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Bendix: Fleets will decide how to meet new NHTSA stopping distances

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Bendix announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show that it will be up to fleets to decide how to ...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bendix announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show that it will be up to fleets to decide how to meet NHTSA-proposed stopping distances that call for a 20-30 per cent improvement.

The company said it will offer three solutions: all disc brakes; all drum brakes; and a combination of the two. Kishor Pendse, president of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, said a larger drum brake capable of meeting the new stopping distance requirements is currently undergoing field testing and will be available before the proposal becomes law.

However, he also said fleets are beginning to realize today’s generation of air disc brakes are far more effective than previous disc brakes.

“Depending on the application, there are a number of drum brake, disc brake and disc-drum brake compatible combinations from Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake that will provide safety, performance and overall value to meet the proposed stopping distance reduction,” announced Jim Clark, director, foundation drum brakes, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake.

Factors for fleets to consider when opting for a solution will include up-front cost, maintenance intervals, replacement parts, driver retention and vehicle application. Clark said there will be various philosophies on how to best meet the new regulations once the regulations are in place.

“In many applications, a vehicle equipped with air disc brakes on all axles will provide the optimum braking performance, including the shortest stopping distance, the least amount of fade and hysteresis, the most even wear and the lowest maintenance costs due to longer-lasting pads and rotors,” pointed out Alf Siebke, director, air disc brakes, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “Understanding fleets’ preferences, however, we continue to invest in drum technology and do not believe that drum brakes will ever be completely displaced by disc brakes.”

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