure that they are in good working condition at all times. Regular brake inspections can help identify any potential issues before they become a safety hazard.
To Save Money on Repairs
If you wait until your brakes are completely shot before getting them replaced, youre going to end up spending a lot more money than if you had them inspected and serviced often. By catching problems early, you can save yourself time and money down the road.
To Help Prevent Accidents
Of course, the main reason to keep your brakes in good condition is to help prevent accidents. When your brakes are not working the right way, it puts everyone on the road at risk. Having regular brake inspections can help ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive and help avoid potential accidents.
To Comply with the Law
In many states, it is required by law to have your commercial vehicles brakes inspected on a regular basis. So not only is it important for safety reasons, but its also something you need to do to stay in compliance with the law.
Insurance companies also offer discounts to fleets that have regular brake inspections. So not only is it the right thing to do, but it can also help save you money on your insurance premiums.
Brake Safety Week
Built to handle the immense weight of a fully-loaded truck, commercial truck brakes are some of the most powerful on the market. Unfortunately, not all commercial trucks have well-maintained brakes. In fact, brake problems are one of the most frequent reasons service inspectors take commercial trucks out of service.
Brake Safety Week is an annual campaign aimed at improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety. The weeklong event was first held in 1998 and has since grown to be the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicle brakes in North America.
During Brake Safety Week, CMV inspectors across North America conduct Level I Inspections the most thorough roadside inspection. During these inspections, inspectors will check vehicles and drivers for compliance with hours-of-service regulations and perform an inspection of the trucks brakes.
Inspectors will also look for other serious violations that could put motorists at risks, such as impaired driving, improper loading, and vehicle maintenance issues. A brake violation will result in the vehicle being out of service until the situation is remedied.
Brake Safety Week is an important reminder that we all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe. Drivers can do their part by ensuring their vehicles are well-maintained and by obeying traffic laws.
We can all help keep our roads safe by being aware of the dangers posed by poorly maintained commercial trucks and by reporting any unsafe driving behavior we see.
Semi -Truck Braking Versus Car Braking
Most people dont realize how different semi-truck brakes are from the brakes on a regular car. For one thing, semi trucks have much heavier loads, which means they need stronger brakes to stop. They also need longer distances to stop, so their brakes are designed with this in mind.
Additionally, semi trucks have air brakes, which work differently than the hydraulic brakes found on most cars. Air brakes use compressed air to create pressure that pushes against the brake pads, causing them to press against the rotors and slow the vehicle down.
Because of these differences, its important to make sure that your commercial trucks brakes are well-serviced and maintained. Regular inspections and tune-ups can help ensure that your brakes are in good condition and will be able to handle the demands of stopping when you need to.
Tips for Brake Inspections
Brake inspection services should be performed by a qualified technician who knows how to properly check all of the different components of your brakes.
During a brake inspection, the technician will check the condition of your brake pads, rotors, and calipers. They will also inspect your brake lines and hoses for any leaks or damage. The technician will also test your brake system to make sure its functioning properly.
If you have an air brake system, the technician will also inspect the air compressor and check the air pressure in the system. You should have your brakes inspected at least once a year, or more often if you use your commercial truck for heavy hauling or driving in stop-and-go traffic.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your brakes:
Check Your Brake Pads
One of the most important parts of your brake system is the brake pads. Over time, brake pads will wear down and need to be replaced. You should check your brake pads often to make sure they still have enough material to function the right way.
Check Your Brake Fluid
Brake fluid plays an important role in the functioning of your brakes. It helps transfer the force from your pedal to the brakes themselves. If your brake fluid is dirty or low, it can reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
Check Your Brakes for Leaks
Leaks in your brake system can lead to a loss of brake fluid and reduced braking power. You should check your brakes often for any signs of leaks.
Have Your Brakes Inspected Often
Its important to have your brakes inspected on a regular basis by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to identify any issues with your brakes and make sure they are serviced.
Check Pressure Levels in Air Brakes
If your truck has air brakes, its important to check the pressure levels often. Low pressure can reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
Brake Lining and Hoses
The brake lining is the part of the brakes that make contact with the rotors to slow the vehicle down. Over time, brake linings can wear down and need to be replaced.
Brake hoses are the parts of the brake system that carry the fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes themselves. These brake hoses can become dry and cracked, which can lead to leaks. Its important to check your brake hoses often for any signs of wear and tear.
Brake drums are the parts of the brakes that the brake shoes press against to slow the vehicle down. Brake drums become warped or damaged over time, which can reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
A slack adjuster is a device that helps adjust the tension on the brake shoes. Slack adjusters can become worn or damaged over time, which can lead to reduced braking power.
Greasing your slack adjuster is an important part of maintaining your brakes. You should grease your slack adjuster every few months to keep it in good condition.
Brake chambers are the parts of the brakes that hold the brake fluid. Frequent use can lead to the formation of rust or corrosion in the brake chamber. This can reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
You should have your brake chamber inspected, greased, and serviced on a regular basis to prevent rust or corrosion from forming.
A DVIR is a daily vehicle inspection report that drivers must fill out. This report helps ensure that all the parts of the truck are in good working condition.
Its important to go over your DVIR with your mechanic before you start driving each day. This will help ensure that there are no issues with your brakes or any other parts of the truck.
Maintain Good Driving Habits
One of the best ways to avoid problems with your brakes is to maintain good driving habits. This includes things like driving at a safe speed, using your turn signals, and avoiding sudden stops.
Replace Parts as Needed
Over time, parts of your brakes will wear out and need replacing. Replace these parts as soon as possible to avoid any problems with your brakes.
Monitor Anti-lock Braking System
If your truck has an anti-lock braking system, monitor it often. This system can help prevent your brakes from locking up, but it can also fail if its not well maintained.
Make Use of Brake Inspection Services
Accident prevention is the responsibility of every driver. By taking the time to inspect your brakes and other parts of your truck, you can help avoid accidents and keep yourself and others safe on the road. Be sure to keep up with brake inspections on a regular routine.
If you have an accident, hire an attorney who has experience with semi-truck accidents. The Ohara law firm has dedicated and experienced semi-truck accident attorneys in Houston Texas. Contact an attorney today who will work hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case.