Bendix launched its ADB22X™ air disc brake in 2005, and in 2016, unveiled its first air disc brake specifically for trailers: the Bendix® ADB22X™-LT.
A lot went into those last two letters.
Building on Success
Everyone on the Bendix team was committed to maintaining the brake performance of the industry-leading ADB22X. And while the ADB22X was designed to handle both trailer and tractor applications, it was critical that we specifically engineer the LT for use with the chambers that are more commonly equipped in trailer applications – that’s a key differentiator between the LT and other trailer brakes. Our approach has always been to adjust brake chamber size to provide the appropriate braking force necessary for a trailer wheel-end.
We also knew we wanted to keep maintenance, training, and inventory needs to a minimum, so the LT shares replacement wear items with the ADB22X. Plus the same skill sets used to install and maintain the ADB22X are equally applicable to the trailer brake.
So how did we strike that balance between what to keep and what to change?
Trailer Focus and Customer Feedback
Bendix was already using a slightly altered version of the ADB22X for trailers, with a different bolt pattern on the carrier and different machining of the caliper due to the placement of the air chamber.
To create the LT, we then redesigned those specific components and managed to reduce both the cost and weight of the brake. (How much lighter? Even with its 23,000-pound brake rating, the LT weighs in at 40 pounds per tandem axle lighter than the ADB22X, which makes it the lightest air disc brake available in North America.)
Now, even though just about everyone in the trucking industry is a fan of lower cost and lighter weight brakes, we asked for additional customer feedback, and that encouraged us to look a little further and explore even more improvements for the LT.
That led us to implement proven technology from our European colleagues at Bendix parent company Knorr-Bremse: a new adjustment mechanism with improved vibration sensitivity and a greater running clearance. (In fact, all of Bendix’s next-generation air disc brakes will include this adjuster.) We also developed a new pad—BX276—that features more total wearable volume and extends pad life beyond current ADB standards. All of these changes add value, so now we have a brake that’s more than just a lower-priced, lighter version.
Among those who have provided us with valuable insight and feedback is Utility Trailer Manufacturing, which has equipped Bendix air disc brakes for some time. They told us the LT “enriches the technology’s benefits in a package custom-made for trailer usage.”
Trailer brakes can face unique usage challenges. While they definitely take lower brake loads than their tractor counterparts, there’s also an opportunity for them to generate excess energy if a driver regularly chooses to use the trailer brakes as the sole or dominant stopping force of the vehicle.
Putting more energy into a wheel-end it wasn’t designed for can lead to serious issues, which is another very good reason why we engineered the LT specifically to perform at the proper and safe levels for trailers.
You can learn more about the ADB22X-LT in this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqqePrXPR-0
– or give us a call at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE.
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