Ward off Rust

Whether you haul across town or across country, inclement weather can make your job more complicated. And if you're unknowingly driving with damaged brake shoe linings, a minor annoyance can quickly become a real safety hazard.

But how can brake shoe linings get damaged without you knowing? Two words: rust jacking.

The Real Story on Rust Jacking

Rust jacking is the buildup of rust between the brake shoe and lining, sometimes to a thickness of 1/8th of an inch or more. As the rust builds, it pushes outward against the lining, "jacking" it against the rivets and causing it to crack. If caught early, cracked linings will just put a truck out of service - potentially with Compliance, Safety, Accountability violation points. But severe rust jacking can cause brakes to fail completely, and this can lead to a serious crash.

Who's Most at Risk?

When it comes to rust jacking, everyone is at risk. That's because de-icing chemicals such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride - which are used by state and local transportation departments nationwide to keep roads clear and safe for driving in snowy, icy conditions - are the primary cause of rust jacking in heavy-duty brake shoes. And once these corrosive anti-icing chemicals get lodged in a brake system's smallest spaces, rust is impossible to prevent.

But rust jacking isn't limited to northern truckers. Warm coastal areas are also prone to corrosion, since the high humidity and saltwater combine to create the same damaging properties as chemical de-icers.

So what can you do to ward off the rust? Follow these three easy steps:

  1. Choose a high-quality OE or remanufactured brake shoe that is powder coated with epoxy or urethane resins to provide long-lasting protection from rust and corrosion.
  2. Clean your truck's undercarriage regularly, especially after driving on de-iced roads. Use a gentle stream from a hose rather than a pressure washer; a more powerful wash can force harmful chemicals deeper into the braking mechanism rather than washing them away.
  3. Be careful when using fasteners. Attach steel parts with plated steel bolts and nuts, and use stainless steel to prevent corrosion.

Your local Mack dealer carries a full range of high-performance brake shoes and friction material to ensure you stay safe and profitable, no matter the weather conditions. Contact the service experts at your local dealership to schedule a full brakes inspection today. And don't forget to log in to the SELECT Part Store™ for easy parts ordering and fast delivery - often the same day.

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