LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bendix brand name has been agreed upon for the joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Corporation.
The new marriage will be known as Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC – a joint venture that combines the braking systems expertise of Bendix with the axle and brake integration capability of Dana. The agreement includes air disc brakes, air drum brakes, wheel-end brake components such as slack adjusters and spring brakes and hydraulic aftermarket brake products, Bendix officials announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“Product branding was of primary consideration throughout our transition process, and we chose to brand our products as Bendix to leverage its long leadership position in braking and its strong reputation for safety and innovation,” said Kishor Pendse, president of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake.
With the branding business taken care of, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake announced it’s field tests have significantly extended pad and rotor life for its air disc brakes. The test involved more than 300 tractors and trailers equipped with various disc brake combinations, with each unit accumulating more than 300,000 miles.
“With air disc brakes on all axles, it’s entirely possible to have truck brakes for life on many vehicle applications,” revealed Alf Siebke, product line director for air disc brakes with Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “Projections from our ongoing field tests demonstrate the possibility of trucks reaching up to three million miles on certain linehaul applications before requiring pad and rotor changes. We expect average vehicle will see one million miles of wear.”
While longer life expectancies combined with shorter stopping distances may make disc brakes a more appealing option for fleets and owner/operators, Pendse stressed the transition won’t happen overnight – even with the impending changes to NHTSA’s stopping distance regulations.
“We believe regulations alone are not going to drive air disc brakes,” he said. “Long-term the marketplace has to go to air disc brakes but it’s going to be a long transition like it was with passenger cars.” He predicts it will be 10 to 15 years before the North American trucking industry makes the switch to air disc brakes all around the vehicle.
Nonetheless, the company is forging ahead with air disc brake production in North America this year. Bendix’s existing Frankfort, Ky. plant has been equipped to produce disc brakes after the facility received a $3 million facelift. The starting capacity is 120,000 units per year.
“Bringing air disc brake production capability to North America demonstrates our commitment to this product line, which we view as the future of braking in North America,” Siebke announced. “By manufacturing air disc brakes here, it allows us to meet anticipated demand and helps to further reduce the overall cost to the end user.”
In other Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake news, the company has released a “wide brake” calculator designed to pinpoint the potential savings by upgrading to the company’s wide brake technology. The tool can be found online at www.foundationbrakes.com. The company says wide brakes feature an increased amount of wearable lining, which extends service life. In many cases, Bendix says one or more relines can be eliminated over the life of the vehicle by running wide brakes.
And Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake has also introduced a new automatic slack adjuster offering extended service life. Bendix officials claim their ASA-5 slack adjuster reduces the ingress of contaminants that cause premature wear-out. The ASA-5 also features new bronze bearing rings on the spline gear and more durable clutch geometry that also results in extended life expectancy.
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