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Bendix provides updates on US regulatory scene

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks are going to keep on coming, even beyond the impending GHG regs impacting model years 2014-2018 trucks.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks are going to keep on coming, even beyond the impending GHG regs impacting model years 2014-2018 trucks.

Addressing industry press at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Fred Andersky, director of government affairs with Bendix, said Phase 2 of the joint EPA/NHTSA greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy vehicles are already being discussed. They’ll affect commercial vehicles built after 2018. Andersky said a notice of proposed rulemaking should be out in 2014 or 2015, and this time, suppliers will be directly involved in the process.

“The good news is, from our perspective, is that the EPA and NHTSA are willing to talk to suppliers,” Andersky said. “Today, if we want to go in and talk about Phase 1, we have to go in with an OEM.”

“From what we have heard,” Anderssky added, “they are going to be more stringent than what we have had before. They want to get some of the technologies that are sitting on the shelf now, off the shelf and into use.”

Also on the regulatory front, Andersky said Phase 2 of the new stopping distance requirements for heavy vehicles is coming into place Aug. 1, 2013. This will affect all trucks not already included in the first phase of the regulation, which went into place Aug. 1, 2011. Most three-axle tractors were covered in the first phase, which resulted in the more widespread use of air disc brakes, as well as enhanced drum brakes.

“We didn’t just decide to build bigger brakes,” Andersky stressed. “We really put together a system involving larger drums, improved friction and even reinforced shoes.”

Because of that, Bendix said fleets and owner/operators must consider the changes their brakes have undergone when it comes time to reline them. This theme was continued by Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. He said high-performance brakes that comply with reduced stopping distance regulations, when relined with non-high performance friction material, won’t perform to the new standard.

“We’re putting so much force now into the brake to get the desired stopping distance, that we had to change a few things,” Ganaway explained. “The brakes will look as they always have, but the technology has changed drastically. When we look at foundation brakes, drums in particular have undergone the biggest change since we moved to non-asbestos friction 30 years ago.”

Testing by Bendix has shown that many aftermarket friction materials hinder the performance of the new generation drum brakes.

“Replacement parts for brakes has never been more important than it is now,” he said.

Andersky agreed, adding: “It’s up to the fleet, the owner/operator and even the technician to ensure that performance is going to continue. Just using the friction they used to use isn’t going to do it.”

Andersky also updated press on an anticipated NHTSA ruling that will require some form of collision mitigation system. The Agency is expected to announce a decision in 2014. Andersky said Bendix wants to be at the table, to ensure regulators bring in realistically attainable targets.

“We’re not involved in Washington to drive mandates,” he said. “Our role is that of the technology expert; we want to make sure the folks who are legislating these potential technologies know what they can do and what they can’t do.”

Another impending regulation is a stability control mandate, which is expected to be finalized next March. Bendix has seen steadily increasing demand for its electronic stability conrol system (ESC). It has now deployed 230,000 units, with a market penetration of about 17% of new vehicles.

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