Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?

We live in a fast-paced world, and most jobs want things done yesterday. But remember the impact speed, weight, and grade have on your brakes before you put the pedal to the metal.

It’s Just Physics

When you pump the brakes, the braking mechanisms convert kinetic energy to thermal energy. Meaning, the brakes change the forward motion to heat to slow you down. The heat created by this friction is dispersed through the rotors, drums, and linings in your brake system.

Too much heat too quickly can not only damage your brakes but reduce their effectiveness on the road. And that puts your drivers at risk for a failure on the road.

Heating Up

Brakes can take some serious heat, but even they have their “braking” point. Functioning brakes can reach 500 ° Fahrenheit. Brakes that produce a burning smell or white smoke are heating up to 800° F. Glowing red brakes are climbing toward 1,600° F and can cause tire fires.

If you’re continually braking in high speed, high weight situations, the prolonged heat exposure can lead to brake fade, which cuts into your stopping power. Even the best brake linings will lose friction after regular heat exposure.

It’s All Downhill From Here

You keep your foot to the gas as you crest a rise in the road. As you descend the hill, you notice you’re dangerously close to the vehicle in front of you. That’s because as your speed increases, so does your stopping distance.

Unfortunately, physics is not on your side when it comes to your brakes. Consider your truck’s weight and the time and distance it takes you to slow down. If you double that weight, the stopping power must quadruple, leaving your brakes to bear the brunt.

The same can be said for doubling your speed. So, if you increase both weight and speed, you’re looking at increasing your stopping power eight times over. That’s a lot of heat and strain on your fleet’s brakes and, possibly, your pocketbook.

Just remember, the heavier and faster your vehicle is, the more work your brakes will have to do to disperse the heat properly. And that can leave behind severe damage.

Need brake repairs? Come to Bauer Built Tire & Service for all your fleet’s mechanical service needs and to learn more. Contact us online or find a location near you.

Categories: Bauer Built Blog, Commercial Services