Tractor Protection Tips for Seamless Roadside Inspections

Date: June 18, 2024

Nancy Rigby, BITCO Home Office Technical Specialist, Risk Control

Stay Road-Ready

Tractor protection systems are critically essential vehicle components that frequently go unnoticed during trip and roadside inspections. During these inspections, officers ensure that the towing vehicle protection system (tractor protection system) operates correctly, particularly in the event of trailer separation.

Tractor Protection and Anti-Bleed Back Systems

A commercial motor vehicle's tractor protection system consists of a tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve, and anti-bleed back valve. Inspectors should evaluate all valves appropriately during a driver's pre-trip inspection and an inspector's roadside inspection.

Tractor Protection Systems Inspection

During the inspection of tractor protection system components, the inspector will:

  • Ensure the wheel chocks are still in place and have the driver release all the brakes by pressing dash valves.
  • Have the driver carefully remove the gladhands and allow air to escape.
  • Ensure the air stops leaking from the supply line with at least 20 psi remaining.
  • Listen and feel for any leaking air at the gladhand couplers on the trailer.
  • Request a full-service brake application from the driver.
  • Listen and feel for leaks from both lines of air.

System Recommendations

Proper Equipment: Use only equipment specifically designed to transport cylinders safely.

Secure Handling: To prevent accidents, ensure that the valves are securely closed, and that valve protection is applied. Additionally, always transport cylinders upright with the valve facing upward.

Avoid Mishandling: Do not drag, drop, roll, or lift cylinders by their valve protection, and never transport damaged or leaking cylinders.

If evaluating these valves is not part of your driver's pre-trip inspection, consider adding it. For more jobsite safety tips, contact your BITCO Risk Control Consultant. Click the button below to find an agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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