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Roadside inspections, ELDs, treadle-valve corrosion discussed at MATS seminar

| March 27, 2014

Treadle valve corrosion
Among the highlights of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s roadside-inspection seminar at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., were a question-and-answer portion in which former driver Allan Powell grilled the presenters on inspection procedures relative to his long work into what he sees as design flaws in E6 and E10 floor-mounted brake valves that go unnoticed by roadside inspectors and maintenance professionals. That long work was conducted during time Powell spent trying to clear himself of a vehicular manslaughter charge after a stuck treadle valve in his own truck resulted in an accident. 


Treadle valve corrosion a growing problem?

Adjustment isn't the only brake problem going -- observer and longtime former driver Allan Powell suggests treadle valve corrosion is a growing issue.

Despite the existence of a February 2012 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance bulletin to state and federal partners outlining inspection procedures for brake pedal and treadle assembly inspection, Powell contends too many inspectors simply don’t do them at the roadside. He urged Kentucky FMCSA division member Sean Anderson and other presenters to get the valve inspection into their procedures. “Does FMCSA want to help stop this problem?” he asked.


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In a round-up of some upcoming regulatory changes, Anderson detailed in brief the proposed mandate for interstate carriers to use electronic logging devices for hours of service compliance. Asked about a timeline for implementation, he spoke, he said, not as Sean Anderson of the FMCSA, but as a guy who knew a little about how new controversial rules typically go. “We’ll probably get sued again,” he said, “and that will push it back, or it just won’t be ready” in time for the agency’s hoped-for 2016 implementation. 


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DataQs issues remain front and center
Anderson reflected common thoughts from inspectors on the issue of adjudicated citations and whether the associated violations should or should not be allowed to continue to  contribute to carriers’ Motor Carrier Management and Information Service data well, from which the CSA Safety Measurement System pulls the basis for its scoring. As of now, if a citation is thrown out or dismissed in a court of law, the DataQs process is the only recourse carriers and owner-operators have to attempt to get the violation removed from their carrier profiles. 

While FMCSA has proposed methods of downgrading the importance of those violations in the CSA system, Anderson explained law enforcement’s position on many disputed items by noting the number of judges in his former jurisdiction with the Kentucky State Police who “have never heard of the FMCSA’s safety regulations,” he said. In order to get an adjudicated citation removed from the MCMIS database and CSA system, he advised drivers, “you’ve got to have some other evidence right now other than just the court’s throwing it out.”

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  • PattyCakes

    This is GREAT …. Treadle Valve Inspections !

    Just think of it … you, the Moron-Behind-the-Wheel, crash after the Truck Nazis have given you a Roadside Harassment and then you have a bender due to ‘ Treadle Valve ‘

    Now, the Lawyers, yours + theres, have a additional Filing … you can Sue the Truck Nazis now … right … right … they did just give you the go-ahead, Safe Truck approval … right ? ? ?

    Is this thing on … Buehler .. Buehler … hello ?

  • G

    Maybe this moron should fix his own damn truck and quit waiting for some hot headed cop to tell him to do it. I thought we we’re professionals. Does he need help changing his diaper too?

  • g

    did the CSA COP inspect his Diaper?? Could be a SAFETY item!! Goo Goo…..

  • Jim Kennedy

    I’m sure tractor trailer professionals can attest, by performing regular brake adjustment tests, this particular issue (treadle valve and various other issues regarding brakes) would show up either in this test or at time of maintenance because the brakes would be out of compliance. It would make sense to me, that this is an easy step and would be caught in our pre-trips, correct? Maybe tightening up driver requirements and having drivers perform basic brake adjustment tests as part of their pre-trips might catch some of these bad vehicles.

  • mousekiller

    Let me see if I understand this treadle valve thing. It is mounted either under the truck near the fire wall or on the fire wall or under the brake pedal. floor level. Now since the article I read stated corrosion being the problem , how is the officer or driver going to see corrosion that may inhibit the valves proper action? Just asking as I can see dirt and crud on them but internally you cant see corrosion inside it . strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.