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Decoding the disc vs. drum brake debate

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April 17, 2023

Brake experts discuss the maintenance differences between drums and ADBs and lifecycle advantages of each.


Though a decade ago it was far from the case, nowadays, the likelihood for a technician to work on a newer truck with air disc brakes (ADBs) is about the same as one with drum brakes.


“Almost half of the builds for new equipment are for disc brakes today,” noted Mark Holly, director of marketing and customer solutions for wheel ends at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. “With new trailers, it’s about 20%.”


Both types can provide some value to fleets, and when evaluating whether a drum or disc brake is the better overall fit, fleets should consider the benefits relative to the application they will be placed in. The total cost of ownership, including the maintenance and service, also factors into a brake’s longer-term ROI.



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