Unlocking Cardlock: Accessing Fuel Stations

Cardlock fuel stations often look like a parking lot with gas pumps arranged like they are social distancing. The sites are unmanned and even lack pricing signage. But why are these filling stations arranged just so? The answer is surprisingly simple. They are functional and efficient and therefore have no need to be particularly dazzling.

The types of vehicles using these sites are typically large. They’re not your everyday motor vehicles one might see parked in driveways in the suburbs. Instead, they’re the types of vehicles that don’t get parked at home and are often part of a fleet. Work trucks, courier vans, box trucks, buses, limousines, and semi-trucks are all familiar at fuel stations. Commercial vehicles like these can weigh tens of thousands of pounds and take up enormous amounts of space. Retail gas stations are not always easy for these drivers to access, if not impossible. Plus, many of these utility vehicles have specialized fuel requirements only available at cardlock sites.

Site Location and Accessibility

Most cardlock fueling stations are found off highways or major roads. This makes them both easy to find, convenient to get to, and accommodating for commercial vehicles. Spacious lots give drivers plenty of room to safely navigate their vehicle. While many retail stations have covered areas to provide both lighting and shelter, fuel station locations may forgo a cover or roof solution. This is because usually commercial vehicles take up a lot of space vertically! To cater to the most vehicles, stations will refrain from putting up any types of barriers that might prevent a large vehicle from using their location. Again, access to fuel sites is essential to welcoming drivers.

Fuel Card Exclusivity

Cardlock sites frequently don’t have fuel attendants and only show prices at the pump itself. These fuel stations can only be used by drivers with specific fuel cards. In fact, some pumps don’t dispense, or are locked, until unless the right fuel card with the proper control settings is accepted, which is where the term ‘cardlock’ comes from. Therefore, sites don’t need to have pricing publicly displayed because they aren’t catering to retail customers. While fuel card exclusivity is the case for the majority of cardlock stations, some locations do take credit cards. These locations will generally skip pricing skip pricing displays still to limit retail traffic.

Phone booths, restroom facilities, extras

Cardlock stations are unlikely to have a convenience store, sometimes called a c-store, and other amenities due to their remote locations. However, sites may have a phone booth and restroom facilities. Telephone booths are frequently left over from the pre-mobile and smartphone days.

Jubitz Cardlock Sites

Jubitz has fuel stations in Oregon and Southwest Washington along with its robust main campus in North Portland. Our cardlock stations offer a variety of different fuel types like non-ethanol, unleaded E10, biodiesel, and off-road diesel, to name a few. DEF at the pump is also available at select stations. Please review our map to see what is available at each location.

The simple set up of fuel stations caters to its very specific audience. While their straightforward layout can seem plain, they’re perfect for fuel card members. These customers know precisely what they need and are able to access these sites at their convenience. If you are looking for a fuel card provider, reach out to Jubitz at  1-800-523-0600 or click here.

Sulfur in Diesel: ULSD, Biodiesel and More

Sulfur is a staple in all diesel products available, but what does it mean for you? Is it good for your vehicle? Let’s take a look at the different levels of sulfur in diesel products and how it affects your equipment.

What is Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel?

Since 2010, U.S. regulations require all pumps to dispense ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) instead of low- sulfur diesel (LSD). Along with this, all vehicles made after 2007 are only compatible with ULSD due to the reduced sulfur content. ULSD contains 97% less sulfur compared to LSD, which makes the diesel safe to use with newer emission control mechanisms in modern vehicles. Higher sulfur content is harmful to these systems. Sulfur is not only bad for engines, but also is one of the leading pollutants in diesel exhaust.

 

Is Biodiesel Ultra-Low Sulfur?

Biodiesel is a fuel made from plant or animal products and results in less pollution than traditional diesel. It must meet the same ULSD standard for total sulfur to comply with EPA regulations. Therefore, biodiesel generally it contains even less sulfur than ultra-low sulfur diesel. While there are small differences between biodiesel and traditional diesel, they do not pose a danger to your engine when you go to the pump. In Oregon, all diesel sold at the pump is at least 5 percent biodiesel (also known as B5).

