Sometimes what fleets accept as normal is actually far from it.
Spring brakes, for instance: The number one cause of spring brake failure is a broken power spring, and the number one cause of broken power springs is corrosion. So, how often does your fleet swap out old spring brakes for new ones?
If it’s often enough that the process is considered a normal part of fleet maintenance, then you should probably consider switching to a sealed spring brake.
By design, spring brakes need to have drain holes that allow air to escape when a tractor or trailer’s park brakes are released. Sealed spring brakes are engineered to prevent moisture and contaminants from entering through these holes and sowing the seeds of corrosion down the road. Bendix’s EnduraSure™-Pro, for instance, eliminates drain holes and achieves its sealed design by integrating a one-way check valve into the screw-in dust plug. Although there are a few different ways to seal a spring brake, keeping corrosive contaminants out is the #1 goal.
Admittedly, not every fleet may truly need sealed spring brakes – but any fleet that routinely changes out its spring brakes should seriously consider the upgrade. Fleets operating in harsh environmental conditions or truck and trailer operators who keep their equipment for an extended time will especially see the long-term benefits of spring brakes that protect the power spring from corrosion initiators by sealing the park side.
Part of what makes it difficult to quantify a need for sealed spring brakes is that corrosion is more about time passing than miles on the road. Once a brake’s power spring is contaminated—or corrosion begins—it can’t be undone, whether the vehicle is out on the road constantly or it spends months on end sitting unused. So whether the power spring is on a trailer that went 50 miles and then sat in the yard for three years, or it’s on a tractor that’s seen 500,000 miles, it may have the same chance of breaking if corrosion has set in.
The issue for fleets or owner-operators is that when they begin to view spring brakes as wearable components that naturally need replacing, it’s easy to view low-cost alternatives as the most favorable option. Sacrificing the long-term benefits of performance, durability, and return on investment only shortens this maintenance cycle and increases cost.
Even spring brakes that profess a better coating and are marketed as ‘premium’ aren’t always sealed. This means they’ll come up short against the needs of owners and fleets that demand a long-life spring brake and want to maximize their total cost of ownership.
Think about it…What do you think would better fight corrosion: a chamber that has an expensive coating, or one that prevents the development of a corrosive environment by sealing it against moisture and road salts?
So, if you’ve come to think it’s normal to replace your spring brakes regularly, think again – and consider a sealed model like the Bendix® EnduraSureTM-Pro sealed spring brake.
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