Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake solutions exceed requirements of reduced stopping distance mandate


Bendix brand braking solutions developed and manufactured by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (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.


Development program

“We’re pleased with how the product is performing,” said 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 percent reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with gross vehicle weight ratings (gvwrs) up to 59,600 lbs. and produced after the Aug. 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 Aug. 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, he noted. The brakes achieve this performance through a combination of the ES brake’s existing features and design enhancements.


Air disc brakes

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, 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, said Ganaway. Extensive field experience has validated the superior performance advantages of air disc brakes relative to stopping distance, pad and rotor life, and brake fade.


Wheel-end solutions

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 said.

“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.

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, he said.

The company has also appointed a project leader and put an executive committee in place to direct phase two activities.