CVSA Brake Safety Week: What You Need to Know

Later this month, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week will take place throughout North America. From August 20th thru August 26th, commercial vehicles will be inspected to see if their brake systems are compliant and functioning. Last year, over 13 percent of the commercial vehicles inspected were found to have violations and were placed out of service. As part of the CVSA’s ongoing partnership with FMCSA, these Level IV Special Inspections are designed to keep truckers and other motorists safe.

How to Prepare for Brake Safety Week

Drivers for carriers and owner-operators will be under scrutiny this month, so it is important to make preparations ahead of time. At Single Point Capital, we have put together a handy checklist that drivers can use to make sure their vehicles are in compliance:

1. Listen for air leaks around brake lines and related components

2. Make sure brake systems maintain the right air pressure (between 90 and 100 PSI)

3. Regularly measure pushrod travel

4. Inspect for holes caused by rust or friction, as well as broken springs in the parking brake’s housing

5. Look at the bleedback system as well as the tractor protection system

6. Make sure the breakaway system is functional

7. Look for worn, cracked, or missing brake pads or linings

8. Check for non-functioning, missing, or poorly-fitted parts in the brake system

9. Inspect trucks for S-cam flip-over

10. Make sure slack adjusters and the air chambers are the same size on each axle

The above list details what inspectors will be checking during Brake Safety Week, so carriers and owner-operators can stay ahead of the game and keep their trucks from getting flagged or placed out of service.

Ongoing Inspections

Unlike regular inspections, the CVSA’s brake inspection spots will be unannounced, so truckers do not know where they occur during Brake Safety Week. One thing is certain, major trucking hubs, such as Texas, California, the Southeast, Illinois, and NY are probably the most likely places to experience spot inspections. Any vehicles that are found in violation of safety measures will be placed out of service on the spot, and will be unable to make hauls until steps are made to correct malfunctioning brake systems. This will, of course, require a follow-up inspection to ensure commercial vehicles are in compliance and can safely go back on the road.

The Impact on Insurance Rates

Brake failures on commercial vehicles can lead to accidents, which typically result in court rulings against drivers, their employers, and owner-operators. Whether a minor infraction or a nuclear verdict, insurance companies are quick to raise premiums. With enough data, insurance providers can justify raising premiums not just for individual trucking companies, but for the industry as a whole. Regularly checking brake systems keeps commercial vehicles in service, and they are a simple preventive measure that can end up saving carriers thousands – if not millions – of dollars annually. At a time when insurance rates are rising for the trucking industry at the drop of a hat, carriers and owner-operators need to plan ahead, instead of waiting for a spot inspection to flag their vehicles.

Finding the Best Truck Insurance

When it comes to truck insurance, many small and medium-sized carriers, as well as owner-operators, face prohibitive premiums. Additionally, for those just launching a trucking company, the initial down payment can keep them from getting into business completely. At Single Point Capital, we strive to provide owner-operators and trucking companies with comprehensive insurance coverage without breaking the bank. Our insurance is designed specifically with the trucking industry in mind to minimize costs while optimizing coverage. Additionally, we offer an insurance down payment program to clients that take advantage of our freight bill factoring services. Instead of paying your insurance down payment upfront, we will cover up to 50 percent, which is repaid over the course of time from invoices you factor with us. This allows trucking companies to get the coverage they need without placing a strain on finances.

As Brake Safety Week gets closer, make sure you do your preparations and inform drivers of possible inspections. If you need insurance for your vehicles or drivers, reach out to the team at Single Point Capital today.