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A Blog by TA & Petro Stopping Centers

Tips for Avoiding Brake Related Out-of-Service Violations

The CVSA will hold its annual Brake Safety Week Aug. 22-28. Wondering how you can prepare? In addition to getting a free mid-trip inspection at TA Truck Service July 15 through Aug. 21, we’re reviewing the most common out-of-service (OOS) violations and our tips for avoiding them.

Brakes continue to dominate out-of-service violations

If a truck is pulled OOS during an inspection, the chances are high that it will be for a brake-related issue. Brake-related violations are so common that the CVSA dedicates an entire week to raising awareness about the importance of brake system maintenance each year. Brakes dominated OOS violations found during roadside inspections in the 1990s and remain around half of all OOS violations.

Revisit your pre-trip inspection process

Drivers play a key role in preventing OOS violations by performing thorough pre-trip inspections. By brushing up on training, the added pressure of hours of service regulations doesn’t have to threaten efficient pre-trips.

Brakes should be inspected for proper operation on a routine basis. Making sure the slack adjusters and s-cam bushings are properly lubricated helps extend the life of the brakes and ensures they’re working appropriately. All brake components should be looked at for excessive wear—any wear in the S-cam bushings can reduce the stroke of the slack adjuster, decreasing your braking ability and resulting in an OOS violation.

Service shops also play a crucial role in helping prevent violations. Many shops make the mistake of extending drivers’ lubrication intervals too far. The tendency is to align chassis lubrication with engine oil drain intervals, however, this can lead to slack adjusters getting too dry and not operating properly. Make sure you take your truck to a service provider you can trust.

The following brake maintenance checks should also be conducted routinely:

  • Check brake linings or pads to ensure proper thickness.
  • Check operation of service and parking brakes.
  • Inspect for chaffed hoses.
  • Make sure air compressor is operating properly.
  • Check air brake system for leaks.

The air dryer should be serviced per the manufacturer’s recommendations and the air tanks should be drained frequently. This helps minimize air leaks and air valve replacements by keeping the system clean and dry.

Have any air leaks looked at by a professional technician immediately, as they can be a symptom of a bigger issue. When the air brake system is contaminated with oil, for example, o-rings and seals inside brake valves will fail, causing the truck to experience multiple valve failures over time. The root cause, however, could simply be a dirty air filter causing the air compressor to pass oil into the air brake system.

TA Truck Service is proud to help drivers stay safe and prepared out there on the interstate, during Brake Safety Week and beyond. For more brake-related service tips, visit a TA Truck Service shop near you.

Plus, stop into a participating TA Truck Service center within TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express locations to get a FREE mid-trip inspection July 15 through Aug. 21.

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