Trucking companies and drivers are responsible for their brakes.

Regulations covering breaks and break maintenance are:

> As a general rule, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require that all motor carriers “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained,” all motor vehicles under its control, and all “parts and accessories must be in safe and proper condition at all times.” (CFR 396.3(a))

> CFR 396.3(b) also requires that for all vehicles which the motor carrier controls for 30 consecutive days or more, the carrier has to maintain detailed records for each vehicle” including “a record of inspection, repairs, and maintenance showing their date and type,” including review and repair of brake systems.

> The FMCSA also requires all drivers to complete a post-trip inspection report in writing at the end of each driving day. If any problems are found, the carrier has to certify in writing that any listed defect or deficiency has been repaired or that immediate repair is unnecessary. The motor carrier must maintain an original copy of the report for 3 months, (CFR 396.11)

> CFR 396.17 mandates that all commercial vehicles must undergo, at a minimum, a thorough inspection at least once a year. A copy of the report must be maintained for 14 mos.

> Specifically with respect to brakes, CFR 393.40 – 393.55 contains detailed technical regulations about specific brake parts and systems and how they’re to be maintained.

> CFR 393.40(a) – “Each commercial motor vehicle must have brakes adequate to stop & hold the vehicle or a combination of vehicles. Each commercial motor vehicle must meet the applicable service, parking, and emergency brake system requirement provide in this section.”

> There are different technical requirements and regulations for services brakes, air brake systems, electric brake systems, vacuum brake systems, surge break systems, parking brakes, emergency