News & Media


The commercial vehicle brake specialists BPW thank SAF Holland for the comparison video 'Drum vs Disc trailer braking tests conducted by Horiba-MIRA 2024'. 


SAF recently released a video showing a comparison between the braking distances of a drum-braked and a disc-braked trailer with increasing temperatures of the brake components. The braking distances recorded for the test vehicles show results with braking systems under increasingly elevated temperatures up to an extreme of 500°C for the disc brake and 400°C for the drum brake. 


The good news for BPW drum brake users is that the temperature range of brake applications which is reached on UK road conditions in driving operation, is between 120°C and 270°C. Although this temperature range is not represented in the test, the diagrams at the end of the video show that during 'Run 5' the drum-braked vehicle at 350°C comes to a stop faster than a disc-braked vehicle. Great! 


As the video did not include Run 5, which has a drum temperature of around 330°C, we're happy to submit the missing presentation, as shown in the image attached. Here, the braking distance of the drum-braked trailer is 3 meters shorter. Too bad SAF didn't show this part of the video.



Temperatures between 370°C - 400°C are only reached in exceptional cases, and the test highlights the importance of managing heat from braking. The effect of such high temperatures can be evident in the degradation of the bearing grease, discs, brake pads and caliper components. 


Happily, the BPW hub with its Formula 1 principle simplifies the maintenance process, enabling bearings to be easily inspected and serviced. The BPW disc can also be replaced without removing the caliper. We would advise caution if extreme braking heat has been experienced and recommend a caliper inspection to reduce the risk of future problems.


Some may question how “real world” 20 emergency stops with no tractor unit braking nor EBS within a short space of time are. But remember that with BPW’s idem Telematics you can always monitor your trailer - whether it be alerts for overloading conditions, the status of the EBS system, frequency of harsh braking or constant monitoring of the brake efficiency through the Brake Performance Monitoring system. If problems are identified, BPW’s experienced Fleet Support Technical Team are on hand for guidance.


BPW's customers can rightly trust that with the ECO Drum, ECO disc and Idem Telematics, they are equipped to meet everyday and even extreme challenges.




3 July 2024


For further press information, contact Rebecca Wesley or Emma Makings-Hone at BPW Limited:

Telephone: 0116 281 6100 | Email: [email protected] |  

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