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Bendix provides pointers on successful inspections during 2014 Roadcheck June 3-5

Bendix encourages truck and bus fleets and owner-operators to pay careful attention to braking systems. In 2013, braking systems accounted for nearly half — 49.6 percent — of the out-of-service violations issued during Roadcheck. Brake system violations made up 30.1 percent, while brake adjustment violations totaled 19.5 percent. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

5/30/2014

ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix Commercial Vehicle systems LLC says preventive maintenance and pre-trip visual inspections are two things that will assure drivers pass with flying colors during the upcoming Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2014 Roadcheck June 3-5.

For this year’s Roadcheck, Bendix emphasizes the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, with a focus on brake systems, careful selection of replacement parts and technician education and support.

Roadcheck — the largest targeted commercial vehicle roadside inspection program in the world — was founded in 1988 with the goal of improving and promoting safety on North America’s roadways. In 2013, more than 10,000 CVSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations, completing 73,023 truck and bus inspections during Roadcheck’s 72-hour campaign.

“Last year, one in five vehicles inspected was placed out of service due to a violation serious enough to be considered an imminent safety hazard according to CVSA,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “Bendix shares the CVSA’s commitment to safer vehicles, which is why we strive to equip fleets, drivers, and technicians with the tools they need to run safely on our roadways.”

Roadcheck has led to the inspection of more than 1.3 million vehicles since its inception. CVSA estimates that more than 220 lives have been saved, and more than 4,000 injuries have been avoided as a result.

To help ensure the safe operation of commercial vehicles, Bendix stresses two levels of maintenance. One is preventive maintenance — the regularly scheduled, thorough review of the vehicle. The other is the pre-trip visual inspection, in which drivers check for loose hoses, leaks, and other obvious problems.

Bendix encourages truck and bus fleets and owner-operators to pay careful attention to braking systems. In 2013, braking systems accounted for nearly half — 49.6 percent — of the out-of-service violations issued during Roadcheck. Brake system violations made up 30.1 percent, while brake adjustment violations totaled 19.5 percent.

 “A thorough examination of brake lining thickness and condition is vital to both safety and regulatory compliance,” noted Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB). “Cracked or worn linings may not provide the stopping power necessary to maintain effective braking power, and brake lining inspections play a role in Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring.”

Correct chamber stroke is just as important as compliant brake linings, Bendix officials stated. Wheel-ends beyond the maximum allowable brake stroke are considered out of adjustment, and under CVSA inspection guidelines, drivers can incur fines if 25 percent of a truck’s wheel-ends are out of adjustment. During Roadcheck 2013, approximately 3,700 vehicles were put OOS because of out-of-adjustment brakes.

“If you’re a fleet or driver operating vehicles with automatic slack adjusters, remember this: Do not manually adjust the adjuster,” said Mark Kromer, engineering and product manager for slack adjusters at BSFB. “While there are several factors that can cause a brake stroke to be beyond the maximum allowable value, none of them can be fixed by manual readjustment of the automatic slack adjuster. The key is to discover the cause.”

Bendix strongly advises fleets and technicians to maintain vehicles using proper replacement parts — ensuring that they meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements — for best performance and compliance results. Commercial vehicle components function at their best when replacement parts are held to the specific standards engineered by OEMs. Performance issues and other problems often occur when parts not meeting OEM standards are introduced into a system, according to a Bendix news release.

“Relining today’s higher performing drum brakes is an important example,” Ganaway said. “Replacing with high performance friction — designed to meet federal RSD requirements — is essential. Incorrect or inferior replacement friction material is likely to reduce performance, wear out faster and create a safety hazard.”

Because not all replacement friction marketed as acceptable under RSD will actually perform to the standard, Bendix advises fleets to ask for evidence of compliance from their friction supplier when replacing the friction on their RSD-equipped trucks.

To help fleets and drivers ensure that their replacement friction meets all safety and performance standards after brake relining, in 2013 Bendix introduced Bendix Advanced BA202R — the commercial vehicle industry’s first aftermarket friction certified to maintain RSD compliance. Bendix Advanced Friction is designed to provide higher torque and perform in higher temperatures with less fade.

Fleet safety efforts rely heavily on the knowledge and experience of certified technicians, who are best served with the most current and in-depth training and information available – offered in formats and at times most convenient to them.

Bendix helps to meet the industry’s training needs in a number of ways. One is the Bendix On-Line Brake School at www.brake-school.com, a free online site offering anytime access to Bendix’s knowledge database and technical resources, including a dynamic menu of video segments and other training tools.

The company opened brake-school.com in March 2013. The school, which is international in scope, already serves over 18,000 registered users, with new participants signing up weekly. Drivers, technicians, distributors, fleets, and owner-operators are turning to the online school for the most current and in-depth training available.

Bendix Brake Training School is one of the industry’s longest-running training programs. Among other tools, the company offers field-tested sales and service professionals; a 100 percent ASE-certified field technical support team; and the Bendix Tech Team (at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE), an expert technical support group providing service advice, brake system troubleshooting, and product training.

Through these efforts and its ever-growing portfolio of technology developments, Bendix delivers on areas critical to fleets’ success: safety, product performance, value, and post-sales support. Bendix aims to help fleets and drivers lower total cost of vehicle ownership and strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology, improving safety for everyone sharing the road.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America.

For more information, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit www.bendix.com. To learn more about career opportunities at Bendix, visit www.bendix.com/careers.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC combines and expands the complementary wheel-end foundation brake technologies of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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