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Bendix offers guide to air disc brake aftermarket



Bendix offers guide to air disc brake aftermarket
Proper aftermarket friction selection is critical to maintain safety and protect return on investment. And quality hardware plays an important role in this equation. Unlike some aftermarket kits, Bendix replacement kits include a complete OEM hardware kit, including pad retention springs, retainer bars, and shear adaptors. (Courtesy: BENDIX SPICER FOUNDATION BRAKE)

ELYRIA, Ohio — There was a time when the North American market for commercial vehicle air disc brakes was a little less crowded – and a lot less complicated.

Things are much different these days, and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB) says it is helping an ever-growing number of fleets and owner-operators using air disc brakes understand what their aftermarket choices mean for safety, uptime, and return on investment as they navigate a sea of suppliers, components, and replacement friction.

“When Bendix introduced the ADB22X air disc brake in 2005, it was a new brake system for North America, which meant few others gave any thought to providing replacement pads or remanufactured components,” said Keith McComsey, BSFB director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End. “Now, air disc brakes are on more than 25 percent of all air-braked Class 6-8 tractor wheel-ends and nearly 15 percent of trailers – and we expect those numbers to increase, approaching one-third of all Class 6-8 air brake installations within the next couple years.

“With the Bendix ADB22X equipped on about 85 percent of wheel-ends in the market today,” McComsey said, “we feel a responsibility to make sure second and third owners of air disc-braked tractors and trailers are well-informed about aftermarket options and their long-term impacts.”

Performance, quality, and value are critical in selecting an air disc brake (ADB) friction, no matter where a vehicle is in its life cycle. As adoption of ADBs has grown, friction has evolved to account for varying fleet factors, including application, tractor/trailer brake combinations, and duty cycle.

For line-haul tractors and trailers, an increase in wearable volume over typical pads, coupled with a revised formulation for longer life make the Bendix BX276 genuine OEM replacement pad Bendix’s highest-performing air disc brake friction.

Vehicles that undergo a high frequency of brake usage – refuse, school bus, and pickup/delivery, for example – can benefit from a severe-duty friction like the Bendix® BX283™. The BX283 pad is designed to handle higher temperature conditions, so it offers longer life in these harsh applications.

Earlier this year, Bendix added the BA235 air disc brake aftermarket pad kit to its expanded air disc brake pad portfolio. The company recognizes that as the ADB market has matured, many ADB-equipped trucks are now in the hands of second or third owners, who may have different business needs than the original owner. The BA235 pad provides a lower-cost replacement pad option while still meeting all Bendix requirements for FMVSS-121 wear performance. In addition, the pad kit includes OEM hardware, which supports customers’ ability to maintain their Bendix warranty. Like the Bendix BX276 and BX283 pads, the BA235 pads can be used as replacement friction for both the ADB22X™ and the ADB22X™-LT trailer air disc brake.

Proper friction selection matters on two key levels: Maintaining safety and protecting return on investment. In Bendix testing, several aftermarket frictions displayed inferior performance in both stopping distance and park-hold. These longer stopping distances either bring the vehicle to a drum brake level of performance and/or extend performance out beyond 250 feet, which can put a vehicle out of compliance with FMVSS-121 requirements and may increase the potential for rear-end collisions and the risk for a vehicle rollaway.

The wrong friction can not only offset the performance advantages gained by investing in air disc brakes, but it can actually wind up costing more in vehicle repairs and downtime as well. For example, ongoing Bendix testing has shown that use of other aftermarket pads may lead to accelerated wear, including stress cracking of the rotor, which is costly to replace.

“Bendix designs a friction couple – which is the friction and rotor together – to provide optimal performance,” McComsey said. “Anybody can design a brake pad for long life, but fleets need to consider the impact these aggressive pads have on rotor life. And if that friction causes stress cracks, now you’re looking at the potential costs of rotor replacement, more downtime, and even risk of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) violations if the crack exceeds the out-of-service requirements.”

Beyond the friction itself, aftermarket air disc brake kits and components also vary widely – again, with serious implications for safety and performance.

All Bendix pad replacement kits include the complete OEM hardware kit – that includes pad retention springs, retainer bars, and shear adaptors. While they may seem like unimportant accessories, these pieces play an important role in proper ADB function and service life. Some aftermarket pad kits do not include the retainer bar, requiring the customer to reuse a part that was not designed to be reused. Other AM pad kits also use weak pad springs. These two conditions introduce the risk of retainer bar failure and/or damage to the caliper and carrier. Since these kits don’t use the OEM shear adaptor, on average they shear at a torque that is 1.5 times higher, which can damage the adjuster mechanism, necessitating a replacement of the entire caliper.

Remanufactured parts continue to occupy a significant portion of the aftermarket landscape, and the right supplier can offer value and quality while highlighting the importance of looking beyond the lowest price. Bendix recently announced its own remanufactured air disc brake caliper, providing a high-quality alternative to new calipers from unproven sources in the expanding air disc brake aftermarket.

