How to Survive Brake Safety Week

August 25, 2016

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Airbrake / Brake Safety Week takes place September 11-17, and the law might be checking yours out.

Brake Safety Week is an annual week-long brake safety campaign when law enforcement and CMV inspectors conduct brake system inspections, primarily Level IV Inspections (a one-time inspection of a particular item) on large trucks and buses throughout North America to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system and anti-lock braking system (ABS) violations.

Inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. ABS malfunction indicator lamps are also checked. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke where applicable. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out of service.

Additional inspections may include some Level I Inspections and, in the 10 jurisdictions currently using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment, overall vehicle braking efficiency will be measured using a slow speed roller dynamometer that measures total vehicle weight and total brake force from which braking efficiency is determined. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by U.S. federal regulation and the CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria.

Use the FMCSA Brake Regulations 393.40-393.55 Inspection checklist to evaluate what maintenance procedures your shop needs to address before Brake Safety Week gets started. 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance ( offers these resources for drivers and mechanics: