Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC Prepares to Launch High-Performance Drum Brakes

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ELYRIA, Ohio — In an effort to provide customers with more options and comply with the anticipated new stopping distance requirements, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC will launch its new high-performance drum brakes by the end of 2009.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expected to announce its new stopping distance requirements for large trucks in May 2009. Despite multiple delays in the announcement of NHTSA’s final ruling, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake remains focused on its efforts to advance its braking technology by adding a cost-effective option that extends and enhances service life while meeting even the shortest of the proposed stopping distance requirements.

The company plans to introduce a new, high-performance model of its popular Single Anchor Pin, Extended Service drum brakes – in a variety of sizes – for both steer- and drive-axle applications. The launch is slated for the third quarter of 2009 to fleets interested in conducting field testing on the componentry well in advance of the effective date of the proposed stopping distance rules. The introduction is the culmination of extensive development efforts, including nearly five years of engineering, design, and testing in anticipation of NHTSA’s new requirements.

“Vehicle manufacturers and fleets will have the opportunity to make purchase decisions based upon their own needs and preferences,” said Aaron Schwass, director for the foundation brake group at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. “We are working to develop variations of the high-performance drum brakes that will custom-fit various truck model configurations. Our objective is to offer the industry advanced technology to meet new requirements; as well as provide a cost-effective solution for our customers that extend and enhance brake service life. Our high-performance drum brakes are superior, affordable, and lightweight, helping us to achieve those goals.”

The high-performance drum brake technology will be in production in time for the effective date of the new requirement, which is currently expected for May, 2011.

NHTSA announced its proposed rulemaking on Dec. 15, 2005. In its proposal, NHTSA calls for a 20-percent to 30-percent reduction in the required stopping distance for large trucks. While large trucks operate on the same roadways as significantly lighter passenger vehicles, they may take twice as long to stop in instances of panic-stop braking. The new requirements are intended to help close the gap between the two vehicle types.

Extensive vehicle test data by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, as well as other industry sources, confirm that vehicles can meet or exceed the shortest of the proposed stopping distances through a variety of Bendix® foundation brake configurations. With the addition of the high-performance drum brake, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake will offer all possible configurations, including all wheel drum brakes, all wheel disc brakes, or a combination of both. Based on the vocation, duty cycle and customer expectations, the company can recommend the brake configuration that will be the most effective combination for the customer.

Regardless of the configuration, Bendix foundation drum brake components required to provide the necessary performance to achieve the maximum proposed stopping distance will be in production this year; are fully compatible with Bendix® air disc brakes; and will also last longer than today’s solutions, helping fleets reduce their life cycle costs.