Is Off-Road Diesel Ultra-Low Sulfur?

Off-road diesel, or dyed diesel, is also ultra-low sulfur. It still complies with the EPA environmental requirements and will not damage engines. However, do not fuel your highway vehicles with it, as it can only be used with equipment that will not be driven on public roads. This equipment can include generators, construction equipment or other diesel-powered machines. To learn more about off-road diesel, check out our blog about clear and red-dyed diesel.

If you still have questions about what diesel products are right for your vehicles, reach out to our staff at 800-523-0600 or fuel@jubitz.com and they’ll be happy to answer any further questions you have.

Understanding Dyed Diesel Fuel

The world of diesel fuel products is expansive, so we’re demystifying dyed diesel in this blog post. Regular, clear diesel fuel is readily available at almost all fuel stations across the United States. It’s a common option and referred to by many names. You might hear it called regular diesel, auto diesel, highway diesel and on-road fuel. But what about it’s red-dyed sibling? Like clear diesel, there isn’t one standard industry name. People say red diesel, dyed diesel, colored diesel, and off-road diesel. Whether you’re a vehicle owner, operator or just plain curious, keep reading to learn about the purpose of off-road diesel.

Comparing Diesels

Clear and dyed diesels perform the same. While some clear diesels are tinted, they are not as deeply pigmented as red diesel. The red dye in off-road diesel simply distinguishes it from regular diesel. This distinction is important because dyed diesel is an untaxed fuel option. It’s use is strictly for off-road, non-highway purposes. In contrast, on-road vehicles use regular diesel which is subject to fuel taxes because they use government-funded infrastructure like public roads and highways.

Taxes on Diesel

City and state governments can implement fuel taxes. The funds they raise often help support the department of transportation. You will see this reflected in varying on-road diesel prices at cardlock stations. In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation website states that, “Oregon’s fuel taxes are used for the creation, preservation and maintenance of Oregon’s transportation infrastructure.” For this reason, using off-road diesel in commercial vehicles is a form of tax evasion which is illegal. Discussing your vehicles and diesel usage with tax and fuel consultants is the best way to ensure compliance.

Dyed Diesel Applications

Some people refer to off-road diesel as farm diesel, but it’s not limited to agricultural use. You often find dyed diesel at construction sites. Common off-road equipment include diesel-powered tractors, construction equipment, yard trucks and generators. While these vehicles can’t be driven to the pump, fueling service companies typically offer on-site mobile fuel delivery. Customer Service Manager of Jubitz Fleet Services, Liz Valesca, explains that, “At Jubitz, we generally deliver off-road diesel to organizations with tanks that fuel diesel equipment and we do fuel off-road vehicles and equipment. We also have designated cardlock stations with dyed diesel which can be highly convenient for our customers.”

Due to off-road restrictions, when people purchase dyed diesel they usually fill a small tank. Alternatively, people purchasing at a pump may be put dyed diesel in refrigerated trailers that qualify as off-road because the trucks pulling them are fueled with on-road diesel. Smooth fleet operations mean having fuel when and where you need it. If you’re ready to learn more about Jubitz’s fuel services and how they can benefit your operations, reach out! Give us a call at 1-800-523-0600 or click here for more information.

Find Yourself the Right Trucker Headset

Aside from and ELD and motor vehicle, one of the only other pieces of equipment a trucker needs to have on the road is a trucker headset. States are responsible for regulating the use of headsets, earphones, or headphones, while driving. AAA’s Digest of Motor Laws reports that while some states have no laws permitting the use of headsets while operating a motor vehicle, others allow only one-ear headset devices to protect driver and pedestrian safety.

Interfering with a driver’s focus and ability to hear their surrounding environment can be dangerous. Distracted driving can cause accidents and prevent drivers from noticing emergency vehicles and other critical surroundings. So, even if you’re a trucker driving even in a state without headset rules, recognize the seriousness of distracted driving and consider opting for a single-ear device.

