Bendix updates whitepaper pertaining to stopping distance mandate

Paper presents in-depth look at mandate's industry impact and solutions to address it.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB), the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge wheel-end solutions, has released an update of its whitepaper titled "The Federal Reduced Stopping Distance Mandate: Impact and Solutions."

BSFB's paper, which examines the mandate's impact on the trucking industry and approaches to meet it, is part of the company's continued efforts to help educate the industry about the stopping distance regulation. The white paper was initially published in July 2012.

Phase one of the Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) mandate took effect in August 2011 for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) up to 59,600 lbs. Phase two of the mandate, aimed at tractors with two axles, as well as severe service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs, took effect Aug. 1, 2013.

The paper examines the evolution of the mandate, while outlining how the ruling fits within the broader context of industry braking trends. It also notes solutions that meet the requirements and explores the mandate's impact on the trucking industry, including the aftermarket. Among the changes in the updated paper are a discussion on solutions for phase two of the final rule, as well as a new section examining why replacing high performance friction with like friction is essential to maintaining performance of RSD brakes, compliance with both phases of the RSD mandate, and safety.

Gary Ganaway, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake director of marketing and global customer solutions, and Aaron Schwass, BSFB vice president and general manager, researched and coauthored the study. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake is a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.

In its December 2005 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called for a 20 to 30 percent reduction in the required stopping distance for large trucks. For the sake of highway safety, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems supported a 30 percent reduction.

NHTSA chose the maximum reduction – 30 percent – in its final rule, released in July 2009. Designed to be implemented in two phases, the rule affects nearly all of the roughly 300,000 tractors manufactured annually. It applies to truck tractors manufactured on or after the implementation dates of Aug. 1, 2011, and Aug. 1, 2013, depending on vehicle type.

"The mandate has brought about a fundamental reshaping of the way our industry approaches braking and braking system technologies, and our goal with the white paper is to help all stakeholders fully understand the changes affecting them," Ganaway said. "We received good response to the original paper from OEMs, fleets, owner-operators, and drivers, who found it in-depth but easy to understand. We believe that professionals throughout the industry will find the updated paper – with its additional information – just as useful as they continue to strive for increased highway safety, lower total ownership costs, and improved vehicle performance."

Written in six sections, BSFB's updated paper begins by examining industry trends in braking. The trends include stronger vehicle regulation and enforcement, including the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative; an increased focus on proper maintenance; and a growing use of air disc brakes.

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