LOUISVILLE. Testing has shown an increase in brake drum life of up 30% in operations using Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake’s Versajust LS Slack Adjuster with the WearMax clutch, the company reported this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Bendix Spicer also said that the automatic slack adjuster can extend lining life by up to 16%.

The Versajust’s automatic slack adjuster technology and WearMax clutch allows for a gradual, continuous, and more precise adjustment of the running clearance between the brake shoe and drum, the company said.

“Versajust’s unique adjustment rate enables a tighter running clearance, which provides the maximum brake chamber reserve stroke and creates a quicker response time for brake application. This makes it a valuable component, especially in today’s environment of Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring and the Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) mandate,” said Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB).

“In addition to bolstering the safety proposition for fleets, Versajust can save fleets money by extending lining and drum life, while lowering the maintenance costs associated with brake adjustments,” Ganaway said. “In contrast to Versajust, most slack adjusters on the market – while attempting to achieve this tight clearance – adjust prematurely as the drum heats and expands during normal braking. When the drum cools down again, that running clearance is reduced – or even eliminated – which can result in a dragging brake, higher brake temperatures, and accelerated wear.”

Dragging brakes can reduce fuel economy and increase maintenance costs by creating the need for frequent brake adjustments, Ganaway said. He added that fleets may not be aware that they have an issue with dragging brakes, and may believe they are experiencing typical lining and drum life. However, if they regularly need to back off the slack adjuster during maintenance, or are unable to rotate a tire or remove a drum, it may be an indicator of overadjustment by the slack adjuster.