Over the past several years, adoption of air disc brakes (ADBs) has climbed to 18% to 25% of brakes ordered on trucks, according to brake manufacturers, who anticipate that number reaching 50% within the next decade.
One of the major advantages of air disc brakes is the extended service interval for brake friction. However, that does not mean that preventative maintenance schedules are also extended.
While it’s always important to check your specific manufacturer’s recommended preventative maintenance guidance, the following steps are generally agreed upon:
1. Inspect pad friction thickness to ensure that it has not fallen below the minimum, verifying even pad wear not only across the pad but also comparing the inboard vs. outboard pad, and making sure that friction is not cracked.
2. Verify that rotor thickness is greater than the minimum and also make sure that there are no stress cracks in the rotor. If stress cracks are present, check them against acceptable levels.
3. Make sure that your boots are in good working order and do not exhibit any tearing of the boot material that would allow moisture and contaminants into the caliper.
4. Verify that the caliper can slide freely.