Putting the Brakes On
How the right trailer brakes improve safety and save money
While there is plenty of attention today on advanced safety systems like collision mitigation and roll stability, safety starts with spec’ing the right brake for your application. While drum brakes have been the tried and true brake of choice in the North American trailer industry, advancements in air disc brake technology can offer improved stopping distance and reduced maintenance costs in the long run.
The Hendrickson MAXX22T™, for example, has been specifically tuned to match the performance needs of a typical North American trailer and is approved for brake performance in 20,000-pound applications or up to 23,000-pound applications with the appropriate tire static-loaded radius. The optimized design makes the MAXX22T™ brake less aggressive when the trailer is empty, maintains high-speed torque levels for a positive brake feel and is not overly aggressive during panic stops when the load shifts to the tractor, which lessens the probability of ABS cycling. Hendrickson’s RTR® Ready-To-Roll® wheel-end packages are available with three-, five- or seven-year warranties, depending on what the customer chooses to spec. Hendrickson’s HXL7 package features a 7-year limited warranty.
Spec’ing the right trailer brake can also help you save in other ways. The Hendrickson MAXX22T™ air disc brake system saves 100 pounds per tandem trailer compared to a similar drum brake configuration. Additional weight savings can be achieved with Dura-Light Hub.
The Hendrickson MAXX22T™ is also less susceptible to brake over-stroke and the potential compliance problems that accompany it, making these brakes an increasingly attractive option. Hendrickson offers a full range of air disc brakes for wheel sizes varying from 17.5 to 24.5 inches for trailer commercial vehicle systems.
Don’t confuse brake fade with brake wear: An air disc brake that does not fade may achieve better stopping power during panic stops, but wear may not be optimal in certain brake-intensive applications where the disc brake takes on more work to compensate for the fading drum brake.