BENDIX MARKS THE MANUFACTURE OF 4 MILLION ADB22X® AIR DISC BRAKES
Performance and Uptime Advantages Drive Adoption Across Applications
ELYRIA, Ohio – (Trailer Technician) – It’s not your imagination: You’re seeing a lot more air disc brakes out there. More than a third of new North American Class 6-8 air-braked wheel-ends are now equipped with air disc brakes, and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has manufactured over 4 million units of its industry-leading Bendix® ADB22X®.
“Adoption and standard positioning of air disc brakes (ADBs) represent one of the more significant sea changes the North American commercial vehicle industry has seen over the past decade,” said Mark Holley, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End. “Brakes impact so much that’s important to fleets and owner-operators, from safety to uptime to return on investment – and the ADB22X has been delivering on its potential since we launched it in 2005. With advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) growing in popularity, the demand for ADBs is strongly increasing as well. Fleets understand that it makes sense to support their ADAS systems with air disc brakes on both the tractor and trailer because of their reliability and stopping power. They know that each system is great individually, but better together.”
Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, is a part of Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse, the global leader in air disc brake production at more than 45 million and counting. The ADB22X accounts for about 75% of North America’s Class 6-8 air disc brakes. Bendix produces the Bendix ADB22X and Bendix® ADB22X®-LT air disc brakes at its wheel-end manufacturing operation in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
One Brake, Many Applications
Bendix® ADB22X® air disc brakes are available through all major North American commercial truck manufacturers, including Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), International®, Kenworth, Mack® Trucks, Peterbilt Motors Company, and Volvo Trucks NA. The ADB22X has come standard on the steer axle of all Peterbilt and Kenworth Class 8 tractors since 2013 and is standard on all wheel-ends of Peterbilt’s Model 579 and the Kenworth T680. International Trucks equips the brake standard on all axles of its LT® Series, along with several vocational models. The Bendix® ADB22X®-LT air disc brake – engineered specifically for trailers – is available at all major trailer manufacturers and is the preferred ADB at Utility Trailer.
Additionally, three of the leading full-line North American school bus manufacturers – Blue Bird Corporation, Thomas Built Buses, and IC Bus from Navistar – offer the ADB22X on their vehicles, as does Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the leading intercity coach manufacturer in the United States and Canada.
According to Holley, adoption of ADBs is growing among all applications, including linehaul, refuse, and school bus, to name a few, as customers are seeing the benefits of air disc brakes at the same time as acquisition cost to fleets continues to decrease. In addition, with the availability of Bendix’s BX276™ long-life pad with more wearable friction, fleets are seeing lower total cost of ownership.
“With air disc brakes, you get smoother, straighter, more stable stops; shorter stopping distance; and a car-like feel out on the road, with virtually no brake fade. Fleets that spec ADBs on all wheel positions of the tractor and trailer recognize the increased safety of a 50-foot shorter stopping distance compared to drum brakes, along with an increase in driver satisfaction and retention,” Holley said. “And bottom-line return on investment comes through lightweight design, extended brake system life, quicker pad changes, and a longer friction duty cycle.”
Over time, the ADB22X has evolved to offer more options and increased value. The Bendix® Splined Disc® rotor, for instance, can be paired with an aluminum hub to make the lightest ADB wheel-end combination in North America. Other improvements in recent years include a proprietary adjustment mechanism that increases robustness against vibration while improving the running clearance between the friction and rotor.
In 2019, Bendix introduced pad wear sensing availability on all versions of the ADB22X, removing the guesswork from ADB pad replacement. The technology determines when a pad is nearing its replacement period, then creates a diagnostic code that can be pulled in a couple of different ways. One is through telematics signaling the fleet home office of the need to replace pads. Or, a technician can pull it directly from the vehicle using an RDU unit. In either instance, pad wear sensing technology enables fleets to proactively schedule maintenance.
“By providing a signal when air disc brake pads are reaching the point of replacement, it protects costly components such as rotors from being damaged by worn-out friction,” Holley said. “It also gives fleets the advantage of optimizing their friction replacement schedules and saves time by reducing the need for technicians to measure friction thickness.”
With full-stability technologies like Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program required on all new Class 7 and 8 tractors as well as some buses, and a growing number of fleets adopting active safety technologies such as Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™, air disc brakes continue to provide the stopping power that allows these systems to perform at their best.
As ADB take rates approach 50%, according to Holley, the escalating demand for the ADB22X® has driven Bendix growth across North America. The Bowling Green facility has expanded the number of ADB production lines, along with engineering test capabilities and ADB machining capability. Company-wide, Bendix has more than doubled the size of its North American-based engineering team, adding technical and field support employees as well as new team members in research and development.
“Sixteen years on, Bendix still puts as much commitment into making sure the ADB22X keeps on delivering safety, stopping power, and reliability as we did when we introduced it,” Holley said. “That won’t change, no matter how many millions are yet to hit the road.”
Bendix wheel-end solutions include air disc and drum brake systems, automatic slack adjusters, spring brakes, friction, and remanufactured brake components that provide lower total cost of ownership, helping fleets and drivers in the areas most critical to their success. For more information about Bendix air disc brakes, visit www.bendix.com or call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725). Additional Bendix insight can be found in Bendix’s multimedia center at knowledge-dock.com.
About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of Knorr-Bremse, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 4,100 people, Bendix – and its wholly owned subsidiary, R.H. Sheppard Co., Inc. – is driven to deliver the best solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Contact us at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit bendix.com. Stay connected and informed through Bendix expert podcasts, blog posts, videos, and other resources at knowledge-dock.com. Follow Bendix on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS. Log on and learn from the Bendix experts at brake-school.com. And to learn more about career opportunities at Bendix, visit bendix.com/careers.