Bendix Announces Grounded Automatic Slack Adjuster for Vehicles in Specialty Applications

Bendix® Versajust® GS™ Slack Adjuster Offers Optimized Brake Performance, Improved Drum Life, and Extended Brake Lining Life

ELYRIA, Ohio – March 15, 2019 – For years, fleets and owner-operators have enjoyed the improved brake drum life, lining life, and fuel efficiency that comes from spec’ing Bendix® Versajust® automatic slack adjusters. While an integral part of many trucks, the Versajust hasn’t been available for everyone’s vehicle – until now.

The Bendix® Versajust® GS™ Slack Adjuster is designed for vehicles requiring grounded automatic slack adjusters, because the brake envelope cannot accommodate slacks that use the more common link-style construction. The new slack expands and enhances the Bendix portfolio of slack adjusters to serve a wider range of the marketplace.

“Our link-style Versajust® – the LS™ – has proven its worth over countless miles since Bendix revolutionized slack adjuster technology with its launch in 2010,” said Keith McComsey, director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End, at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB). “But while the LS suits the needs of about 90 percent of applications, we wanted more fleets to be able to experience its benefits. And in cases where fleets need both link-style and grounded adjusters, the availability of the GS can simplify parts management and streamline maintenance for increased uptime.”

The body of the Versajust GS was engineered to accept higher torque capacities for those applications that may see higher frequency brake applications at higher loads (refuse, for example). Several versions of the Versajust® GS™ are available to fit a variety of axle geometries used in specialty applications or, in some cases, other truck applications requiring high-capacity axles. In many of these cases, a slack adjuster cannot be directly aligned with the air brake chamber, requiring an arm with an angle. The Versajust comes in 5-inch, 5.5-inch, and 6-inch lengths, in multiple angle configurations.

The Bendix® Versajust® LS™ slack adjuster is available as a factory-installed option at all major North American truck manufacturers. The Versajust GS is now available in the aftermarket. Fleets interested in spec’ing the Versajust GS should ask their OE about availability.

The Impact of Slacks

The slack adjuster a fleet selects directly impacts the life and performance of foundation drum brakes, compliance and safety, as well as total cost of ownership.

The Bendix Versajust LS and Bendix Versajust GS can improve drum life by up to 30 percent and extend brake lining life by up to 16 percent, thanks to enhancements that the WearMax™ Clutch introduced to slack adjuster technology. Versajust provides a gradual, continuous, and more precise adjustment rate that lowers the risk of brake drag, which can occur due to overadjustment as a brake drum expands and contracts during use and cool-down.

Avoiding dragging brakes keeps brake temperatures lower, which extends both brake drum and lining life. And by delivering the minimum running clearance, Versajust also provides maximum chamber reserve stroke, to help lower risk to Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores. By preventing brake drag, Versajust also helps fleets avoid the increased fuel consumption required to overcome a dragging brake caused by an over adjusting slack adjuster.

To provide durability across a range of environments and duty cycles, Versajust slack adjusters feature patented bronze friction rings, increased corrosion resistance, and a stronger seal. They are also engineered for easy installation and maintenance without the need for special tools, attachments, templates, or brackets.

Repairing in Pairs

In the aftermarket, Bendix also now offers its adjusters in a “two-pack” pairing, because if one slack adjuster on an axle needs to be replaced, it’s likely that the other is nearing replacement too. Replacing both slacks on the axle at one time also helps to minimize downtime and labor. Or, if a breakdown happens on the road, fleets can avoid roadside costs.

“Consistency along the axle – and even across the entire vehicle – is critical to maintaining balance in brake performance,” McComsey said. “Variability in slack adjuster operation can lead to issues like uneven braking, different brake reaction times, brake steer, and uneven pad wear. From a total cost of ownership (TCO) perspective, unless a slack adjuster has failed markedly ahead of schedule, it’s better to replace two while you’ve got your truck in the garage than to deal with a second maintenance session down the road.”

The American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council Recommended Practice RP-609C advises that all slack adjusters on a vehicle should be the same length and from the same manufacturer. Bendix further believes that they should be identical models, whether fleets look to a like-for-like replacement or to upgrade the vehicle to a higher-performing adjuster if more years of service are expected.

Bendix’s complete lineup of wheel-end solutions – including foundation drum, air disc brakes, actuators and reman shoes – delivers on areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators, including safety, reliability, stopping power, and vehicle performance and efficiency. By focusing on these needs and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to lower TCO, strengthen industry investment in commercial vehicle safety technologies, and enhance highway safety for everyone sharing the road.

The Brake Report
The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.