Landmark trial ‘brakes’ the mould

A landmark trial of a new heavy vehicle braking system on waste collection trucks has proven a great success for the City of Swan in Western Australia. City mayor, Charlie Zannino, said he was very pleased with the results from the first six months of testing.

“The trial involved fitting two of our waste and recycling vehicles with the Sealed Integrated Braking System (SIBS) with the aim of improving the safety and lifespan, and hence reducing operating costs, of the truck brakes,” Zannino said.

The SIBS system is a fully-enclosed, single rotor, high-speed ‘wet’ brake – meaning the system operates in oil which dramatically reduces heat build-up and wear – that has been used extensively over the past 10 years in commercial applications within the Australian mining industry.

“This (SIBS system) has been used in other industries, but has never been previously tested in waste management vehicles,” Charlie added enthusiastically. “During the first six months of testing we’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both our fleet manager and our drivers operating the trial waste management vehicles.

“While the prime advantages are significantly lower brake wear and improved safety, the testing has highlighted a number of other benefits with the new SIBS system, notably more control and confidence in the braking system.

“There’s also the added bonus of no brake squeak, which is always a welcome relief for both drivers and residents.”

Indeed, so successful has the trial been, the City is investigating the possibility of extending the use of SIBS across other vehicles in the City fleet.

“After six months of the trial, the brake pads show very low rates of wear, which should result in greatly reduced brake service down time and costs for the vehicles,” Zannino continued. “The results indicated only minimal wear whereas a standard truck would be at least close to or even past its wear limit at this point. This indicates brake service intervals well beyond the two year interval the City is targeting.

“Along with fuel costs, the brake system is the major operating cost for waste management vehicles, so this type of technology is important to the City to help it minimise the overall operating costs of its fleet,” Charlie concluded.

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