The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions
Runaway truck ramp and sign and ramp

Brake Safety: How CMV Drivers Can Prepare

If you haven’t recently checked all the components of your truck’s brake system, now is the time to get it done.

For its annual Brake Safety Week, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) law enforcement officers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will perform Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) inspections in search of brake system violations. Here’s how you can prepare:

What can I expect?

Inspections will take place at fixed weigh stations, temporary pop-up inspection sites and roving roadway patrols.

What happens if inspectors find a brake problem?

Your vehicle will be placed out of service (OOS).

What's my risk of getting a brake-related OOS?

During last year’s Brake Safety Week, law enforcement officers completed 28,694 inspections in the U.S. alone. Roughly 4,200 of those vehicles (13.5%) received a brake-related OOS violation. In April 2022, the CVSA inspected 9,132 CMVs during an unannounced Brake Safety Day. Nearly 1,300 vehicles (14.1%) inspected that day received a brake-related OOS violation.

What is the focus area for inspectors?

Inspectors will check all components of brake systems, with a particular focus on brake hose/tubing chafing violations.

How can I make sure I pass a brake inspection?

The best way to ensure a fully functional and safe braking system is to establish and enforce a routine inspection schedule. It’s equally important to ensure your drivers are properly trained and understand their responsibility to complete the required pre, during, and post-trip inspections. In addition, the CVSA also recommends drivers take these 10 steps:

  • Inspect brake hoses and tubing during pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
  • Report any brake issues in your driver vehicle inspection reports.
  • Look for brake hoses that rub or rest against the tires, frame, steering, suspension, brakes or other components.
  • Watch out for kinked or improperly repaired brake hoses.
  • Listen for air leaks. If you hear one, find the location of the leak and repair it before leaving.
  • Don’t let air lines hang down or touch the tractor deck or frame.
  • If you see air hoses or tubing that rub or rest against other components, check for abrasion wear, and protect, secure or move the hose to prevent wear.
  • Look for brake hose/tubing chafing. If chafing reduces the diameter of a hose, or if the secondary white color is visible in a thermoplastic hose, it’s an OOS violation. Replace the hose immediately.
  • Watch for worn brake hoses. If a hose is worn so that the reinforcement play is cut or abraded, it’s an OOS violation. Replace the hose immediately.
  • Make sure all repairs meet the manufacturer's requirements and guidelines.

Properly maintained brakes save lives, especially in split-second emergency situations. Keep your vehicle’s brakes in good working order during Brake Safety Week and all year long.