Brake Safety Week: Brake linings and pads under scrutiny

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, June 20, 2023:

Brake linings, pads under the microscope this August

Brake linings and pads will be the focus of Brake Safety Week, scheduled for Aug. 20-26, according to an announcement from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Throughout the weeklong blitz, law enforcement officers will inspect brake systems and remove commercial motor vehicles found to have brake-related out-of-service violations from roadways until those violations are corrected. Throughout the week, CVSA-certified inspectors will conduct their usual inspections. However, they will be reporting brake-related inspection and violation data to the alliance.

“The focus of this year’s Brake Safety Week is on the condition of the brake lining and pad,” said CVSA President Maj. Chris Nordloh with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Brake lining and pad issues may result in vehicle violations and could affect a motor carrier’s safety rating.”

[Related: Listen back: The 20% rule -- how brake-adjustment alone can put your truck out of service]

When inspectors conduct the brake portion of a Level I or Level V Inspection, they will:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose or cracked parts
  • Check for contaminated, worn, cracked and missing linings or pads
  • Check for S-cam flipover
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines
  • Check that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size
  • Ensure the brake system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa) and measure pushrod travel
  • Inspect for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer

During a recent unannounced brake inspection day, inspectors placed 679 commercial vehicles out of service in the U.S. A total of 5,901 vehicles were inspected in the U.S.

In last year's Brake Safety Week, 34,402 inspections were conducted and 4,664 -- or 13.6% of inspected vehicles -- had brake-related violations. Find brakes-maintenance and -inspection-related content in Overdrive via this link

[Related: Nearly 800 trucks sidelined during unannounced inspection blitz]

I-15 closing next week in Vegas

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has announced a temporary closure of northbound I-15 between Blue Diamond Road/Windmill Lane and I-215.

The closure will be in effect from 9 p.m. on Monday, June 26, until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 27. During this time, drivers heading northbound will be redirected onto Windmill Lane, Las Vegas Boulevard, and then onto the I-215 ramp to access I-15.

NDOT said the closure is essential for the installation of a new Active Traffic Management (ATM) gantry over I-15.

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[Related: I-94 in Pennsylvania to reopen 'within two weeks']

FMCSA’s Truck Leasing Task Force sets first meeting

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s task force that was established to examine the terms, conditions, and equitability of common truck leasing arrangements will hold its first meeting next month.

On July 11 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern, FMCSA’s Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF) will meet virtually to essentially take care of some housekeeping items on the agenda and begin discussions about topics required by Congress.

On the agenda for the meeting is:

  • An ethics briefing for members
  • A discussion of ground rules for meetings (including logistics and meeting etiquette)
  • A review of requirements of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that established the task force, with respect to topics/issues the TLTF must discuss
  • A discussion of the schedule for future meetings (virtual and hybrid, possibly), data needs/requests to support deliberations, guest presenters, etc.
  • Initial deliberations and discussion on the required list of BIL items

The meeting will be open to the public virtually. Advance registration is required and will open on this site in advance of the meeting.

[Related: Guide to prospective owner-operators with simplified lease-purchase]

Oral comments from the public will be heard during designated comment periods at the discretion of the TLTF chair and Designated Federal Officer. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their remarks for inclusion in the meeting records and for circulation to TLTF members.

The BIL established the TLTF to cover these areas related to truck leasing arrangements, including:

  • Exploring predatory truck leasing arrangements in coordination with DOL and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Evaluating common truck lease agreements and their terms, identifying and reviewing those that are potentially inequitable in the motor carrier industry
  • Reviewing agreements available to drayage drivers at ports
  • Studying the impact of truck leasing agreements on the net compensation of truck drivers
  • Examining truck leasing and financing arrangements among motor carriers, entry-level drivers, driver training providers and others involved in the industry
  • Assessing resources that assist truck drivers in reviewing the financial impacts of leasing agreements

[Related: FMCSA names nine to new Truck Leasing Task Force]

New re-route option via BulkLoads TMS

BulkLoads launched a new Reroute feature within its BulkLoads+ transportation management system software, formerly known as BulkTMS.

Reroute gives system users the ability to adapt to real-time changes in routes, eliminating the need for time-consuming communication processes. Bulk trucking faces numerous challenges that can lead to rerouting, from insect damage to facility breakdowns and early contract completion. Need for immediate route adjustments can result in significant disruptions in operations and communication breakdowns between drivers and dispatchers.

The new BulkLoads+ feature helps ensure efficient communication to and from the operator with a few simple clicks and taps. BulkLoads+ users navigate to the specific load that requires rerouting and specify the number of loads to be rerouted and their new destinations. The system then automatically updates all pertinent information and immediately notifies the driver of the revised load details.

"Having made the transition from truck driver to logistics coordinator, I've gained firsthand knowledge that trucks are rerouted more frequently than one might expect," said Jared Flinn, CEO and co-founder of BulkLoads. "Reroute streamlines the process, eliminating the need to delete and reenter load information. This ensures that all parties involved, from the truck driver to the end user, stay consistently updated and promptly alerted."

[Related: Transportation Management System platforms: Not just for large fleets]