Man wearing trucker headset

Image from BlueParrott

For those who spend significant time on the road, a complete ban on headsets would be problematic. Thankfully, the one-ear exception allows for easy, necessary communication for truckers while also prioritizing safety. But, after dismissing two-ear headset models what should you look for in a trucker headset? We explore attributes and performance indicators for on the road headsets designed for trucking and fleets.

Sound Quality

Even if you aren’t a professional trucker, you probably know how difficult it can be to hear people when in a moving vehicle! Noise cancellation power proves essential in trucker headsets as it reduces the level of ambient noise you hear when using the headset. At the Jubitz Truck and Service Center, we carry BlueParrott trucker headsets. Three of their B-series line of models have 96% noise cancellation power!

Battery Life

Truckers on the road for hours upon hours require a headset with serious battery power. As battery life will be impacted by the headset’s usage, even if a headset has a long standby time, you want to ensure you have ample talk time. Headset usage typically sees a mix of standby time and talk time in a day. Choose a model that has an adequate ratio of talk time and standby time that will fit your needs.

Wearing Style and Weight

Headsets, as opposed to earphones or headphones, have a single, over-the-ear design that meets driving regulations. The wearing style refers to how you physically wear the device. The most common styles include over-the-head, around-the-neck, and convertible. All are made to be functional and comfortable so it’s more of a personal preference as opposed to performance indicator. The weight of the headset is also something to consider. Over-the-head models tend to be slightly heavier and around-the-neck models must be more sensitive of the neck as it bears the brunt of the headset weight. While the neck and shoulders are filled with strong muscles, you don’t want to strain or overuse them.

Voice Control and Bluetooth

Technology continues to change ordinary experiences like talking on the phone. BlueParrott’s glossary explains that Bluetooth is “a standard for the short-range wireless connection” of electronic devices. Gone are the days of wired connections and tangled cords. Instead, Bluetooth powers connectivity and enables tools like voice control. Using spoken commands to control headset functions allows for a more hands-free experience and improves safety.

Smartphone systems are also frequently included with software that allows the device to be voice controlled. Headsets with voice control are becoming more common, but currently considered a more premium feature. Voice control capabilities will typically increase the range of wireless connectivity. Increased range means you can stray farther from the device your headset connects with which isn’t always a necessity but can be a plus.

Man wearing trucker headset

Image from BlueParrott

A high quality trucker headset is an important investment. With so many trucker headsets available, it’s important to consider the many attributes and features. If it’s a good product, manufacturers typically offer to provide an extended warranty. Headsets are no exception here! Make sure you’ve purchased one that can take all the bumps and knocks of the road. Sound quality, battery life, style, weight, along with Bluetooth and voice control capabilities are all considerations to contemplate. While this list is not all-encompassing, it hopefully gives you a good starting point! When you’re ready to buy, call us at (503) 289-9645 or come into the Jubitz Truck Service Center and let our professionals get you set up with a BlueParrott, Rand McNally, or other headset.

Living a Healthy Trucker Lifestyle

A healthy trucker lifestyle is within reach. Finding happiness within a career takes time and flexibility. Many drivers we chat with share about their love for traveling and seeing the country firsthand. Some enjoy the solitude of being alone out on the open roads. Still others find the work extremely rewarding. After all, truckers deliver America’s goods cross country to keep our lives going as we know it! But the reality of the trucking lifestyle can be significantly less warm and fuzzy. Keeping your mental and physical wellness in check while on the road can be a challenge, so we’ve outlined five ways to live a healthy trucker lifestyle.

Sleep

A good night’s rest will help your health. Your quality of sleep directly relates to all facets of your well-being, behavior, and cognitive performance. The saying ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ isn’t far off. Lack of sleep results in a variety of health issues. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion shares that, “Fatigue and sleepiness can reduce productivity and increase the chance for mishaps such as medical errors and motor vehicle or industrial accidents.” The brain craves adequate time to recharge, just like your body needs rest after a workout, otherwise you’re left susceptible to illness and injury.

