A heavily laden truck can be difficult to manoeuvre, and as a fleet manager, you should expect a considerable amount of wear and tear if you push each vehicle to provide you with maximum productivity. In particular, you can expect to encounter a lot of damage to the brake discs, as drivers cope with poor road conditions, heavy traffic or hilly terrain. Why should you pay attention to these discs, and what can you do to mitigate any potential problems?
As time goes by, the surface of each brake disc may start to degrade due to corrosion. This can be caused by salt or humidity and can be exacerbated by dirt and debris. The brake pads themselves may wear tiny grooves on to the surface of the disc, and small particles can invade these grooves, to make the issue more pronounced.
Once damage builds up on these discs to a certain level, the driver will begin to feel the effects through the steering wheel. He or she will have to deal with considerable vibration, and this can make their everyday drive more difficult. They may also find that the vehicle is not as responsive as it was before and may take longer to stop, while the brake pedal itself may feel "spongy."
Your job as a fleet manager will be to take action at the right time. If you don't, then you may find that the brake discs are damaged beyond repair. Your drivers may also find it difficult to keep up with their schedule, and that will certainly hurt the business in terms of productivity.
Fixing the Issue
Instead, schedule a regular service so that the brakes can be carefully inspected, and take further action if necessary. An engineer will be able to introduce a sophisticated brake lathe (which is mounted onto the hub of each axle) in order to skim the brakes. This will get rid of any grooves, rust or other imperfections and return the disc to its original condition.
Bear in mind that these discs can only be skimmed once or twice. Manufacturers recommend that they be replaced when they reach a minimum required thickness and when you do so, you should always replace the pads as well.
Pay attention to the brakes on your heavy truck, and you will be able to get maximum productivity out of each vehicle. For more information, contact your local truck service.