LAS VEGAS.At the 2012 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week here in Las Vegas, Meritor announced the immediate availability of reduced stopping distance (RSD) friction materials from the company’s parts distribution centers in Kentucky and Ontario, Canada.

“To comply with the new stopping distance regulations, our customers specified the ‘new’ brakes on new tractors, but many fleets told us they preferred to outfit their current vehicles with the same friction materials for ease of inventory and vehicle maintenance,” said Tim Bauer, director, Undercarriage Products, Meritor Aftermarket. Fleet managers also wanted to use RSD friction materials on remanufactured brake shoes at normal service intervals. This action is intended to meet those needs.

For customers worried about the pending ban on copper in friction materials for brakes in California and Washington States, Meritor also told Fleet Owner that the company does not use copper in its RSD friction materials, so brakes are in compliance nationwide.

At HDAW, the company also announced that it will begin the immediate production of PlatinumShield II, a second-generation brake shoe coating that features an advanced formula designed to be uniquely suited to the needs of the aftermarket customer to prevent rust-jacking. Since PlatinumShield’s introduction at HDAW in February 2009, Meritor has shipped more than 15 million remanufactured shoes to authorized parts outlets.

The second-generation coating is distinguished by its lighter platinum gray color. It will be used on new aftermarket brake shoes with new RSD friction materials. PlatinumShield II will also be used on remanufactured brake shoes.

The PlatinumShield coating was developed by Meritor’s brake engineering team to resist micro-abrasion caused by the movement of the brake lining against the shoe table during normal use. Rust-jacking occurs when rust forms on bare shoe metal under the lining, causing it to lift and crack.

“At the product’s introduction three years ago, we began developing a second-generation of platinum coating, fully mindful of the harsh liquid chemicals used in winter road solvents to melt snow and ice,” said Bauer. Our PlatinumShield II is a new formula designed for today’s demanding climate. The real benefit to our customers is lower overall maintenance costs. The elimination of premature brake jobs resulting from cracked linings will make fleets using these shoes more competitive.”

At their press briefing, Meritor executives also stressed the importance of the global aftermarket business to the company. Joe Mejaly, president-aftermarket and trailer, ticked off a number of new facilities and initiatives in Brazil, China, Germany and elsewhere. He also said that “Meritor is consumer-focused,” taking a challenge/solution approach to meeting market needs and using various brands to hit various price points.

Dan Hopgood, vice president aftermarket- Americas, noted that addressing cost at Meritor does not just mean the upfront purchase price of a piece, it also means working to manage the costs of procurement, warehousing and distribution to deliver the best product at the best price.