Building a better mousetrap

At the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show, Tru-Shu developer ASET Engineering will showcase its latest developments – Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit and a Premium Trailer Axle and Suspension – which the company claims can dramatically reduce time taken for truck and trailer brake maintenance.

Having successfully launched Tru-Shu – an innovative heavy vehicle brake shoe alignment device – at the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show, ASET Engineering will up the ante at this year’s event with the display of Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit and a prototype axle it is developing.

These products build upon the proven success of Tru-Shu by providing a complete axle and undercarriage solution that furthers ASET’s long-term goal to improve braking and maintenance technology on heavy vehicle axles.

“ASET Engineering develops innovative trailers as well as maintenance solutions which are all patented and manufactured right here in Australia,” says Stuart Wearne, Business Manager at ASET Services.

“We have been patenting and manufacturing for at least 15 years, with the Research and Development (R&D) driven by our freight business ASET Services (All-Size Equipment Transport Services).”

Stuart says the company finds solutions to eliminate problems in its own transport equipment and takes pride in sharing these solutions with the whole industry in a bid to reduce running costs across the board.

While still in the developmental stage, Stuart says Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit utilises 3D printed prototype components and is a full solution to improve braking performance and significantly simplify brake maintenance.

The team working on the development of Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit is driven by Ken Pitt the owner/inventor and Gordon Crighton the CAD designer.

The latest project is said to incorporate the proven benefits of Tru-Shu – such as even brake wear and preventing brake shoes from riding out the side of the drum – while adding significant further advantages.

For example, unlike conventional axles where there is no quick solution for a worn S-cam bush housing, the Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit axle features detachable S-cam bush housings that can be easily replaced.

“We’re almost reinventing the wheel with this new axle design, taking it from scratch and improving it from the ground up,” Stuart says.

“It cuts brake maintenance time by over half and eliminates the need to disturb bearings by making it unnecessary to remove hubs every time minor maintenance is performed,” Stuart says – adding that he believes the product has the potential to reduce the industry’s dependence on imported axles and also create an opportunity to export superior Australian-made axles.

“With this project it will take time for us to find partners as well as gain support from Austrade or similar government departments,” he says.

Stuart explains that this latest development follows the success of ASET Engineering’s current portfolio of braking technology products.

“The current Tru-Shu is an economically priced bolt-on product that will provide significant benefit to anyone from a single operator to a 1,000-plus fleet business, he says.

“Tru-Shu Ezi-Fit multiplies the benefits because it is a complete solution that is built-in.”

The current bolt-on Tru-Shu range is widely accessible to fleets Australia-wide and, according to Stuart, provides immediate results.

He explains that when used heavily brake shoes generate large amounts of heat which can cause the drum to expand and become slightly conical in shape.

“Over time, this causes brake shoes to walk outwards, resulting in uneven wear and the need for premature brake shoe maintenance or replacement.

“Fitment of the Tru-Shu product mitigates these issues,” he says. “Made from AS/NZS 5131 steel, combined with German hardware, Tru-Shu is a brake shoe support mechanism that physically eliminates any propensity for outward movement of the brake shoes.
“Even in the harshest outback conditions and in extreme use, it can double the life of brake shoes. Trucks and trailers, with brake shoes kept in alignment, continue to operate on the roads,” Stuart says.

Adelaide-based Whiteline Transport is an early Tru-Shu adopter and has reportedly seen immediate benefits in its fleet, which regularly crosses the Nullarbor Plain between Adelaide and Perth.

“Running across the Nullarbor is a hard trek, it’s a long trek,” says Sharon Middleton, Director, Whiteline Transport.

“You can guarantee the trailers are going to be doing in excess of 5,000 kilometres a week, so it’s an extremely good test platform.

“We’re experiencing great success with the product. It’s definitely saving us wear and tear on the brakes of our trailers and because of that it’s making us safer and saving us money.”

The patented Australian-made Tru-Shu is low cost and easy to install. Whenever brake shoes are replaced, the device bolts straight back onto the new shoes with the addition of some new single-use bolts. As a result, Tru-Shu can be reused ad infinitum.

Fast Fact
The owner of ASET Engineering, Ken Pitt, was frustrated by the premature replacement and misalignment of brake shoes – a common cause of fleet downtime – so he worked on his Tru-Shu solution which tackles the issue head-on. As the replacement of an axle set along with brake parts can cost thousands, Tru-Shu is helping keep trucks on the move, saving operators time and money.

This is what Tru-Shu prevents. Excessive heat build-up causes the drum to become conical shaped. This causes tapered lining wear and forces the shoes out of the drum.