A brake shoe support mechanism, Tru-Shu fits directly onto existing brake shoes. It’s a precautionary measure that can potentially save transport operators thousands of dollars in replacement costs.
When brakes are in use, they generate heat, causing the drum to expand and become slightly cone shaped. Due to this outward pressure, over time, brake shoes can be wound outwards on one end, resulting in very uneven wear, defects and the need for brake shoe replacement or maintenance.
Constructed of AS/NZS 5131 steel, combined with German hardware, Tru-Shu is fitted directly onto the existing brake shoe, physically eliminating any opportunity for outward movement. Even in the harshest outback conditions and in extreme use, it can double the life of brake shoes. By ensuring brake shoes remain in alignment, trucks and trailers are kept on the road, where they need to be.
Tru-Shu is designed, developed, tested and manufactured by ASET Engineering in South Australia. Together with undertaking research and development, ASET Engineering also manufactures products to support its freight business, All-Size Equipment Transport Services (ASET Services).
Due to the specialised nature of the transport tasks performed by ASET Services, the business utilises innovative trailers designed to loading and delivery of over-dimensional freight across the country. Further to this, designing products that reduce trailer maintenance and downtime is among its core objectives. ASET’s transport division has been running for over 20 years, with the business designing solutions to assist the transport industry for close to 15 years.
This has included developing improvements to current components or sections of trailers including suspension, brakes and ramps. The Tru-Shu brake shoe support mechanism is the first of these to be put to market.
The development of Tru-Shu came after ASET owner, Ken Pitt spent many years frustrated by the amount of brake shoes that were quickly going out of alignment and being prematurely replaced, forcing the trailer or prime mover off the road. With each axle set of brake parts costing in excess of $2000 to replace (not including downtime), this was becoming an expensive exercise.
On some occasions, brake shoe issues came at an even higher cost and even hindered on the safety of operators, Ken reveals. In instances where the S-cam came loose and smashed into the drum bolts, it could disintegrate the component onto the road and cause the brake to become completely ineffective.
Determined to come up with a solution, Ken worked with his team to develop the Tru-Shu brake shoe support mechanism. It took years of experimentation to come up with the final product.
“The disruption with a defect is massive,” says Ken. “Tru-Shu acts as a guide directly on the S-cam and the S-cam must operate correctly on top of the roller so you just know that they are going to wear correctly every time.”
Since implementing the Tru-Shu across its fleet, ASET Services has not had a single brake shoe ride out of alignment.
Ken says the business fits the Tru-Shu across the fleet to drive brakes and trailer brakes.
Proud of how effective this solution was for the business, sharing it with others in the industry was the obvious next step. The issue was that the first iteration wasn’t as cost effective for small operators, so the work continued. ASET Engineering set out to develop a brake shoe support mechanism that was accessible to all transport operators – and the result was the Tru-Shu that is available to the market today.
For Whiteline Transport, which operates out of Adelaide and Perth, the Tru-Shu has proved its worth. Company Director Sharon Middleton says Ken approached the business to try the product because its fleet travels through one of Australia’s toughest routes. “Running across the Nullarbor is a hard trek, it’s a long trek. And 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 our brakes on our trailers and because of that it’s making us safer and it’s saving us money.”
Whiteline Transport Workshop Manager Phil Cook adds, “We found that we were changing brake shoes too often. Tru-Shu makes them last a lot longer – at least double the time.”
The patented Australian made Tru-Shu is low cost and easy to install. And, whenever brakes are replaced, the Tru-Shu bolts straight back on with the addition of only some new single-use bolts. Tru-Shu can be reused repeatedly over many years.
“It’s a one-off cost per trailer for as long as the trailer lives really,” says Ken. “It just makes the brakes last and operate as good as they can for their whole life.”