As a driver, you may not be able to maintain total consistency with a scheduled sleep time, but it’s a good idea to try. The Sleep Foundation also suggests creating a relaxing bedroom environment by “using a white noise machine or earplugs to drown out loud noises,” and keeping the temperature around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Looking for a white noise app? Try Relaxio. Climbing out of the cab’s sleeping berth and getting sleep in a bed from time to time while on the road can be small luxury. If you’re in the Portland, OR area, the Portlander Inn is a convenient, economic, and comfortable option!

West Tower King Jacuzzi Hotel Room | Portlander Inn

Meditate

Mindfulness and meditation have existed for thousands of years, and for good reason. Out on the road, you have plenty of time to think deeply but you also might find yourself focusing on stressors. Truckers frequently deal with stressful driving situations, and like all people, have work, family, and other things that can interfere with their wellbeing. Taking the time to slow down, relax and release distracting thoughts are all good ways to help relax your mind.

Meditation can feel awkward and uncomfortable when you get started. Thankfully, with smart phone technology at your fingertips, there are plenty of different apps that you can use. Having an app guide you through a meditation session can help you unwind and get in the right headspace. Calm is a popular app and sometimes available from your health insurance provider. Other options include MyLife, a free, personalized solution. Apps can also introduce you to other mindfulness techniques like deep breathing which many also find relaxing.

Bring a Companion

While most over the road drivers like having space and alone time, everyone has a limit. Humans are social creatures after all. Some drivers have partners that will accompany them on trips and even co-pilot, but this isn’t always feasible. One way to get a healthy dose of interaction is to get a pet! A companion on the road with you won’t necessarily make you a healthy trucker, but it can improve your quality of life. Trucker dogs, and even cats, are popular within the trucking community. Having a pet on the road with you certainly comes with its own challenges, but the companionship can make it worth it.  Some truck stops and hotels even accommodate your furry friends. At the Jubitz Truck Stop we have a dog wash station for your pup and the Portlander Inn has designated pet-friendly rooms.

Eat Well

Finding balanced dining options might be the biggest health-related challenge drivers face. When you’re on the road and trying to get to places on a schedule, it’s understandable to utilize fast options. Fast food, unsurprisingly, is readily available and satisfies the desire for hot food quickly. This convenience can take a toll on folks trying to be a healthy trucker. We’re not going to be unrealistic and say to cut fast food out completely! By nature, total deprivation doesn’t typically support long term goals. Instead, consider making small changes. Here are five ideas:

Bonus, some of these tips will also help you save some money too!

When ordering, menus sometimes include nutritional information about the dishes. At the Cascade Grill, we offer healthy choices under 500 calories like Triple Citrus Chicken! This can be helpful if you’re trying to manage your caloric intake. Ready to whip your eating into shape? Like the slogan says, there’s an app for that. Both free and premium apps are available to track your food habits. MyFitnessPal is a popular option.

Triple Citrus Chicken | Cascade Grill

Move Your Body

There’s no way to write an article about health without mentioning physical activity. After a long day of driving, it can be hard to find the motivation to move. Luckily, staying active doesn’t have to be a grueling punishment to your body. Getting out of the cab and taking even a fifteen-minute walk in fresh air will make a difference. Stretching and strengthening muscles that might get neglected during the drive will also keep you nimble. While you don’t need any equipment to get moving, a jump rope and small dumbbells travel well and offer a source of cardio and strength training.

If you’re looking for more ideas, again, your smart phone is your friend. Access apps and videos that can guide you in an equipment-less workout, yoga flow, or other activity. If you’re treating yourself to a hotel, find one that has a designated fitness area! The Portlander Inn has an indoor workout space however current COVID policies are limiting its use. When it is open, it’s only $5 to use for non-Portlander Inn guests and free with a stay. Other environments include the dance floor at the Ponderosa Lounge and Grill, the great outdoors or even your truck! Here’s a seated yoga video.

