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Bendix urges drivers to prepare for Brake Safety Week, offers checklist

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Brake Safety Week inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I inspection, covering a range of driver qualifications, documentation, and vehicle equipment conditions. Other brake system points of interest include mismatched air chamber sizes across axles, and warning device functionality, including antilock braking system indicator lights. (Courtesy: BENDIX)

ELYRIA, Ohio — On a single day this past May, nearly 1,700 commercial vehicles were taken off the roads of North America because of brake system safety violations: Consider for a moment if just half of those – or a quarter, or even just one – had been unable to stop in a critical situation because of a brake system that wasn’t in good operating condition. That kind of moment is exactly why Bendix (Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC) works to help fleets and owner-operators prepare for events like Brake Safety Week 2019, which will take place September 15-21.

Part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Airbrake, Brake Safety Week is an outreach and enforcement campaign that aims to reduce the number of crashes caused or made more severe by faulty brake systems on commercial motor vehicles. Inspections on large trucks and buses will be conducted by local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials in the United States and Canada. Bendix, a North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, supports the CVSA’s goals of improving vehicle safety throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“What’s at stake is more than just avoiding noncompliance penalties and out-of-service time – although those are certainly of importance,” said Barbara Gould, Bendix director of corporate communications. “The most important reason we stress preparation for inspection periods like Brake Safety Week is because drivers need to be able to depend on their brakes every moment of every mile. And even as advanced safety technologies like full stability and collision mitigation enhance a vehicle, those systems still require brakes in good working condition to support drivers and perform at their best.”

On May 15, during an unannounced inspection blitz in the United States and Canada, CVSA law enforcement members conducted 10,358 commercial motor vehicle inspections focused on identifying brake system violations. Of those vehicles inspected, 1,667 (16.1 percent) were placed out of service due to critical brake-related violations. This year’s Brake Safety Week includes a special focus on brake hoses/tubing. May’s inspections found 1,125 violations that included chafed hoses, and 124 that included kinked hoses. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data for the first half of 2019, brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking accounted for nearly 38,000 inspection violations.

“Hoses and tubing affect the performance of an entire braking system, so it’s important that they’re in good shape and free of kinks,” said Brian Screeton, Bendix supervisor for technical service training. “Checking their condition, positioning and connections should be a regular part of any visual inspection, both during pre-trip walk-arounds and in the shop. Additionally, we recommend that every driver makes performing regular 90- to 100-psi brake applications and listening for leaks part of their preparation before getting on the road.”

Other pre-trip and preventive maintenance items directly related to Brake Safety Week inspections include:

  • Daily visual checks for damaged or loose-hanging air chambers, pushrods or slack adjusters. (Note that slack adjusters on each axle should be extended out to the same angle: If not, it could indicate an out-of-adjustment brake or a broken spring brake power spring.)
  • Weekly checks of air disc brake rotors for cracks, and lining wear on drum brakes.
  • Monthly checks for moisture in the air system. (Contamination can lead to deterioration of air seals, brake-modulating valves, and brake chamber diaphragms, leading to system leaks.)
  • Regular greasing of S-cam brake tubes and automatic slack adjusters to prevent rust and corrosion.

Proper brake adjustment is also a part of CVSA roadside inspections and should be addressed in the shop in advance of the event. While air disc brakes include an internal adjustment mechanism, drum braked wheel-ends will need to have their brake stroke measured.

“Measuring the chamber stroke involves checking the distance from the air chamber to the clevis pin with the brakes released, and again after a fully charged brake application,” said Keith McComsey, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake director of marketing and customer solutions – Wheel-End. “Drivers can incur fines if the difference between those two measurements – the chamber stroke – is outside allowable limits on 25 percent of a truck’s wheel-ends.”

The Bendix technical support team has developed an infographic (shown above) to note differing maintenance needs of air disc and drum brakes.

Brake Safety Week inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I inspection, covering a range of driver qualifications, documentation, and vehicle equipment conditions. Other brake system points of interest include mismatched air chamber sizes across axles, and warning device functionality, including antilock braking system indicator lights. Fourteen Brake Safety Week inspection jurisdictions will also be using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) to measure vehicle braking efficiency.

In addition to short-term preparation for inspections, there are long-term paths available for ensuring healthy braking systems and properly functioning technologies.

The right wheel-end friction selection is one example: Not all replacement linings marketed as acceptable for federal stopping distance requirements will actually perform to the standard, and the wrong choice may lead to cracks, missing pieces or degradation – any of which can earn violations during a roadside inspection.

In addition, when replacing drum brake shoes, choose remanufactured shoes that have been coined back to their original OEM-engineered shape over those that have simply been relined. Even normal brake usage affects the shape of a shoe, and relining it – rather than coining – can lead to reduced stopping power and premature wear.

Because oil aerosols entering an air brake system can be particularly corrosive, Bendix advises using an oil-coalescing air dryer cartridge like the Bendix PuraGuard. Oil-coalescing cartridges can be used to replace standard cartridges, but never vice-versa.

“Today’s commercial vehicles and their safety systems are more proven and effective than ever – but it takes professional technicians and drivers dedicated to safer roads to help keep them running smoothly,” Gould said. “And there’s a lot to keep track of – that’s why our team works to support those efforts and shares its expertise through in-person programs and online resources: Because we’re shaping tomorrow’s transportation together, and everyone benefits when we’re all focused on safety.”

Through industry technical leadership, unparalleled post-sales support, and an ever-growing portfolio of technology developments, Bendix delivers on safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, supporting areas critical to fleets’ success. In striving to lower the total cost of vehicle ownership, Bendix helps strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology that enhance safety for all drivers and passengers who share North America’s roads.

For more information about Bendix air brake systems and technologies, call 800-AIR-BRAKE (800-247-2725) or visit safertrucks.com/solutions.

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Yokohama says latest regional-haul trailer tire ready for duty

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The 16/32-inch deep groove depth provides extra-long tread life. Also, Yokohama’s zero-degree belt – a cornerstone to its highly durable and retreadable casing – creates a consistently stable footprint for long, even wear. (Courtesy: YOKOHAMA TIRE CORP.)

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Yokohama Tire’s latest regional-haul trailer tire, the 114R Ultra Wide-Base (UWB), is ready for duty.

The SmartWay-verified 114R – the successor to RY407 – is available now in size 445/50R22.5. An additional size – 455/50/22.5 – will be offered in the first quarter of 2020.

“The 114R UWB is specifically designed to meet the demands of high-scrub operations,” said Tom Clauer, Yokohama’s senior manager of commercial and OTR product planning. “It features superior cut and chip resistance, extended tread life and is optimized for fuel efficiency.”

Other benefits of the 114R as listed by Clauer include:

  • Long-lasting performance: The 16/32-inch deep groove depth provides extra-long tread life. Also, Yokohama’s zero-degree belt – a cornerstone to its highly durable and retreadable casing – creates a consistently stable footprint for long, even wear.
  • Durable construction: Yokohama’s advanced compound offers cut and chip resistance without sacrificing rolling resistance or wear performance. Plus, funnel-shaped step grooves prevent stones and other debris from reaching the bottom of the grooves, where casing damage can often occur.
  • Outstanding fuel-efficiency: Ground contact pressure is uniformly distributed, which results in greater stability, flawless tracking and improved fuel efficiency.

For more details on the 114R and all of Yokohama’s commercial tires, visit www.yokohamatruck.com.

 

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Do you bling out your rig for the holidays? If so, send us a video!

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‘Tis The Season!

Do you deck out your ride for the holidays?  If so, please send us a picture or video to rigoftheweek@thetrucker.com

Courtesy: Eagle Excavating

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Advantage PressurePro releases Fleet TPMS consumer app

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Featuring 24/7 tire monitoring, five unique pressure/temperature alerts and local notifications for maximized coverage and safety, Fleet TPMS also offers fully configurable layouts and vehicle naming and storage. (Courtesy: PRESSUREPRO

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Advantage PressurePro Thursday released its Fleet TPMS app.

Leveraging PressurePro’s FX technology, and building upon its previously released and feature-rich consumer app, the launch of Fleet TPMS empowers fleet users to deliver real time tire performance monitoring for drivers and haulers of many types direct to existing smart devices, according to Edward Lutski, PressurePro’s director of technology.

Additionally, the launch of Fleet TPMS also enables a critical link for fleets to PressurePro’s Connect tire management platform, unleashing unmatched visibility and control of your tire management practices, he said.

Featuring 24/7 tire monitoring, five unique pressure/temperature alerts and local notifications for maximized coverage and safety, Fleet TPMS also offers fully configurable layouts and vehicle naming and storage, enabling complete customization and easy toggling between multiple trailers/units. Further, a rolling performance history log enables users to gain immediate access to recent tire performance data.

“While a powerful monitoring tool on its own, Fleet TPMS becomes even stronger when used as a link to provide data flow through our comprehensive software platform Connect,” Lutsko said. “When combined, customers unlock advanced monitoring tools to gain detailed and actionable tire performance insights across their entire fleet, giving them unmatched control of their tire management practices.”

When paired with PressurePro Connect, users also unlock email alerting capabilities, exportable tire performance history, automated tire performance trend analysis, and an easy to use dashboard that features prioritized data and actionable items, Lutsko said.

“As we have for the last 28 years, PressurePro continues to push the innovation of our market to provide maximized safety and savings for to every road our customers travel,” said Jason Zaroor, PressurePro’s president and CEO. “With the release of Fleet TPMS, and especially when paired with our Connect platform, we’re now able to provide a cost effective solution that provides complete visibility of ever tire in your fleet; in-cab to drivers, in the field to managers or to your office for controllers.”

Learn more about their full line of stand-alone and integrated TPMS options at www.pressurepro.us.  8

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