“More than ever, it’s important to understand where your parts are coming from, and how your suppliers handle process and quality,” McComsey said. “There’s no guarantee that these ‘new’ or reman calipers entering the market – some from overseas – will deliver the same quality as true new or remanufacture by a genuine OE supplier like Bendix. The cost of one failed part more than offsets what you might save in a lower-price component.”

The road-proven and time-tested advantages of air disc brakes, along with the importance of reliable, stable stopping power in an age of ever-advancing higher-level safety systems like full stability and collision mitigation, means ADBs are here to stay.

Bendix, which has produced nearly 3 million air disc brakes, will continue driving the technology forward in pursuit of safer trucks and roads. Its parent company, the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse Group, is the worldwide leader in air disc brake production, at over 40 million.

Strengthening return on investment and lowering total cost of ownership, BSFB delivers safety, reliability, and stopping power to fleets and owner-operators. BSFB wheel-end solutions are backed by unparalleled post-sales support and are part of an overall safety equation aimed at improving vehicle and highway safety across North America.

For more information about Bendix air disc brake pads, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit



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Kenworth to collaborate with Meritor on T680E Electric powertrain development



concept photo of Kenworth electric model
The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4x2 and 6x4 axles and as a 6x4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth has announced it will collaborate with Meritor on electric powertrain development for Class 8 Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicles.

The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4×2 and 6×4 axles and as a 6×4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

“The Kenworth T680E development in collaboration with Meritor is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth’s evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Initial production of the Kenworth T680E is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2020 and ramp through 2021.”

Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan.

“We look forward to working closely with Kenworth to help develop the Kenworth T680E as an important, viable battery-electric answer for the day cab market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor.

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New Kenworth parts, service locations now open in Maryland and Nebraska



Kenworth service location in Maryland
West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City, Iowa, and located along Highway 275, a major trucking route in the area. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

WESTMINSTER, Md. And West Point, Neb. — Kenworth now offers additional locations for parts and services. Mid Atlantic Kenworth has added a full-service location in Westminster, Maryland, while Sioux Falls Kenworth has opened a new parts and services dealership in West Point, Nebraska.


In Westminster, Maryland, the 17,400-square-foot facility features a full parts and service department, with 10 service bays to maximize customer uptime for truck operators passing through the area. A drivers’ lounge is available to customers while their trucks are serviced.

The facility, Kenworth Mid Atlantic Westminster is located on three acres, which offers customers ample room to park their trucks.

The Westminster, Maryland facility is located at 821 Baltimore Blvd. and its hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.


With its new parts and service dealership in West Point, Nebraska, Sioux Falls Kenworth can now offer expanded support to fleets and operators in the greater Sioux City, Iowa area.

West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City and located along Highway 275. The 12,800-square-foot building is situated on 3.5 acres. The facility features an 8,600-square-foot service department with eight service bays. Also included is a 1,200-square-foot parts retail display area and a 1,900-square-foot space for bulk storage.

The West Point facility is located at 1805 Sycamore St. in West Point. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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Agility partners with XStream Trucking to distribute aerodynamic TruckWings



a patented design allows truckwings to swing out and retract
The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract at lower speeds. (Courtesy: Agility Fuel Solutions)

COSTA MESA, Cali. — Agility Fuel Solutions and XStream Trucking have announced that Agility will be the exclusive distributor of Xstream’s TruckWings aerodynamic systems for compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks in North America. Agility will also distribute TruckWings on a non-exclusive basis to the diesel truck market.

The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract against the rear of the cab at lower speeds to leave room for turning maneuvers.

“TruckWings is the first device which completely solves the turbulence problem created by the open area between the tractor and trailer that contributes significantly to a truck’s overall aerodynamic drag,” said Daniel Burrows, XStream Trucking’s founder and CEO. “We are pleased to now partner with Agility to offer TruckWings as a factory option for CNG trucks in North America.”

Agility, a business area of Hexagon Composites ASA, and XStream Trucking have previously partnered to provide TruckWings systems for over 750 CNG trucks used by major fleet operators. Agility’s leadership in providing clean fuel solutions for commercial vehicles coupled with its extensive customer base and value-added aftermarket services will expand XStream’s TruckWings solution to reach the growing CNG truck market throughout North America.

“Agility’s trucking fleet customers are focused on fuel cost savings and on increasing the fuel economy of their CNG trucks. TruckWings are a great answer to this problem, as we’ve demonstrated in real-world use with some of our major fleet customers,” said Eric Bippus, Agility’s senior vice president of global sales and marketing. “We are very pleased to enter into this distribution agreement and to continue to work with XStream Trucking to deliver clean and efficient transportation solutions for the North American trucking market.”

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