Meritor says that its portfolio of Meritor Q Plus S-Cam drum brakes are fully compliant with the U.S. government’s FMVSS 121 mandate for reduced stopping distance requirements, which takes effect today.
The company began work in 2006 to prepare for the shorter stopping distance ruling impacting new tractors. The first phase of this new regulation requires a loaded Class 8 tandem axle tractor to stop in 250 ft. from 60 mph (from previous standard of 355 ft). This applies only to three-axle tractors with 59,600-pound GVWR or less.
“It’s a real benefit for vehicle manufacturers to meet the 30 percent reduced stopping requirement without having to make significant changes to their drum brake offerings,” said Chad Mitts, general manager, Brakes, Meritor. “We have the technology and products to support our customers. Our preparation has included over 7.5 million miles of road testing and nearly 500 dynamometer tests to ensure that Meritor optimized drum brakes comply with stopping requirements,” Mitts added.
Mitts noted that the company’s focus is to make this new transition seamless for its customers while taking advantage of the proven benefits of the Q Plus drum brake. “When choosing Meritor’s Q Plus brakes, truck operators will benefit from an established service infrastructure and proven operational efficiency,” Mitts commented.
“In order to meet the new government regulation with drum brakes, Meritor designed more powerful front brakes and highly effective rear axle brakes to deliver the new stopping distances,” said Joe Kay, chief engineer, Brakes, Meritor. “Meritor has taken the opportunity to shorten the stopping distance gap between drum and disc brakes while maintaining or improving brake life. We were also able to balance the torque load between tractor and trailer brakes. It was important for us to focus on everyday driving characteristics as well as the more stringent emergency stop performance requirements,” said Kay.
With a new suite of friction materials, there is a Meritor Q Plus drum brake package available to support FMVSS 121 compliance across all affected tractor applications. Meritor has maintained a full portfolio of high performance products through this regulation change that allows customers to choose either drum or disc brakes depending on the needs of their business.
Meritor offers standard and high-performance drum brakes, air disc brakes, automatic slack adjusters, hubs, rotors and drums and hydraulic disc brakes. Meritor Q Plus brakes are standard or optional equipment on Navistar, Freightliner, Western Star, Volvo, Mack, Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.