In September, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) held its annual Brake Safety Week, conducting roadside inspections to ensure the safety of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in North America. To maintain brake safety and compliance, consider utilizing fleet technology to improve efficiencies.
2019 Brake Safety Week Results
From September 15-21, CVSA enforcement officials took to the roads to conduct brake safety inspections on CMVs across North America. Vehicles with critical brake violations or other critical inspection issues were restricted from travel until corrections were made.
The mission of Brake Safety Week is to lower the number of accidents caused by defective brake systems by conducting roadside inspections and educating operators on the importance of proper brake systems. This year’s focus was on brake hoses and tubing.
During CVSA Brake Safety Week 2019, inspectors conducted over 34,320 roadside inspections in North America. Of those, 4,626 CMVs had critical brake-related violations and were placed out of service.
Of the 13.5% of vehicles with brake-related violations, many violations were due to hoses and tubing. Over 2,500 vehicles had chafed rubber hoses, and over 1,300 vehicles had chafed thermoplastic hose violations.
While this week-long initiative highlights the importance of properly functioning brake systems, over 4 million comprehensive roadside inspections are conducted each year. Ensuring your entire fleet is operating in safe working condition helps avoid fines, downtime and accidents.
To improve asset safety and compliance, many fleet managers are turning to technology to maximize efficiencies. Fleet management software streamlines inspections and improves preventive maintenance (PM) practices.
Brake Safety and Compliance
A fleet manager’s top priority should be ensuring the safety of their vehicles, drivers and the public. When developing brake safety procedures, ask yourself whether your current fleet management practices are efficient and helping you maintain compliance.
Having an organized system of record is the first step to guaranteeing compliance. If a state or federal agency conducts an inspection on one of your assets, you must be able to produce a detailed log of inspections, hours of service and other standards to prove compliance.
Unfortunately, paper logs are often incomplete and can get damaged or misplaced easily. Instead of using paper logbooks, consider leveraging fleet technology to compile all fleet safety data.
This level of organization helps easily prove your fleet’s compliance to the authorities, but it also enables you to track the health of your vehicles, identify and resolve issues quickly and create service schedules.
Leveraging Technology to Improve Inspections
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Alliance (FMCSA) requires CMVs to conduct Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). Performing DVIRs not only help your fleet maintain compliance, but they enable your drivers to identify and address any vehicle issues.
Fleet managers face two main challenges when it comes to inspections: ensuring drivers complete thorough inspections and receiving inspections results promptly.
Paper DVIR is a time-consuming process that many drivers breeze through to get back on the road, and any issues recorded on paper aren’t immediately communicated to the fleet manager.
Going digital with electronic DVIR (eDVIR) empowers your drivers to complete thorough inspections through a simple mobile app. Inspection results are uploaded into a central location, and fleet managers are notified of any vehicle issues in real-time to solve issues quickly.
When it comes to brake safety, your drivers should be thoroughly checking for chafed or worn hoses, air leaks or improperly joined tubing. They should also make a note of any missing, loose or broken hardware on the brake system.
Switching to digital inspection forms reduces the time your drivers spend filling out inspections and eliminates the information gap between drivers and fleet managers. With eDVIR, drivers can communicate issues quickly and clearly, even adding comments and photos to each inspection item.
Having a thorough, organized inspection process allows you to manage issues effectively and aids drivers in complying with safety regulations. Striving to have full compliance across your fleet not only helps you avoid fines and suspensions; it also helps you maximize uptime and proactively manage maintenance.
Streamlining the Brake Maintenance Process
Brake systems aren’t cheap, and when you’re working on a tight budget, it’s important to get the most out of your parts while still maintaining compliance. A strong preventive maintenance (PM) schedule is the key to extending the lifespan of a vehicle’s brake system.
Going by the manufacturer’s guidelines to PM tasks is a good strategy, but because asset utilization varies from fleet to fleet, it’s important to leverage inspection results when managing maintenance and creating service schedules.
With fleet management software, failed inspection items can be linked to work orders, allowing managers to track maintenance from its start to finish. For fleets that outsource maintenance, Maintenance Shop Integration streamlines external repair order management digitally.
Managing your fleet through software gives you a comprehensive look at the health of your assets, allowing you to plan maintenance ahead of time. A proactive stance on preventive maintenance maximizes the lifespan of your assets and keeps them safe on the road.
By leveraging fleet reports, you can analyze when certain items, like brake hoses, start to fail based on historical asset utilization data. Fleet technology also forecasts when service is due based on a vehicle’s average usage, further aiding your maintenance efforts.
Adhering to inspections and PM schedules effectively identifies and resolves issues, ensuring your vehicles are safe and compliant on the road.