Why Does My Truck Need Brake Checks Every Year Now?
If you’ve been driving a truck or other heavy vehicles for a long time, you may remember a time when inspections weren’t quite as strict or stringent as they are now. One of the big shifts that happened recently regards the upkeep of brake systems, with new standards requiring a schedule of maintenance at least once a year. There are a few reasons for this, but today we’re just going to talk about two of them.
The first reason is straightforward, and plays a role more often than you would think: it’s simply a matter of quality. If you walk into a parts section of an automotive store, you’re going to find many more options than you ever thought, for almost any part on a vehicle that can be replaced – brakes included. And while competition for your hard earned dollars is good, you may find a wide range of prices waiting – and, unless you have a lot of money to burn, you’re likely to lean towards something on the cheaper side. While these cheaper brake pads/shoes will work, they may not work as well as something more expensive, because they are often produced or manufactured for as cheaply as possible – which may be here at home, or may be far overseas. This means quality control may not be effective, the component parts may be tainted or sub-par to begin with, or they may just get damaged during a long trip across an ocean. Our advice? Buy the cheapest brake pads at your own risk, because you’re likely to be paying again if they fail early.
The second reason that brakes have to be checked every year now is that the latest criteria of inspections for the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVIP) has changed. Inspections of years past included a cam rotation, lining thickness measurements, and push rod traveling, from which we could pinpoint the drum wear, even though we usually visually inspected the brakes through the hole in the backing plate. We only pulled drums if physical damage or the measurements indicated that we had to check for a defect in the wheel.
Now, though, CVIP standards say we must pull the brakes every year on various makes and models of equipment, in order to verify things like pad/shoe condition, drum wear, heat dissipation, and cracking to within one inch of the drum lip. As you can imagine, this causes us to replace many more brake parts, because the visual inspection is much more thorough.
As with any of these new regulations, it can be tough to stay on top of it all when you’ve got everything else in your job to worry about. That’s why it makes sense to leave it to the pros – especially the ones whose specialty is preventative maintenance and who are dedicated to keeping your rig running, operational, and compliant before the major problems appear. West Tech Mobile is that shop – and we look forward to helping you get the most out of your heavy equipment, trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles in Calgary!