Steve Smith, the owner of Commercial Brake Engineering (CBE), is an experienced engineer who is quite adept with truck and trailer electronics. As a mobile service provider, Steve can arrive at a client’s facility to provide remote support, using factory diagnostics including pneumatic testing using Vericom test equipment to ascertain application and release brake performance of basic pneumatic and foundation brake hardware.
As a long-term service agent for many leading EBS brands, CBE specialises in diagnosis and service of air brake, suspension control and related electronic systems.
CBE has a long history of association with Bendix Brake systems, and when Knorr-Bremse acquired the Bendix business, the continuing relationship naturally flowed on under the control of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems. The addition of Knorr-Bremse products and service allows CBE to offer a more comprehensive suite of product support to the industry.
Speaking of his business, Steve says, “One of our strongest advantages relates to industry longevity from single circuit air brake control systems to integration of early ABS systems for trucks, the eventual adaption of truck ABS to trailer use, the adaption of dual circuit brake systems and ECE13R Euro brake systems, and the trailer variants, including the various ADR system compliances. It is very handy to understand the evolution of air brakes when diagnosing problems.”
Steve recommends owners and operators investigate their options with brake computer systems, and talk to vehicle suppliers, industry associates and brake component suppliers to understand their service software and application criteria before picking the model that works best for their specific needs.
“Use of different component systems across a fleet reduces efficiency in diagnostics when repairs are needed,” he says. “Of utmost importance, use only genuine quality, or approved parts. Poor quality, or inferior performing components may reduce the overall system performance, especially in the event of an automated stability correction, or even reduce the optimisation of a basic brake event. Like other leading volume manufacturers, Knorr-Bremse, follows a very conservative and very thorough design and manufacturing process, which allows their customers to be extremely confident that the hardware and software will provide optimal braking in every instance.”
The Knorr-Bremse platform has the advantage of controlling every facet of the ADR compliance process, information flow and direct product support.
“Every manufacturer of trailer EBS systems offer unique functionalities with their products,” he says. “Knorr-Bremse now has the distinct advantage of a TCA approved and compliant telemetry package, which offers fleets a less complicated avenue with a smart level of integration. The Knorr-Bremse TEBS unit broadcasts a huge amount of data collected by the brake computer, without the need to overlay another system, and multiple connections. The system affords the fleet, driver and public a level of safety and braking confidence. This makes the technology vitally important, as the majority of road users have little or no understanding that a fully laden commercial vehicle combination does not exhibit the same braking or handling characteristics that they possess in a modern-day car.”
Knorr-Bremse systems are also adaptable to multiple designs including low loaders, with or without extension and widening, custom and conventional trailers alike.
“The staff at Knorr-Bremse in Australia has made a concerted effort to provide a great deal of support for OEM’s and fleets, and the TruckServices Service Partner network alike,” Steve says. “Product support for technology products in countries such as Australia and New Zealand can be certainly challenging, especially with the loss of experience in the vehicle repair business in recent years. The earlier resistance to advanced technologies in vehicle sub systems has made product support especially difficult. Also considering that brake systems have been so simple and reliable since WWII, the uptake of advanced braking technologies is a much more arduous process for the industry when compared to engines or gearbox electronic controls.”
In recent times, Knorr-Bremse has been working tirelessly towards improvement in understanding and communication with both TruckServices Service Partners and fleets alike. This, in turn, helps its partners and fleets to develop confidence in owning Knorr-Bremse Technologies, with the knowledge that there is sound support if something goes wrong.
“The brake business is often ‘down and dirty’,” Steve says. “And the sales and tech support staff at Knorr-Bremse understand this and are happy to deal with whatever may be needed to keep the vehicle functioning and on the road.”