SuperFlow Technologies Group Unveils New Performance-Based Brake Test System (PBBT)
A new comprehensive performance-based brake testing system designed to reduce brake wear, maintenance costs, road accidents and improve road safety for heavy-duty trucks, has just recently been introduced by SuperFlow Technologies Group, Des Moines, Iowa.
SuperFlow Performance-Based Brake Test Systems (PBBTs) dynamically test brake or hydraulic pressure capacity – under fully applied pressure – by driving the truck’s tires with a set of rollers. As air pressure is applied to the brake system, force produced by the brakes is measured, recorded, and displayed on the computer, which instantly compares recorded brake force capability to known industry standards for brake function.
“While brake design has not changed much in the last 30 years, the amount of braking has increased by nearly 400%,” says SuperFlow president Scott Giles. “Much of this is due to greater efficiencies in trucks on today’s roads; for example, increased aerodynamics, reduced rolling resistance and reduced engine braking have all contributed to the extra demands and stress placed on today’s brake systems,” Giles added.
(Recently, when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) monitored the inspection of 1520 trucks in five states, 56% of them tested out of service as a result of brake related defects. Often, brake defects may not be noticed until a panic stop situation occurs; and according to SuperFlow officials, defective brakes may increase distances (before coming to a complete stop) by as much as 76%.
With just one technician, using a hand-held remote control, the PBBT enables an operator to monitor and record a battery of information (from the front tires on the cab to the rear tires of the trailer vehicle) in a safe inspection environment. Under carriage lighting increases visibility. Solid-state electronics are also designed into the system for increased reliability.
The self-powered PBBT units are highly portable and can easily be deployed at job sites, terminals, inspection centers or in the service lanes and bays of truck maintenance operations. A built-in, self-contained shuttle system enables the unit to elevate 1.5″ inches off the ground to re-position itself via its own power source. Both fore and aft ramps fold up easily for repositioning or when loading into trailers for transport to other sites.
A computer monitored data acquisition system graphs out detailed, easy-to-read reports, including pass/fail summaries. The system features heat exchangers to cool the PC’s enclosure and hydraulic system in hot summer climates. “Sunlight readable” displays are removable in seconds. Also available is cold weather package featuring a heated oil reservoir with extreme temperature oil for the hydraulic system, thermal battery wrap and heated PC enclosure.
Functions measured include brake force (with wet tires), rolling resistance, threshold apply pressure and weight of axle. In a matter of 10-12 minutes (instead of hours), an operator can test a 5-axle tractor trailer for imbalance, oil-soaked linings, drag, improper stroke, cracked drums, worn or tight end bearings, air system problems, insufficient parking brake force and tractor/trailer incompatibility. A hydraulic shaker plate/lift system allows inspection for excessive play in kingpins and tie rods.
Additional features include in audible engine alarm system with indicator lights, an audible lift warning system when using shaker plates, E-stops on both ends of the tester, and a fuel injected engine to power the rollers.
SuperFlow Technologies Group is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of HICKLIN transmission dynamometers for automotive, truck and military repair markets; they also market transmission dynamometers and drive shaft service equipment under the AXILINE brand, torque converter rebuilding systems under the TCRS brand; as well as high performance flowbenches, engine dynamometers and chassis dynamometers under the SuperFlow label.
For more information on SuperFlow, visit www.superflow.com.