As the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC supports the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Roadcheck program, which this year takes place June 4 to 6. Sharing the CVSA’s commitment to safer vehicles and roadways, Bendix stresses that highway safety begins well before any vehicle hits the road through proper maintenance, regular inspection, the use of genuine replacement parts and technician training.
Roadcheck – the largest targeted commercial vehicle roadside inspection program in the world – was founded in 1988 with the goal to improve safety on North America’s roadways. According to CVSA, during the Roadcheck 72-hour inspection period in 2012, approximately 9,500 CVSA-certified inspectors at 2,500 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico performed an average of more than 1,000 inspections per hour. One in five vehicles inspected was found with a violation serious enough to be considered an imminent safety hazard, CVSA says.
Since Roadcheck’s inception, more than 1.2 million vehicles have been inspected, and CVSA estimates that more than 220 lives have been saved and 4,000 injuries prevented.
“Roadcheck encourages fleets and owner-operators to take proactive measures while off the highways, and by doing so, make significant contributions to vehicle safety on the highways,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix Director of Government and Industry Affairs, and Director of Marketing – Charging.
For truck and bus fleets, as well as owner-operators, Bendix outlines two levels of maintenance that are key to safety for commercial vehicles: the thorough review afforded by regularly scheduled preventive maintenance; and pre-trip visual inspections by drivers, who should check for obvious problems such as loose hoses and leaks.
“The CVSA has noted that brakes have been cited as an associated factor in more than 29% of commercial motor vehicle crashes, so the importance of paying careful attention to brakes during these inspections cannot be overstated,” says Gary Ganaway, Director of Marketing and Global Customer Solutions for Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB).
BSFB is a joint venture of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products LLC.
During foundation drum brake service, fleets should check for lining wear and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding adjustment of slack adjusters. Adjustments will differ depending on the manufacturer. Air disc brakes require less maintenance, as most are sealed for life. The primary inspection concern for air disc brakes is pad wear.
“Helping to keep commercial vehicles on the road and in good working order is a round-the-clock effort at Bendix, through at-the-ready post-sales support options, our dedication to providing technicians and companies with the most current and in-depth training and information available, and ensuring that genuine Bendix replacement parts meet OE requirements,” Andersky says. “Our industry’s safety efforts rely heavily on the know-how and experience of certified technicians.”
The Bendix On-Line Brake School offers anytime access to Bendix’s knowledge database and technical resources, including a dynamic menu of video segments and other training tools. Technicians can also reach Bendix’s ASE-certified Service, Warranty, and Training (SWAT) team experts through 1-800-AIR-BRAKE.
In addition, Bendix strongly recommends that fleets and technicians maintain vehicles using original replacement parts for best performance and compliance results.
“Brakes, like other commercial vehicle components, always function at their best when replacement parts are held to the specific standards engineered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs),” Ganaway says. “Performance issues and other problems often occur when non-OEM parts are introduced into a system.” Particularly in the case of relining today’s higher performing drum brakes – designed to meet federal reduced stopping distance requirements – incorrect or inferior replacement friction material is likely to reduce performance, wear out faster, and create a safety hazard. Replacing with high performance friction is essential.
The ever-growing portfolio of Bendix technology developments delivers on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets’ success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency while providing unparalleled technical support, Bendix strengthens its customers’ return on investment in the advanced equipment and technology that leads to safer roadways for everyone.