CVSA focusing on brake linings, pads during Brake Safety Week

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, June 20, 2023:

Brake linings, pads to be focus of August’s Brake Safety Week

Brake linings and pads will be the focus of Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled for Aug. 20-26, according to an announcement from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

During Brake Safety Week, law enforcement officers will inspect brake systems and remove commercial motor vehicles found to have brake-related out-of-service violations from roadways until those violations are corrected. Throughout the week, CVSA-certified inspectors will conduct their usual inspections. However, they will be reporting brake-related inspection and violation data to the alliance.

“The focus of this year’s Brake Safety Week is on the condition of the brake lining and pad,” said CVSA President Maj. Chris Nordloh with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Brake lining and pad issues may result in vehicle violations and could affect a motor carrier’s safety rating.”

When inspectors conduct the brake portion of a Level I or Level V Inspection, they will:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose or cracked parts
  • Check for contaminated, worn, cracked and missing linings or pads
  • Check for S-cam flipover
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines
  • Check that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size
  • Ensure the brake system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa) and measure pushrod travel
  • Inspect for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer

During a recent unannounced brake inspection day, inspectors placed 679 commercial vehicles out of service in the U.S. A total of 5,901 vehicles were inspected in the U.S.

In last year's Brake Safety Week, 34,402 inspections were conducted and 4,664 -- or 13.6% of inspected vehicles -- had brake-related violations.

[Related: Unannounced Brake Safety Day nets nearly 800 out-of-service trucks]

4,900 Peterbilt 579s recalled over alternator cable issue

Paccar is recalling approximately 4,914 model year 2022-‘23 Peterbilt 579 trucks equipped with MX-13 engines and 160-amp alternators. 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents state that a fastener on the front spring bracket may have been installed with the head on the outside of the frame rail, which can chafe and damage the alternator positive cable, increasing the risk of fire.

Dealers will replace the frame fastener and secure the alternator cable, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Aug. 11. Owners can contact Peterbilt's customer service at 1-940-591-4220 with recall number 23PBD. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-423.

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Estes offering wellness app for drivers, employees

Estes Express Lines, (CCJ Top 250, No. 11) announced it now offers a digital-first fitness, health and wellbeing platform, Burnalong, that provides employees and family members with access to live and on-demand health classes and information across 60 categories, ranging from exercise to mental health and chronic health conditions.

Burnalong’s online platform gives employees the opportunity to schedule group classes together and offers company-wide challenges that encourage tracking of wellness habits (drinking water, going outside, eating vegetables, etc.) and class participation. 

“We want to be a leader in our industry when it comes to employee wellbeing, and this is another way for us to show that helping our employees thrive is a top priority for Estes,” said Sara Graf, Vice President, Sustainability, Culture, and Communications. “Burnalong is available to every full-time employee at Estes, and up to four family members, which ensures everyone can benefit from this wellbeing opportunity. We already offer a very robust wellness program through our HR benefits, and this new offering provides our employees with another way focus on taking care of themselves and their families.”

In early May 2023, Burnalong was distributed to Estes employees in staggered phases. As of June 6, 935 employees have activated their free accounts, and by the end of 2023, Estes hopes to have more than 3,600 employees as active users. 

“In addition to promoting a healthy workforce, there is a connection between safety and wellbeing. Data shows that accidents are less likely to occur when employees are physically healthy, well-rested and hydrated,” Graf said. “It's important for our employees who work non-traditional schedules to have options available to further their wellness journeys, and on-the-go programs like Burnalong allow them to take care of themselves on their schedule.” 

Estes will continue promoting the program through its Estes4Me app and by incorporating reminders on digital displays in all terminals. In the coming months to boost adoption, the company will offer an individual challenge to track hydration and encourage employees to enroll in group courses as a team.