Diesel News’ Tech Know has been talking to Nick Schubert, who runs Schubert Haulage, where he has started using a simple solution to an age-old problem for the last few years and has seen a serious reduction in trailer brake wear.
For many years the ASET Engineering owner, Ken Pitt, had been frustrated at the amount of brake shoes that were quickly going out of alignment and being prematurely replaced. After a few years of experimentation an effective solution was found, by Ken and his team, the Tru-Shu.
The Schubert Haulage fleet uses semi trailers and B-doubles. There are seven prime movers and 15 trailers, tippers and flat tops. They work out of the company’s base in Langhorne Creek, close to where the Murray River is supposed to meet the ocean in South Australia. Much of the operation’s work is seasonal, varying between wine grapes, grain, fertiliser and hay.
“Because the brake drum is enclosed one side and open the other side, when they get worn they go cone shaped,” says Nick. “Because it’s cone shaped the shoes just walk out the side of the drum. It was just frustrating, the longer it goes the worse it gets, because the shoes just get more worn.
“It’s been an age-old problem and I never had a solution to it. Then I was taking to Ken and saw what he had done on his trailers. I thought it was ingenious and cheap. Now, I will not do anything to a trailer without fitting the Tru-Shu on them. I don’t put brakes on a trailer without them.
“As we change brake linings, they do not go back on without Tru-Shu. I have spares sitting here in my workshop. When a trailer comes in the Tru-Shu gets fitted. Using the fitting, the drums last longer, the brake shoes sit nice and square and work properly and it’s just a simple solution to an old problem. They’re so simple and you can re-use them over and over again.”
The uneven wear on brake shoes has been a common problem in the industry as any workshop which maintains vehicles or removes brake defects will tell you. The cost was unacceptable to Ken as he reckoned the cost of replacing each one to be well over $1,000, not including down-time.
On occasions it can be a much greater cost and safety issue as the S-cam can come loose and smash into the drum bolts, disintegrating them onto the road and rendering that brake entirely ineffective.
The final result of Ken and his team’s development work is the product now known as Tru-Shu. A patented, tested and engineer-approved solution to a decades old problem.