As you prepare your rig for Roadcheck this year there are just a few items that you should focus on. We know that each year most mechanical violations are related to brake stroke adjustment. Since this is the primary area of concern I will give you a very simple solution to help avoid being placed out of service for a brake stroke violation.
Keep in mind that most tractors and trailers on the road today have automatic slack adjusters. This might tend to cause you to question how an automatic adjuster could be out of service. The answer is very simple: any mechanical defect such as worn s-cam bushings, worn rollers, frozen slack adjusters and improperly mounted brake chambers, etc. can cause your slack adjusters to not keep the brake stoke in the proper range. The answer, therefore, is to keep all wheel end and brake components lubricated.
Some of the problem stems from extending oil change intervals. This is not a bad practice but keep in mind that your wheel end and brake components cannot tolerate very long lubrication intervals, so get your vehicle lubricated at 25,000 miles or less and you will find fewer brakes that are out of adjustment.
One last thing related to slack adjusters – do not let trailers sit for long periods of time. If they do, the lack of cycling the slack adjusters could cause them to stop adjusting properly. If a trailer sits for a couple of months, be sure to get the slack adjusters checked to ensure they are adjusting properly. Focus on brake stroke and you may avoid a stroke from being placed out of service!
International Roadcheck will also place emphasis on cargo securement this year. Cargo securement applies to all products you carry for delivery, but also includes tools, equipment, wood or concrete blocks, chains, pallet jacks and many other like objects. Keep in mind that enclosed cargo areas may not be sufficient. You may need straps or cargo restraints to help keep the load controlled. Finally, bungee cords and tarp straps must not be used as the primary constraint devices.
With a little focus International Roadcheck will result in raising awareness and not your blood pressure due to violations.