ELYRIA, Ohio –Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is offering up tips to fleets and owner/operators who are gearing up for this year’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck program.
This year the 72-hour Roadcheck takes place June 2-4, and will involve approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, and federal inspectors across North America.
According to CVSA, Roadcheck has accumulated more than 1 million roadside inspections since it began in 1988, resulting in an estimated 318 lives saved and 5,840 injuries avoided.
“Without question, safer vehicles help create safer highways, and well-maintained vehicles are safer vehicles,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “That’s why Bendix places such an emphasis on not just developing advanced safety technologies, but supporting fleets, drivers, and technicians with the parts, tools, and knowledge needed to keep their trucks on the road and in good working condition.”
During Roadcheck 2014, almost one fifth of vehicles inspected were found with violations leading to them being placed out of service. Brake-related violations accounted for almost half (46.2%) of the total out-of-service vehicle violations. Bendix recommends a two-level maintenance approach to help ensure safety and compliance.
Regular and thorough brake system review should cover components and operation:
· Examine brake linings for proper thickness and condition (no edge cracks exceeding 1/16 inch in width or 1.5 inches in length; no cracks across the lining face extending through the edges; no missing material exposing rivets or bolts)
· Conduct a 90 to 100 psi brake application and listen for audible leaks
· Measure chamber stroke at each wheel-end
“Both proper chamber stroke and good brake linings affect brake performance and stopping power, which means they have a direct impact on vehicle and highway safety,” said Gary Ganaway, director of OE and technical sales for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. “Both also play a role in Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring for fleets and owner-operators.”
The Right Parts
Bendix also claims that during routine maintenance such as brake relining, the right replacement parts are vital to ensure that original equipment (OE) manufacturer requirements are met, as well as compliance standards.
“Introducing parts that haven’t been engineered to OE standards into a braking system can lead to problems ranging from reduced performance levels to faster wear,” Ganaway said. “Not all friction marketed as acceptable under the RSD standards will actually perform to that level, which is why Bendix recommends that fleets seek evidence of compliance from their friction supplier when it comes to replacing the friction on their RSD-equipped vehicles.”
Additionally, Bendix added that fleets and owner/operators considering remanufactured brake shoes should choose providers that return the shoes to the shape engineered by their OE, as opposed to those that simply reline shoes with new friction.
Supporting Technicians’ Skills
Bendix claims certified technicians are vital to fleet safety efforts. The company encourages fleets to provide technicians with the most current and in-depth training and information available, and offering it in formats and at times that meet their needs.
The Bendix On-Line Brake School at www.brake-school.com was launched in March 2013 to provide regularly updated, detailed training resources.The site offers more than 50 comprehensive and interactive courses across a range of product topics, and has delivered more than 750,000 courses to more than 28,000 registered users.
Other Bendix technician support and education efforts include the in-person Bendix Brake Training School. In addition, through its Web site – bendix.com – Bendix also offers access to technical bulletins and service data sheets, along with free downloads of its Bendix® ACom® diagnostic software to help technicians diagnose and repair antilock braking systems (ABS), automatic traction control (ATC), and Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability systems.