Bendix Brake Products Meeting Reduced Stopping Distance Requirements

Brake products from Bendix are performing as expected to meet the NHTSA's reduced stopping distance regulation, the first phase of which took effect in August 2011.

Bendix brand braking solutions developed and manufactured by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB) are performing to expectation since the implementation of the federal reduced stopping distance regulations last August. In addition to giving heavy trucks the capability to stop within the required distance, the higher performing brakes have been smoothly integrated into fleet operations, while providing significantly more braking power for emergency situations. 

The company has been continuously tracking feedback from fleets and drivers of the new, higher performing version of its Extended Service drum brake (Bendix ES brakes), introduced a year ago to meet the new stopping distance requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). BSFB reports that field complaints make up less than one-tenth of a percent of the total brake production.

“We’re pleased with how the product is performing,” says Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “Reduced Stopping Distance was a six-year development program for us, and we’re happy to report that the product is performing as we intended. It’s meeting our customers’ needs for a safe, low-maintenance, high-value brake that offers more than enough stopping power. As we go into phase two of the NHTSA mandate, the field experience findings for the High Performance ES brake give us confidence that we won’t have to significantly change the product.”

NHTSA requires a 30% reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) up to 59,600 lbs. and produced after the August 1, 2011, implementation date. Tractors with two axles, as well as severe service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs., must comply with the new mandate by August 1, 2013.

Higher performing versions of the company’s popular Single Anchor Pin, ES drum brakes are available in a variety of sizes for steer axle applications. They are engineered to develop the increased torque necessary for shorter stops. In addition, they sustain that torque, which reduces brake fade and allows shorter stops. The brakes achieve this performance through a combination of the ES brake’s existing features and design enhancements.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC, also produces the popular Bendix ADB22X air disc brake. The patented air disc brake is a lightweight air disc brake design proven to significantly reduce stopping distance and extend brake system life for commercial vehicles.

In addition to significantly reducing stopping distance for commercial vehicles, Bendix air disc brakes are proven to virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power; provide a passenger car-like feel; and permit straight, stable stops. Bendix air disc brakes also offer longer brake life and fast and easy pad replacement, improving uptime for fleets. Extensive field experience has validated the superior performance advantages of air disc brakes relative to stopping distance, pad and rotor life, and brake fade.

The Bendix ADB22X air disc brake and the High Performance ES brake are part of BSFB’s complete lineup of proven wheel-end solutions that meet and exceed the new federal stopping distance requirements.

“We want to offer the best braking solutions in the industry – the best in performance, the best in reliability, the best in safety – while offering the lowest operating costs,” Ganaway says. “In this new environment of increasing focus on safety, which includes shorter stopping distances and closer monitoring of fleets and drivers, we provide the industry’s widest range of solutions so our customers can make the best choice for their operations.”

The company’s brake solutions are part of Bendix’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus four other areas critical to fleets’ success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important than ever today, as fleets not only must meet new stopping distance requirements but also operate in the challenging environment of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), rising fuel costs and federally mandated emissions standards.

As phase two of the NHTSA stopping distance mandate approaches in 2013, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake has been meeting with customers to develop testing plans and timelines, along with application matrices based on what the company envisions the product lineup will be. The company has also appointed a project leader and put an executive committee in place to direct phase two activities.