If there’s one thing important to a tractor-trailer driver in the mountains, it’s having the same stopping power at the bottom of a long grade as at the top.
“Nobody likes thinking about drum brake fade when they’re hauling downhill,” said Scott Goodfellow, director of maintenance at SOAR Transportation Group and a 30-year CDL holder. “So enhancing driver and vehicle safety through better brake performance is a key reason we’re spec’ing Bendix air disc brakes on all our new tractors and trailers.”
Based in South Salt Lake, UT, SOAR runs a refrigerated fleet serving the 48 contiguous United States, numbering 250 tractors and 380 trailers, including its incoming new orders of Freightliner Cascadias and Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. units. SOAR announced its 100 next-generation Cascadias will be equipped with Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes on all axles, while the trailers will come with Bendix ADB22X-LT trailer air disc brakes. The deliveries will mark the first air disc brakes in the SOAR fleet.
“We pride ourselves on putting safety first, and stressing safety always – there’s no in-between, and it drives all of our decisions,” Goodfellow said. “That’s why introducing air disc brakes to SOAR is such a huge deal: They offer better stopping distance; smooth, straight, and stable stops while virtually eliminating brake fade; and they’re the best braking technology to support the advanced active safety systems – things like full stability and collision mitigation – that are a growing and vital part of our overall safety philosophy.”
The Bendix ADB22X is produced by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB), a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products. Since launching the ADB22X in 2005, BSFB has produced over 2 million units, according to Bendix.
Bendix also expanded its ADB portfolio in 2016 with the Bendix ADB22X-LT, engineered specifically for trailers and offering the lightest-weight trailer ADB system in North America.
“Having personally seen the difference Bendix air disc brakes make, I knew we needed the ADB22X and the LT version at SOAR,” Goodfellow said. “Bendix’s experience, leadership, and success in ADBs is unmatched, and the advantages over drums from both a safety and uptime perspective made the decision really simple. They’re like a night and day difference.”
And by combining ADB22X on tractors and ADB22X-LT on trailers, fleets are able to capitalize on common wearable components (for example, pads, guide pins, and others) and the new BX276 extended-life pad (even beyond current ADB standards), Bendix noted.
With an eye on fleet growth and facility expansions, Goodfellow said equipping Bendix air disc brakes now and in the future is a strong selling point for driver recruitment and retention efforts.
“Although we’re a relatively young company, we have a lot going on, big plans, and a talented team dedicated to making things happen,” Goodfellow said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with Bendix as we grow and move forward with a constant focus on improving safety for our drivers and everyone sharing the roads.”
“Knowing how integral safety is to the SOAR team and its drivers, Bendix is excited to support this fleet as they discover the benefits of air disc brakes,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix North America regional vice president – fleet/trailer sales and service engineering. “There really is nothing quite like experiencing the advantages both behind the wheel and in the shop, and realizing what they’re going to mean in the long run for safer highways and fleet success.”