Brake shoes and drums can reach very high temperatures and take a long time to cool off! Once they've reached high enough temperatures to ignite the shoes themselves and any grease that may be in the area, the fire continues to re-ignite even after you've tried putting it out several times. The fire won't stay out until the brakes can be cooled down. So it isn't uncommon to hear about brake fires that end up burning the trailer to the ground because there wasn't enough water or fire extinguishers around to put the fire completely out. If you ever happen to see a tractor trailer with a brake fire, make sure the fire department is called. A fire extinguisher will not often be able to put it out.
Deaths from large truck crashes reached their highest level in 29 years in 2017, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
Fatalities from big truck crashes rose even though the overall traffic fatality rate declined, the agency reported.
Large truck fatalities rose 9 percent to 4,761, an increase of 392 lives lost over the prior year. About 1,300 of the deaths were truckers. The remaining 72 percent occurred in the other vehicle involved in the collision.
In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a 2 percent decline from the prior year. The dip reversed two consecutive years of increases. Preliminary estimates indicate the downward trend is continuing through the first half of this year, according to NHTSA.
By J.A. Clark, President, SafetyWatch Technologies, Inc.
When you’re evaluating the use of new reporting platforms, evaluate the deliverables of these platforms in terms of their completeness and your need.
The Jetsons – that fabulous and futuristic cartoon family of the early 60s – have indeed arrived. And they’re bringing with them more transportation technology than we could ever have imagined only 20 years ago.
But are we prepared to understand, participate in and manage all of the innovative technology touted out there? Can new technology help or be a pain? Will the information it delivers contribute to safety, help the driver, create a safer truck on the highway or help you in a court of law? Maybe the following information will help you evaluate and make good decisions about the transportation technology that’s now in front of us.
By J.A. Clark, President, SafetyWatch Technologies, Inc
Of the 20,000 trucks pulled over during CVSA's 2 or 3 Brake Safety Week, inspectors put 13.5 percent, or 2,700 trucks, out of service for brake issues. Keep in mind, this is what was found in just one week, and with only a fraction of trucks on the road inspected. How many trucks would have been put out of service had all of the trucks using the road been inspected during that week, or if we treated every week like Brake Safety Week? Extrapolating, we are talking about nearly 50,000 trucks on the road that could be put out of service for brake issues over the course of a year.
Key benefits of operating a truck with in-compliance brakes:
- Stop straight and within shorter distances.
- Experience more even tire wear, resulting in fewer change-outs.
- Knowing what each brake is doing means less wear on all brake components.
- Shave trouble shooting time by half an hour, by knowing which brake is bad right off the bat. This frees up your mechanic to check other issues that may require attention, providing a labor and parts cost savings.
- Reduce costs of tickets and fines, as well as downtime.
Or, let's suppose that those trucks weren't pulled over and put out of service, and instead, got into accidents. Check with any Loss payable Department or insurance carrier or Actuary and you'll find that a loss figure of r million dollars per accident is a conservative estimate. Particularly considering the expanded losses that the trucking industry would ultimately pay: Loss of payload, personal damages, 'damages to the environment from spillage, damage to highways and increased insurance premiums. Even for self-insured American Trucking Associations (ATA) members, it still costs a lot of money to repay the shared expenses pool. There is also the human equation-the potential harm that out-of-compliance brakes can cause to truck drivers and the driving public alike.