Disc brakes stop vehicles shorter. Unfortunately, however, their wear life is also shorter. They are also more expensive… Continuing with the theme from Wednesday, we’re surprised when a passenger car does not have them. Yet despite that roughly 80% of new class 8 trucks rolling off manufacturers’ assembly lines do not have this safety feature.
This failure-to-adopt is largely because disc brakes on trucks are quite an expensive upgrade. And many companies focus on the short term expense rather than the long-term savings.
Jason Cannon of CCJDigital.com has an article up highlighting this phenomena…
“Bumping into one [passenger] car, regardless of whose fault it is, is going to cost me a minimum of $20,000,” says Ralph Lo Priore, director of fleet assets and processes for Seattle-based Stoneway Concrete. “If I can stop quicker and stop safer, who cares about how often you have to replace a brake rotor? It’s a $200 rotor. So what? If disc brakes prevent only one accident per truck, they’ve paid for themselves ever how many times over.”
I want to take this a step further though. The FMSCA and DOT have made several new rules lately such as mandating Electronic Logging Devices which may or may not actually realize tangible safety gains.
Mandating disc brakes on new trucks however, is an obvious “low-hanging fruit” type mandate that should have been made already. This is the type of ruling the DOT can and/or should make – better mechanical technology not rules that can go either way, will save money and potentially lives.
Kudos to Stoneway Concrete and other companies who see the financial and safety benefits of disc brakes and for leading the way on this front.
Thanks for reading.