The fact that brakes and tyres are primary safety-critical components of any vehicle is common knowledge but how many people know how they really affect a truck’s running costs? FleetWatch looks at new brake and tyre technologies from SAF-Holland that offer enhanced fleet safety and cost savings.
According to Jo du Toit, managing director, SAF-Holland SA, fuel and tyres constitute the bulk of a commercial vehicle’s operating costs and are increasingly becoming the decisive controlling variables in fleet cost management. “As such, fleet operators seeking to curtail their running expenses need to be aware of how fuel and tyre costs relate to one another and how both can be controlled to improve safety and efficiency,’ he says.
It is well known that under-inflated tyres increase a vehicle’s rolling resistance which has a direct negative effect on fuel efficiency while also increasing CO2 emissions. “Permanent monitoring and maintaining of the correct tyre pressure is also essential to achieve maximum service life from rolling rubber and to help prevent accidents,’ says du Toit.
“Tire Pilot from SAF-Holland is a new tyre pressure monitoring and automated inflation system that is becoming increasingly popular in the USA and Europe. Equipped with an advanced electronic control module that operates independently of the truck tractor, Tire Pilot keeps trailer tyre pressures at the correct levels constantly, obviating any human error or oversight,’ he adds. Independent studies of truck tyre wear have proved that under-inflation not only reduces tyre life but is also a major cause of heat build-up in the tyre and consequently, tyre failure. “Tire Pilot regulates the preset tyre pressure permanently and reliably by automatically inflating the trailer tyres as required. The system also maintains the minimum pressure in the event of run-in damage. A big advantage for fleet owners is that Tire Pilot is easy to retrofit and allows for quick tyre changes,’ du Toit explains.
A smarter disc brake
As with tyres, trailer brakes directly affect a truck’s safety and profitability. SAF-Holland has pioneered low-weight, ease-of-maintenance trailer brake systems for decades, collaborating with the world’s best truck brake manufacturers like Haldex, Wabco and Knorr-Bremse. The release of the SAF SBS 2220 trailer disc brake in South Africa now offers trailer owners a host of benefits that improve bottom-line performance.
Says Du Toit: “Fleet profitability is largely dependent on payload capacity and SAF-Holland products are all designed with lowest-possible tare mass in mind. The SAF SBS 2220 trailer disc brake weighs just 31 kg including brake pads, the lightest adaptable trailer brake in its class.’ Designed for brake torques of up to 20 kNm and optimised for 9-ton axles, the SBS 2220 reduces hot-spots on the brake disc, prolonging the service life of disc and pads, especially when used in combination with the SAF Integral disc axle.
“The SBS 2220 pad retainer doesn’t use screws or bolts but is equipped with a patented ‘˜snap-action’ connection that can be locked and unlocked using basic tools, like a screwdriver for example. This system significantly simplifies and speeds up the pad replacement procedure,’ explains du Toit. “The SBS 2220 is also equipped with an inverted roller bellows for the adjuster and calliper mechanism to protect against heat, dirt and dust and damage, making it ideal for African applications,’ he says. There is always a better way and products like these prove this to be true.