Checking the Brake Chamber
Check for audible leaks.
The chamber must be mounted with no visible cracks, damage, or missing parts.
The brake chambers on each end of an axle must be the same size.
Make sure none of the brake chambers are loose.
Brake Hose & Tubing
This applies to all air lines – The brake hose to the chamber, the Service or Supply Line from the tractor to the trailer, or brake line under your trailer that feeds the brakes on the tandem.
- Check for audible leaks or sounds. Any sound indicates a leak and Out of Service (OOS) Order.
- Multiple hoses and tubes should be held together with a spacer and not tape – Tape implies a repair to a hose which is an OOS.
- All hoses and tubing cannot have any damage that extends through the outer reinforcement ply. If you can see the inner tube it is an OOS but any cut, slash, or pinhole that cuts the outer lining still counts. Just because you can’t see the inner tube doesn’t mean that the damage doesn’t go through.
- There cannot be any swelling or bulging of the hoses and tubes. This indicates the inner tube is ruptured, compromising the hose the same way if the outer lining was damaged.
- Look for any damage by heat, brakes, or crimping that will restrict air flow.
- Hoses should not be in contact with other parts of the vehicle, especially those that can generate heat.
- Make sure the air line that supports the brakes on your sliding tandem are no less than 18 inches off the ground and held up by at least two springs. There should also be no foreign objects hanging from these lines.
Labor Day marks the end of the summer driving season. Millions of drivers will be hitting the road today to head home after their last summer getaway.
As always be safe by making safety first. Anticipate delays – you know you can be caught in traffic, don’t become frustrated if it happens. Don’t drive while you are aggravated or upset. If the delay is getting to be too stressful, find a safe place to park and take a break.
Don’t speed. It dramatically increases your chance of an accident and doesn’t really save any time. A 200 mile trip at 55mph will take just over 3 ½ hours. The same 200 mile trip at 65mph will take just under 3 ½ hours. The 15-20 minutes you may save isn’t worth the risk.
The gear to select for descending a grade should be no higher than that required for ascending the same grade. Some vehicles may require lower gears going down than going up. Know your vehicle.
Know the speed limit or maximum safe speed and put the truck in the proper gear before starting downhill. When maximum speed is reached, apply the brakes just enough to feel the vehicle slow down. Once the vehicle has slowed down by 5MPH – this should take about 3 seconds – release the brakes. Repeat this braking as needed.
Don’t use hand lever to apply only trailer brakes. You could overheat trailer brakes and not have enough capacity in tractor to control speed adequately.
Use provided brake check areas located near mountain summits and tops of steep grades to verify that your equipment and vehicle is in proper working condition. Stop, put truck in proper gear and check brake function before descending long, steep grades.
Never try to downshift while descending grade. You may not be able to get into gear and may end up in neutral.
Speed and Curves
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the road. If you take a curve too fast, two things can happen. The tires can lose their traction and continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road. Or, the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a high center of gravity can roll over at the posted speed limit for a curve. Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve. Slow down as needed. Don't ever exceed the posted speed limit for the curve (the posted limit is for 4-wheelers not Commercial Vehicles). Be in a gear that will let you accelerate slightly in the curve. This will help you keep control.
This Labor Day Weekend, as we celebrate the traditional "end of summer", include safety in all of your activities.
When driving, wear your seat belt; do not use your cell phone (not even hands-free), and never text and drive.
If operating a motorcycle, be vigilant and wear all of your personal protective equipment.
When boating, always wear your personal flotation device and don't drink alcohol if you are at the controls. Never swim alone.
Apply risk management techniques to all of your activities: identify the hazard, assess the risk, and take actions to mitigate or eliminate the risk. A good real-time risk decision can make all the difference.
Be a professional driver by watching out for your fellow trucker, family, friends, and loved ones as you celebrate.
Inspect Your Brakes Everyday!
- Approach the vehicle: No leaks or anything hanging loose.
- Tug Test: Apply parking brake (yellow valve), gently try to move forward; make sure brakes hold. Do same with trailer (red valve).
- Service Brakes: Pull forward and apply brakes firmly. Report unusual pulling or delayed stopping action.
- Air Compressor: Correct cut out between 120 -135psi. Cut in between 20-25psi below cut out pressure.
- Air Leakage Rate: Air system fully charged, brake valves in, key on, apply brake pedal. After initial drop, pressure loss no more than 4psi in 1min.
- Low Pressure Alarm/Signal/Spring Brakes: Pump down brakes; signal comes on when pressure goes below 60psi. Valves pop out (spring brakes apply) 20-40psi.
- Air Pressure Build: Engine 1000rpm; pressure builds to 85-100psi within 3 min.
- Hoses/Couplings: No cracks, chafes, or leaks.
- Slack Adjusters: No broken, loose, or missing parts. Angle between push rod and adjuster arm slightly past 90 degrees with brakes released (also when pulled by hand no more than 1” of movement). Not less than 90 degrees when brakes are applied.
- Brake Chambers: No leaks, cracks, or dents. Securely mounted.
- Brake Drums: No cracks, dents, or holes. No loose or missing bolts. Lining shouldn’t be rusting.
- Air/Electrical Lines: No audible leaks. No cuts, chafing, rubbing, tangled, pinched, or showing of inner lining. Glad-hands/Pigtail firmly seated in place.
- Air Tanks: Free of moisture and debris.
- Check Brake Lights: Weight on, or stick between Brake pedal and seat; brake pedal is depressed. Do a visual check.
After any accident, regardless of the severity of the damage, you must exchange information with any other involved drivers, witnesses, passengers, property owners or any other involved party. When possible collect this information before the police arrive.
Always be certain to gather and record the following information:
- the other driver's or property contact’s full name
- contact information (telephone number / address)
- driver’s license number
- insurance company
- vehicle insurance policy number
- the full name and contact information of the owner of the other vehicle or property if it is different
- the other vehicle’s license plate numbers
- the vehicle information (year/make/model/color/VIN) of the other car
- the DOT # and company name if applicable
- Names and badge numbers of any police on the scene
- If you have a camera (even if it is just your cell phone) take pictures of the accident scene area and damages to vehicles from all angles
Vehicle Inspection Reports
Complete the pre-trip and post trip inspections using a routine to help ensure you check all safety related items and identify defects. Document the inspection on your DVIR and note completion in your log. Remember that any safety-related defects must be repaired prior to placing the vehicle in service, or next dispatch. Send in a Macro 14 and notify breakdown and your DM of the issue so they can help resolve the problem on a timely basis.
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