Citing safety and a concern about counterfeit parts, Shaun Shroff, vice president of DuraBrake, says the company is forming the Wheel End Manufacturers Association, Linkedin Group.
“These are safety related components,” Shroff says, “so it is in everyone’s interest to have good brake drums on the road.”
According to Shroff, drum manufacturers are continuing to reduce the weight of their products to what DuraBrake thinks are unsafe levels. He explains that brake drums originally weighed 110 to 114 pounds, and that some manufacturers currently are producing drums that weigh 100 pounds. “That is a 10 to 15 percent reduction. Is it going to go down to 90 pounds?” he wondered.
He is quick to admit that the lighter weight drums have been Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard tested, but that does not mean they are right for every application. “You see people putting them on garbage trucks and then wondering why they fail.”
Another reason the company is forming the group is concern over brake drums that are not identified with the name of the manufacturer. “When you visit distributors, you will see drums that just say 3600A. That is a Gunite part number, but the drum is not from Gunite,” he says. He contends that there are a lot of counterfeit brake drums on the market and that if manufacturers band together they will have more clout with the Department of Commerce to do something about the problem.
Shroff says the purpose of the group is to have an open forum for manufacturers to discuss brake drum weights, to work toward ensuring that all brake drum manufacturers put their name on their products, and to force importers to put their own part numbers on their products and not use another manufacturer’s part number.
Interested manufacturers can go to http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Wheel-End-Manufacturers-Association-WEMA-6598298/about or visit DuraBrake at the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week show in Las Vegas from Jan. 27-30 at booth # 1436.