Fitness Room | Portlander Inn

Holistic health can seem difficult when you live a life on the road but working in a few healthy habits at a time will help them stick. There are resources in all areas of health available nowadays, so if you need professional help in any of these areas you can find it. As truckers and drivers, it can be challenging to prioritize health. Implementing small changes to your routine will be rewarding for your mind and body and ensure you can do the work you love while living a healthy trucker lifestyle. Jubitz campus offers driver-friendly amenities and services like fresh food options, a dog wash station for your pup, the Portlander Inn hotel and more.

This article includes links to third party organizations. These resources are provided as educational references. Jubitz is not being sponsored to promote them. The Portlander Inn, Cascade Grill, Ponderosa Lounge and Grill are all entities under the Jubitz Corporation.

Taking on Tax Season with a Fuel Card Program

Getting everything in order to file taxes can be quite a challenge for businesses of all sizes. For organizations running fleets, having a cardlock account can help you keep track of tax-relevant information year-round. Access fuel card reports and data to help you prepare for tax season and audits as well as gain a better understanding of your tax expenses.

Designate Cards to Specific Vehicles

A great benefit to a fuel card program is that you can designate cards to specific vehicles. For fleets running tax-exempt vehicles, you will be able to fill up at cardlock fueling stations without incurring taxes. Instead of paying these taxes and then receiving a rebate later, you will see the tax break at the point of sale. Overall, this helps you decrease the cost of business operations during the year and improves your cash flow.

Itemized Data

Even if you haven’t set up vehicle-specific cards, your fuel card transaction data will be itemized. This way, you can see the breakdown of city and state incurred taxes by product. If you later realize your vehicle is tax exempt, then you have the numbers to confirm your overpayment. Additionally, having the city and state and product tax information can help you better plan routes. You can also identify which products are costing you the most based on the jurisdiction of the fueling station.

Digital Reporting Tools

If, by chance, you do end up getting audited, you have a digital paper trail to help match up what is being reported. Instead of having a physical paper trail that might takes ages to track down and sift through, digital tools empower you to efficiently pull reports and get numbers when you need them. At Jubitz, fuel cardholders gain access to Pipeline 4 Fuel, an online module that allows you to access your data to export into Excel-friendly documents. Of course, we have customer service representatives available to assist you too and we can run a myriad of custom reports to best suit your reporting needs.

Jubitz Fuel Cards | Jubitz Fleet Services

Having these data sets available makes organizing your paperwork less stressful. Managing bite-size, monthly chunks of data can be easier than taking on spreadsheets full of data from a whole year. Keeping a close eye on reports also alerts you to out-of-the-ordinary data too, so you can act fast. Whether you’re getting ready to file your taxes or you’re getting audited, you know you are supported by your fuel card program. Learn more about the Jubitz Fuel Card Programs today by reaching out at 1-800-523-0600 or click here.

Disclaimer: This information is for informational purposes only and does constitute as tax, accounting or legal advice. You are responsible for consulting your own tax, accounting and legal advisors.

The Basics of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is becoming a necessity for diesel truck owners as older vehicles, pre-2010 trucks, grow obsolete. All new trucks are required to use this fluid so that their emissions control systems will work. This begs the question, what exactly is DEF and what does it do?

Understanding DEF Use

While DEF is not new, it has been recently made far more important for diesel drivers. DEF is the main companion to the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that were mandated by the EPA. Simply put, these two pieces work together to help reduce dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, from polluting the air. Instead, an SCR-equipped engine will first catch particulates through a filter, and then spray the remaining exhaust with the DEF. The exhaust and diesel exhaust fluid are then changed from those pollutants into harmless water and nitrogen. With all these steps in place, those large black exhaust clouds are a thing of the past!

Buying DEF

Even though DEF has become mandatory for those driving new trucks, it is still not very convenient to refill it. Usually, one would find DEF only available in 2.5-gallon jugs at gas stations or truck stops around the country. This can be inconvenient and can end up costing you more at the end of the day. Along with these traditional options, Jubitz is happy to offer DEF at the pump, making refilling as easy and convenient as refueling your tank. Now, drivers can have options that best suit them, whether stocking up on DEF or filling up their tank.

