The braking system is arguably the most important part of the truck. If your truck brakes are not functioning properly, you will not be able to decelerate safely, which can easily result in an accident. Replacing the appropriate automotive parts for your Cummins diesel at the right time will not only help to save your money, it will also help to save your vehicle, but possibly your life. It is very important to address braking problems as soon as possible. But the big question is; how often should you replace brakes on a pickup truck?
The brake pads, brake calipers and the brake rotors are the main components of a truck braking system. Both the rotors and the brake pads usually wear out with time, but the speed at which they wear out depends on various factors discussed below.
Your driving habits
Did you know that your driving habits have a direct impact on how often you should replace your brakes? If you normally push the brakes of the truck hard when driving, then your brake pads will have a shorter lifespan. If you like hitting the brake pedal to stop abruptly, the truck braking pad will wear faster. On the other hand, if you apply the brake pedal smoothly and gradually, then your brake pads will have a longer lifespan. Therefore, if you want to increase the lifespan on your brake pads, then it is recommended that you apply brakes smoothly and gradually. Of course don’t hesitate to break hard when necessary.
Hardness of the brake pads
Truck brake pads are available in different compounds. Generally, brake pads that are hard usually last longer but they need to be warm to perform well. That is why they are common on performance trucks. On the other hand, softer brake pads perform well for trucks that drive at normal speeds. Too much heat on the pads can cause it to ‘glaze’ the surface of the rotor, compromising stopping effectiveness. It is important to get pads that are appropriate for your application.
If you are driving your truck in town with heavy traffic, you will put more pressure on the brakes than driving on smooth straight roads with less traffic. In addition to that, if you drive your truck in areas with rugged terrain, you will be forced to ride the brake frequently meaning that the braking system will wear out quickly.
The materials that make up the braking system
The materials that the brake pad and the rotor are made from play a huge role in determining the brakes durability. For instance carbon ceramic will last longer when compared to those made from standard metal. Carbon ceramic brakes are more expensive and usually used on high performance trucks. However, brake pads made from steel are generally good enough for normal driving.
How to tell if your brakes needs to be replaced
Generally truck mechanics recommend that brake pads needs to be replaced after 75,000 kilometers. However, some need to be replaced after 40,000 kilometers while others can actually last up to 110,000 kilometers. It really depends on the factors that we have listed above. If you want to get more accurate figure that suits your truck’s needs, we recommend regular maintenance inspections, where a more accurate picture of the wear can be given. Other important indicators that you need to look out for include when brakes become jittery, when the brake pad makes scraping or squealing noise, which is a great time to bring in your truck for a checkup.