Putting Safety First: Air Disc Brakes
At J&R Hall, we believe that safety is a priority. Our CVOR is rated as Excellent — less than half of one percent of carriers have this rating. Air disc brakes help us to maintain that. Safe trucking practices help to ensure the safety of our drivers and the goods they’re transporting, as well as the rest of the drivers on the road.
Up to 95 percent of our trucks and trailers are equipped with air disc brakes for improved stopping distance. All of our equipment is specked on disc as we still have some trailers on drum. Here’s why disc brakes are important for safety on the road:
What Are Air Disc Brakes?
Air disc brakes, or disc brakes, are one of two main types of brakes used on trucks and trailers. Air disc brakes work by applying continuous air pressure to the brake. There aren’t any regulations around the use of drum brakes versus air disc brakes, but many in the transportation industry believe that switching to air disc brakes would help improve safety on the road.
What Are The Benefits Of Air Disc Brakes?
Traditionally, trucks and trailers have used drum brakes, but many transportation companies are switching to disc brakes because of their many benefits:
- Air disc brakes can reduce stopping distances by 40%
- Air disc brakes do not experience brake fade
- Disc pads or brake linings do not experience increased wear with the use of air disc brakes
- Disc brakes are self-adjusting and have fewer moving parts than drum brakes, minimizing the need for repairs
- Disc brakes give truck drivers better control when stopping
- Disc brakes are quieter than drum brakes
While air disc brakes are the safer choice, they are more expensive than drum brakes. However, drum brakes require more maintenance; it can take up to an hour to replace the shoes on drums, versus 15 minutes to change the pads on disc brakes.
Regulations Moving Toward The Use Of Air Disc Brakes
In the US, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced reduced stopping distance requirements in 2012. While drum brakes have seen changes and adaptations to meet these requirements, air disc brakes have continually been exceeding these stopping distance requirements without the need for adaptations.
In Europe, air disc brakes are the standard, and that trend is starting to move over into North America.
Going forward, we expect to see more regulations in North America that will increase the use of air disc brakes and, in turn, make our roads safer.
If you have questions about air disc brakes or any of the other safety features we use at J&R Hall, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team!