Responding to customer demand, in 2005, Bendix took the strategic step to launch production of the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake – a first in North America. Today, the North American trucking industry’s leading air disc brake (ADB) has vaulted over the 2-million-unit production mark as fleets and owner-operators adopt ADB technology in ever increasing numbers.
The ADB22X – which features a lightweight design that significantly reduces stopping distance and extends brake system life – has been meeting the industry need for reliable, high-performing, and high-value air disc brakes since its launch.
More than 20% of North American Class 6-8 air-braked wheel-ends are now equipped with ADBs – a 50% increase in overall market share since 2013 – and the ADB22X accounts for the majority of that share. Since 2009, Bendix’s annual production levels for air disc brakes have risen substantially.
In 2016, Bendix expanded its ADB product portfolio by introducing an air disc brake designed for trailers. The Bendix ADB22X-LT trailer air disc brake is the lightest-weight trailer ADB system in North America. Though created specifically for trailers, the ADB22X-LT is based on the same proven, successful platform as the ADB22X tractor brake. Since last year, sales of the ADB22X-LT have increased 50%.
“The entire team at Bendix is proud to reach this milestone,” says Nicole Oreskovic, Product Line Director for Air Disc Brakes at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB). “It further confirms that the brake’s proven performance and return on investment – more than 10 years and millions of road miles have demonstrated its worth – are meeting a critical need for fleets and OEMs, while contributing to safer roadways for everybody.”
BSFB, a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC, produces the Bendix ADB22X and Bendix ADB22X-LT air disc brakes at its wheel-end manufacturing operation in Bowling Green, KY.
Commitment to Air Disc Brakes
Bendix recently added a new ADB line at its Bowling Green facility, as a response to the escalating industry demand for its air disc brakes. The line is part of the company’s continuous commitment to support fleets, owner-operators, and truck manufacturers with ADB technology in every way possible – including meeting and exceeding demand.
Bendix also has introduced an easy-to-use online value calculator to help carriers determine whether air discs are the best option for their business. The new Bendix ADB value calculator, available at ValuebyBendix.com, is designed to help fleets understand what savings opportunities are available if they spec all-wheel ADB22X air disc brakes on their tractors and ADB22X-LT on their trailers.
In addition, Bendix continues to invest in resources to advance, manufacture, and support air disc braking systems. Over the last 3 years, the company has doubled the size of its North American-based engineering team, adding employees in research and development, as well as technical and field support. Bendix has also substantially increased its testing capabilities and capacity.
“Our unflagging commitment to providing technology leadership to the North American ADB market paved the road to the 2-million-unit production mark and will keep us on the growth path going forward,” says Keith McComsey, Director of Marketing and Customer Solutions at BSFB. “From the development of the ADB22X-LT trailer brake and ADB value calculator, to continual dialogue with fleets and OEMs, Bendix is dedicated to advancing disc brake technology – and putting drivers in the safest trucks possible. From our experience, it’s been very powerful to provide fleets with tools and information to fully understand the total cost of ownership benefits provided by ADB.”
Benefits of ADB
A lightweight design, considerably reduced stopping distance, and extended brake system life are hallmarks of the Bendix ADB22X family of disc brakes. Bendix air disc brakes exceed FMVSS-121 stopping distance requirements by 20% and also exceed the federal Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Air disc brakes also enhance safety by providing shorter stopping distances compared to drum brakes, virtually eliminating brake fade, and providing greater reliability with more consistent stops. Brake fade can start to set in on drum brakes during heavy stop-and-go traffic situations or during mountain descents, and can extend stopping distances as drum brakes heat up. Air disc brakes also provide improved brake stability from side to side, reducing the risk of brake steer and providing a car-like feel for straighter, more stable stops.
Other advantages of the ADB22X are quicker pad replacement and longer pad life, leading to greater uptime and lower maintenance costs. In addition, the ADB22X includes an internal self-adjustment mechanism that can help lower the risk of brakes being found out of adjustment during inspection, which can affect Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring.
The brake also complements active safety technologies – such as Bendix Wingman Fusion and the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system – and brings maximum value to them. ADB stopping power allows these systems to work their best.
The ADB22X and its LT counterpart share replacement wear items, which helps streamline maintenance, training, and inventory requirements. Additionally, the ADB22X-LT offers extended service life via a new adjustment mechanism that improves pad life and reduces brake drag, along with a new pad (BX276) that offers 8% more wearable volume and up to 40% improvement in wear rate. These factors help significantly increase uptime and lower operating costs.
Acceptance by Truck Manufacturers and Fleets
The Bendix ADB22X is released at the six major truck manufacturers, including Peterbilt, Kenworth, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), Mack, Volvo, and International. The brake has been standard equipment on the steer axle of all Peterbilt Motors Company and Kenworth Class 8 tractors since 2013. In 2017, two OEMs – Navistar and Peterbilt – took a strong step forward in North America by equipping air disc brakes as standard on all wheel-ends for select Class 8 tractors. International Trucks’ flagship LT Series and Peterbilt’s Model 579 broke new ground with this decision.
Fleets that have recently turned to the ADB22X include Southeastern Freight Lines, a regional less-than-truckload transportation services provider specializing in next-day service. The company specs ADB22X air disc brakes on all its tractors, including local pickup and delivery units. Fort Worth Carrier Corporation – a dedicated hauler for a nationwide retail chain – has spec’ed Bendix air disc brakes since 2011 and equips the ADB22X on all its tractor axles. Additional fleets choosing the ADB22X air disc brake include US Xpress, United Parcel Service (UPS), Custom Commodities Transport, Groendyke Transport, CalArk, and many more, representing a full range of sizes and vocations.
As over-the-road adoption of air disc brakes has increased, according to Oreskovic, so has interest from specialized fleets and markets. Three of the leading full-line North American school bus manufacturers – Blue Bird Corporation, Thomas Built Buses, and IC Bus from Navistar – offer the ADB22X on their vehicles, as does Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the leading intercity coach manufacturer in the United States and Canada.
BSFB produces the full lineup of commercially available Bendix brand air disc brake and foundation drum brake solutions at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bowling Green.
Bendix wheel-end solutions include air disc and drum brake systems, automatic slack adjusters, spring brakes, friction, and remanufactured brake shoes that provide lower total cost of ownership while delivering on safety, stopping power, and reliability. BSFB helps fleets and drivers in the areas most critical to their success by improving vehicle performance and efficiency, and backing their products with unparalleled post-sales support. By strengthening return on investment in the technologies that improve vehicle and driver safety, BSFB pursues a goal of safer roads across North America.
Visit Bendix’s Knowledge Dock at knowledge-dock.com to stay connected through updates on the latest information in truck operation, maintenance, and safety, including videos, blog posts, podcasts, white papers, and Bendix Tech Tips.