ARE DRIVERS RIDING ON A TICKING TIME BOMB READY TO GO OFF?
The truth is, YES! Most drivers do not even know about the problem! The problem can happen to drivers without their knowledge of what even causes the problem when the brakes do not work. A lot of times the air brakes do not work correctly but could there be a hidden answer to the problem? A lot of times a driver goes to apply the brakes and they do not work or ever try to slow down a vehicle with air brakes. When this happens it causes the driver to have an accident. Accidents like going through a stop light and hitting another vehicle. Or if the driver is going down a hill this could be the driver ‘s last ride before they go over a cliff or even crash into a building. All because the driver applies the brakes and the brakes will not work!
What could be causing this to happen?
The malfunction like the one above could be caused by a lot of things in the air brake system, but the one that has had many, many recalls and bulletins over the years from the NHTSA is the (Air Control Foot Valve or the Treadle Valve). When this valve does not work correctly it could turn into a ticking time bomb!!
Is this a Driver’s Pre-Trip Inspection Requirement?
No, it is not in a driver’s pre-trip inspection to take the treadle valve apart and check it. The driver can look and inspect underneath the brake pedal the best the driver can and if the driver sees a problem in the plunger and the housing area they can report it to a qualified mechanic so they can address the treadle valve and plunger assembly but that’s only if they know what they are actually looking for.
How important is the Treadle Valve?
The Treadle Valve is the most important valve in the air brake system, it is the brain of the air brakes.When the Treadle Valve does not work correctly it can affect the rest of the air brake system. The Treadle Valve is the first valve that gets air from the air tanks of the vehicle. All the air that is supplied to the brakes goes through the Treadle Valve. WHEN THE TREADLE VALVE DOES NOT WORK THE BRAKE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK CORRECTLY!
What has been done to correct the problem?
In February 2012, CVSA put out a bulletin on this problem.
2012-02 — Brake Pedal (Valve & Treadle Assembly) Inspections (Created 02-01-12)
In February 2012, FMCSA accepted this bulletin into the road side inspections for all federal and state inspectors to check the Treadle Valve when doing a road side inspection.
In 2013 Fleet Safety Council of Ontario sent a bulletin to all their fleets in Canada.
By: Allan Powel