Friday, May 2, 2008

Check your antilock brakes before a trooper does

Originally Posted on Fri, May 02 2008 @ 2:32 PM [EST]



I found this on the J J Keller web site and thought it was some good information.



Check your antilock brakes before a trooper does

Antilock brake systems (ABS) began appearing on commercial vehicles more than a decade ago. When working properly, ABS is designed to prevent skidding and wheel lockup and help drivers maintain control during emergency and low-traction stops. This in turn helps prevent jackknifing and loss of vehicle stability.

But according to a recent analysis of 1,000 vehicle inspections by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), one of every six power units and one of every three trailers is operating with defective ABS.

Those alarming statistics are one reason enforcement personnel are now paying more attention to ABS during inspections, and one reason you should make sure this important safety feature is operational on all your commercial motor vehicles.

The indicator
Because ABS only activates under specific operating conditions, drivers would have difficulty knowing whether they are functional if it weren’t for the malfunction lamps. Located on the instrument panel of trucks and buses and the left exterior of trailers, the amber ABS malfunction indicator lamp burns steadily if there is a problem with the system.

The ABS conducts a self-test — and the lamps turn on momentarily — whenever power is initially applied. A vehicle defect and possible violation exists if an ABS malfunction lamp fails to turn on at all, or turns on and stays on. State and federal
inspectors are beginning to pay more attention to these self-tests, and motor carriers and drivers should do the same, repairing any systems that indicate a defect.

Which vehicles?
Not all commercial motor vehicles on the road today are equipped with ABS. Refer to the following table to determine which vehicles need ABS and indicator lamps under the requirements of 49 CFR §393.55:

Vehicle Type: Truck or bus
Brake Type: Hydraulic
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1999 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1999 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Truck tractor
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1997 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1997 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Single-unit truck or bus; trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: Before March 1, 1998 ABS Required? No
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1998 ABS Required? Yes

Vehicle Type: Trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 1998 ABS Required? Yes, and must
have exterior ABS indicator lamp.

Vehicle Type: Trailers and converter dollies
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 2001 ABS Required? Yes, and must be capable of transmitting ABS signal to towing vehicle.*

Vehicle Type: Towing vehicles
Brake Type: Air
Manufacture date: On or after March 1, 2001 ABS Required? Yes, and must
have ABS indicator on instrument panel for towed vehicle.*

*Note that on a towing vehicle manufactured on or after March 1, 2001, connected to a trailer manufactured on or after March 1, 2001, the ABS indicators (on the instrument panel) for both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle should illuminate during the self-test. The lamp will not illuminate if a towed vehicle is not attached, or if the towed vehicle is older than March 1, 2001.

Older vehicles may have a variety of ABS types, or none at all, that operate in a variety of ways.

Check your antilock braking systems today and every day, before an inspector does it for you!

Comments

An ABS light on is no big deal..I really don't care if it is on or not..I just care about if the brakes are adjusted properly..I could take a tractor brand spanking new and find something wrong with it if I wanted too..There is always something wrong with a truck..Do you want to sit?..Is the other question..As long as I feel safe driving the vehicle I don't care what a dummy light says..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, May 03 2008 @ 7:11 AM [EST]

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