Are you spec’ing the right brake pad for your regional haul applications?
September 25th, 2019
Navigating cramped city streets, crawling through traffic congestion, staying alert to keep pedestrians safe—regional haul trucks place big demands on their braking systems.
Navigating cramped city streets, crawling through traffic congestion, staying alert to keep pedestrians safe—regional haul trucks place big demands on their braking systems. As advanced driver assistance systems seek to improve safety, spec’ing the latest and greatest technology could all be for not if your spec’ing the brake friction that could fail unpredictably, leading to disastrous consequences.
“It’s your responsibility to put a safe truck on the road,” stressed Montu Khokhar, NUCAP’s chief executive officer. “Your brakes are the most important safety component in your vehicle—it is critical that you buy brake pads that meet OEM specs.”
Khokhar explained that in the regional haul space truck applications range from 14,000 lbs. to 33,000 lbs. OEMs factory fit brake pads that feature mechanical attachment.
Friction material presses against the rotor of your wheel end. This friction material is attached to a steel part known as a backing plate. The friction material and steel backing plates are attached in one of two ways, either through adhesives or through mechanical attachment. Truck brakes experience tremendous heat and high shear loads. High heat accelerates the breakdown of the adhesive and leads to the complete separation between the friction material and braking plate and brake failure. Without mechanical attachment, brakes will fail to operate as necessary, resulting in less effective and dangerous braking.
Consider how much heat is generated by a Class 6/7 truck weighing up to 33,000 lbs.
“Most OEMs will not approve adhesive-based brake pads for these weight ranges of vehicles and neither should the aftermarket” Khokhar said. “Mechanical attachment at the interface layer of the friction and steel backing plate is required to ensure delamination cannot happen.
“The OEMs spend millions of dollars and undertake hundreds of hours in testing the brake system to ensure that it will not fail under any conditions,” he continued. “Given the lack of any standards in the aftermarket, it is critical that you do your due diligence when buying replacement brake pads to ensure they meet the OEM specifications, which is almost always with mechanical attachment. An easy way to tell is if the brake pads have mechanical attachment, ask for non-painted, galvanized brake pads.”
Spec’ing a brake pad that features mechanical attachment can ensure your trucks will stop when your driver expects them to, and allow you to reap the ROI of ensuring a brake pad lives a long, safe productive life that doesn’t fail before you expect it to because the friction is crumbling off of the backing plate.