Tips for Fleets

We currently offer these services at the Jubitz Truck Stop for retail customers and are expanding access to DEF at the pump to our cardlock customers as well.  DEF is now available at our sites in Washougal, Vancouver, and Portland. We also deliver bulk DEF in drums and totes in the greater Portland Metro area and Southwest Washington.

What are Fuel Cards and Who Uses Them?

Business gas cards, or fuel cards, unlock a network of services for cardholders including access to exclusive savings on fuel costs. Minimizing total fuel costs directly affects your bottom line! In industries with tight margins, any smart ways to save should be explored. When choosing a fuel card program, you want to ensure it has a strong customer services team behind it. The right fleet customer service team will help you save by streamlining and adding value to your business operations.

Fleet of White Vans

Myth: Fuel cards only work for big fleets.

While fuel cards are sometimes referred to as fleet cards, not all businesses running multiple vans, trucks or other vehicles will consider themselves truckers, drivers or even in fleet operations. Some companies might not have a designated fleet manager. If this is the case, the business owner is left to juggle this additional responsibility. Fuel costs are typically a huge expense, but finding a solution doesn’t have to be complicated. If your organization operates five or more vehicles and you require 2,000 gallons of fuel or more each month, you’re likely to benefit from using a fuel card.

Myth: Only truckers use fuel cards.

Fuel cards work for a variety of industries that might not seem alike in any way, but all require fuel to keep their business going. So, whether you run a fleet for plumbing, residential moving, towing, food distribution, farming, construction, courier service, excavation, waste management or other operation, you should consider utilizing fuel cards. Fleets receive discounts on diesel to purchase fuel through specific merchants. In the simplest terms, a fuel card is the physical card one uses to pay with at the pump. But, bigger than the card itself, it is a strategy for fuel management. Controls help ensure your card is only being used by your drivers on fuel, giving you peace of mind. You can also control and limit spending on these cards.

Diesel-Powered Construction Loaders

Fact: Fuel cards will help streamline your operations.

When you have a fuel card, you can also capitalize on the other fleet management tools and services provided. The team behind the scenes can do the heavy lifting for your cardholding organization by recordkeeping and doing other administrative tasks. This can further decrease your operation expenses and lift stressors off whoever handles the fleet responsibilities in your organization.

Fact: Jubitz offers more than a fuel card.

Jubitz card members experience the best-in-class fuel management solutions. Our fleet services team does everything from generate fuel reports, increase security by monitoring and more. These activities enhance your business by managing your fleet data. Ultimately, we help get you the fuel you need while lowering your costs and improving your overall fleet performance.

Fuel cards on their own are a tool used as a fuel management solution. As a cardholding member, you will see total fuel cost reductions. Plus, you have a dedicated team to help you analyze your spending and usage data. This allows you to better manage both your fuel spending and fleet operations. To learn more about Jubitz fuel card offerings, give us a call at 1-800-523-0600 or click here.

Employee Customer Service | Jubitz Fleet Services

Tire Chains Versus Tire Socks

In North America, the winter trucking months bring harsh driving conditions that can require tire chains or tire socks. While many companies advertise the sale of these devices, few explain the differences between them. Truckers know that even if the weather gets a little rough, the drive must go on. So, when faced with the potential of weather emergencies, choosing the right equipment is vital.

Tires on Ice with Snow Chains

The Basics

Both these devices have a handful of names: tire chains, snow chains, traction chains, tire socks, snow socks, and auto socks to name a few. Ultimately, most folks in truck service centers will know what you’re talking about, so it doesn’t matter what you call them. All these names start to tackle the purpose and use of these devices.

