ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake is warning customers against the use of non-OE friction material when replacing linings on Bendix brakes.
The company says it has tested and analyzed stopping distances on a variety of aftermarket friction products and that in the new reduced stopping distance era, OE friction material is safest.
“We have invested millions of dollars in R&D to develop new brake designs that meet and exceed the government mandate for reduced stopping distances on new vehicles. Since these vehicles will continue to share our roads after servicing, it’s vital that we help fleet operators make informed decisions to maintain that same high level of safety and performance,” said Eddie Wilkinson, president of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake.
In August 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated a 30% reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) up to 59,600 lbs. Phase two of the mandate, aimed at tractors with two axles, as well as severe service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs, takes effect Aug. 1, 2013.
“We spend a great deal of time talking to our fleet customers, and through that ongoing dialogue have come to realize some general misunderstanding exists concerning maintenance of the new High Performance brakes,” said Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions for BSFB. “Bendix wants to make sure the industry understands the impact on stopping distance, so we conducted testing and analysis to demonstrate the potential trade-off in performance.”
Ganaway said the longtime standard test for certifying brake linings, FMVSS 121, is no longer adequate in a RSD environment. Most linings that pass the dynamometer requirements don’t meet today’s requirements, he said.
In testing, Bendix said its own RSD-compliant vehicle using Bendix High Performance ES (extended service) brakes stopped in 215 ft at 60 mph, well under the 250-ft. limit. However, it said none of the comparison friction used in the relining of RSD brakes met the new requirements. The worst of them had a stopping distance of 311 feet, 45% worse than the Bendix OE lining, the company claims.
“When our engineers develop brake systems, they also specify the friction material as an integral part of each design. Prior generation friction material formulations available throughout the industry are simply not engineered to this same performance standard,” Ganaway said. “To avoid confusion and potential risks to safety, we strongly encourage replacing friction like-for-like when relining Bendix High Performance ES Brakes. By doing so, fleets will have the peace of mind that comes from maintaining braking capability, helping to mitigate risk and achieve an attractive return on investment.”