If you're a truck driver and have ever experienced a case of brake fade when driving down a steep incline, then you know how scary it can be. Some big trucks are, after all, only equipped with conventional brakes, and these are susceptible to heat degradation through prolonged use. If you've just suffered another scary moment, then you may agree that it's time for a change and may be looking at options to help keep you safe. In this case, why don't you think about fitting a retarder to your truck as well?
If you're not familiar with a braking retarder, it's a system that is completely independent of your conventional brakes, and in fact, does not work directly on the wheels at all. It's a solution that is fitted within the driveline of the vehicle, and it can certainly be complimentary to the traditional method.
Standard hydraulic brakes (or air brakes for that matter) rely on the friction pads rubbing against a rotary disc, attached to each wheel. They should only be applied periodically, however, and if the driver tends to use a lot of the brake pedal, they can quite easily overheat and fade.
On the other hand, a retarder is activated through a switch system in the cab and is based on an electromagnetic coil. Within that coil (fitted into the driveline) is a rotor that will be activated or deactivated by an electric current. When it is in the "on" position, it will force the vehicle to decelerate by slowing down the transmission.
With this system in place, the driver can rely on a backup solution should they encounter a steep downhill grade, and they can use both the retarder and the conventional braking system to remain in full control.
Making an Investment
Of course, you will have to get this system fitted by an experienced technician, and this will require a little investment. However, you will certainly cut down on replacement brake components, and this could save you a lot of money in any given year. After all, you will undoubtedly find that those brake pads wear down very quickly, and you may also have had to replace a set of discs in the past due to the resultant damage.
Finding Your Solution
Talk with your Hino truck parts supplier and ask them if they stock a retarder system for your make and model of truck.