Tire chains and socks help increase traction on snow and ice. Traction is a force that generates motion and is why tires and even tennis shoes have treads on them. You want a good grip between the road and your tires when driving because without it you’ll slide around! Bad weather conditions can interfere with the traction needed to drive safely. Tire socks are textile-based wraps, whereas tire chains are metal chains in cable or link designs that go around a vehicle’s wheel according to tire diameter and tread width. Both come in a variety of sizes and styles and are typically sold in pairs.

EasySox Tire Socks applied to vehicle wheels

Traction Device Usage

A major difference between chains and socks are their regulated use. Transportation authorities can regulate the use of tire chains and go so far as enforcing their use during certain months, requiring vehicles to have them on hand and even restricting their usage. In contrast, tire socks are not always considered a legal equivalent to chains, however some brands are individually approved.

Due to material variances, using tire socks without metal components can be allowed in areas where chains may not be permitted, but this depends on local laws. This means that drivers who experience challenging road conditions in a no-chains zone can potentially still use socks to improve traction. Tire socks are also generally less damaging to roads which can make them preferable. The Jubitz Truck Service Center carries EasySox brand of tire socks.

Driving Precautions

When driving with either device though, driving speeds must be significantly reduced. Different chains and socks will recommend various maximum speeds, but they typically fall anywhere between 20-30 mph. Lower speeds are also to be expected in poor weather conditions when sight might also be impaired.

Damage to tires and personnel may occur when installing or using either device incorrectly. It’s critical to get the right fit and type of chains and socks for your vehicle. Be sure to double check the sizing and get assistance if you need a second pair of hands. If you’re in the Portland area or driving through, the Jubitz Truck Service Center has a selection of both chains and socks! Learn more here.

Jubitz Tire Service Center

Top 6 Reasons for Truck Brake Failure

Each year, more than 4 million roadside inspections are conducted for commercial vehicles. While it is critical to the safety of yourself and others to keep your truck up to code at all times, many drivers get hit with brake-related violations more than anything else. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will conduct their annual Brake Safety Week from August 23rd to the 29th.

 

How truck drivers can prepare for Brake Safety Week

Brake-related violations account for almost 15% of all commercial vehicle violations in 2019, and an ounce of prevention will keep your truck on the road rather than being parked by inspectors. The first step is knowing what to look for. These are the top six brake issues that truckers come across…

 

1. Brake imbalance

Simply put, imbalance in your truck’s braking system is when one or more brakes are exerting more or less force than the others. This happens when you have mismatched parts, or an error in the pneumatic system applying air pressure unevenly. Brake imbalance is one the most common causes of jackknifing your vehicle

2. Brake overheating

Overheating of your brakes can sometimes be a result of the above point, but the top culprit is drivers using poor braking techniques while traveling downhill. This greatly reduces the life of your brakes, and can cause temporary malfunction to control your vehicle speed.

3. Faulty suspension

A misconfigured suspension system can wreak havoc on your brakes by causing similar issues to brake imbalance. Softening your suspension could reduce stress on brakes and also result in a smoother driving experience on the road.

4. Trailer overload

Even the best kept, newest brakes on a truck cannot withstand excessively heavy loads. The breaking distance required becomes far too great, resulting in unnecessary on your braking system. Even one trailer overload is enough to cause brake failure. Don’t risk endangering the public highways for a load larger than your truck can handle.

5. Hose chafing and kinking

Last year, the CVSA discovered chafing and kinking of brake tubes as a top violation.

6. Lubrication

Any vehicle that undergoes a harsh winter should reapply lubricant both before and after the season. Inadequate lubrication of your caliper pins, clips, mounting tabs, and brake back sides can make your brakes wear much sooner than expected.

 

Truck maintenance is ongoing

Faulty breaks don’t happen overnight. It’s often due to an oversight. Make truck maintenance a regular procedure so that you are always in the clear with DOT regulations. Violations can increase your CSA score by as much as 10 points, becoming a not-so-pretty ding on your record. Fleet managers can take the initiative as well, by implementing a more robust fleet safety programChecking your breaks with each oil change is a great habit that’ll save you big time down the road.


The Jubitz Truck Service Center is open 7 days a week so that you pass brake inspections before August 23rd.