Brakes that perform well are important to ensuring the safety of semi-truck operation. You should make efforts to optimize brake performance so that your vehicles are safe to drive in any condition.
Fortunately, you have many upgrades available to you to make your truck’s brakes stronger and give them a faster response time. The following are six brake upgrades you may want to consider to improve your work vehicles and ensure safe braking when your trucks are towing heavy loads.
Over time, brake rotors can wear down and create dust. Normal brake functioning can lead to heat buildup that allows a gas layer to form between the brake pad and rotor.
Rotors benefit from being vented somehow so that this gas layer can escape without detracting from the effectiveness of brakes. Having either slotted or cross-drilled rotors installed ensures that your rotors will get the venting they need to function most effectively.
2. Brake Pads
Brake pads can vary significantly in quality. One simply way to boost the performance of your braking system on your trucks is to simply opt for high-performance brake pads. Higher-quality brake pads won’t wear down as quickly and will offer faster response in heavy-braking scenarios.
3. Brake Lines
Brake lines are an important component of a truck’s braking system. They need to be properly sized to avoid flow or pressure issues that could detract from the effectiveness of brakes. Brake lines also need to be promptly replaced when they start to wear out to avoid braking problems.
Hard lines, or what are known as flex lines, typically offer better performance than standard rubber brake lines do. They can create more pressure on the brake pads when the brakes are engaged and thereby increase the strength and effectiveness of brakes.
4. Brake Proportioning Valve
A braking system can be upgraded with the installation of a brake proportioning valve. Brake proportioning valves will ensure that the proper front-to-rear balance is achieved between brakes on trucks.
If you’re working with lifted trucks that have stock brakes, a brake proportioning valve could be essential to ensure safety. Weight transfer between the wheels is greatest on lifted trucks. Therefore, added pressure on the front brakes is typically necessary to ensure optimal brake functioning.
5. Vacuum Booster
If you are using later model trucks, you should make sure that they have dual-diaphragm vacuum boosters installed. These devices increase the effectiveness of brakes by raising the line pressure at brake calipers.
When you have vacuum boosters on your truck’s braking system, you should make sure that the booster diameter on them is as large as possible. A maximum booster diameter maximizes the fluid line’s pressure and therefore maximizes the strength and effectiveness of a braking system.
6. Disc Kits
Rear drum brakes are not the most effective option when it comes to maximizing a truck’s ability to stop quickly and reliably. Your best bet to optimize your braking system is to have your mechanic install discs to replace rear drum brakes.
Rear discs are especially important for maximizing the effectiveness of truck brakes. Choose power discs rather than manual drums if you’re looking for the best possible upgrade. While rear discs tend to offer the most effectiveness, having discs installed on all wheels is the ideal thing to do if you want the best results.
The brake shop at Godfrey Brake Service & Supply offers service on a wide variety of brake types including hydraulic, air, and reline braking systems. Contact Godfrey Brake Service & Supply with any questions on how you can improve brake performance for your work vehicles.