03 Jan 2013
January 3, 2013

Brakes for light trucks

0 Comment

Are a very interesting commodity .The qualities available vary considerably. Light trucks are extremely popular in the USA in fact the best selling car…is in fact a light truck.

Modern brakes applied to light trucks work differently to brakes on a car in that quite often the rear brake rotor sizes are larger than the front to reflect to load carrying ability of the vehicle. Brake calipers are often as large on the rear of a light truck as the front units giving rise to two axle braking under load. Light truck brake systems often feature a brake bias device or a load valve to spread the brake pressure according to the truck load and avoid rear wheel brake lockup.


The brake pads used in modern trucks have to be both durable and balanced front to rear in friction level or braking power. The loads and heat ranges that light truck brakes undergo is quite high especially when towing. Brakes often overheat and can fade, brake fade is not a pleasant experience and is often caused by lack of good quality brake pads.

Light truck brake rotors are both large in diameter and are generally thicker than most car brake rotors allowing them to be re surfaced or turned at disc pad change to obtain longer wear life. The best way to resurface the brake rotors is with an on car brake lathe made by the world leader Pro-Cut which re aligns the rotors to the vehicle and compensates for geometry issues that arise during the life of a truck.

When changing the suspension on a light truck or choosing oversize wheels and tires a brake upgrade may be a worth considering. Brake upgrades include higher friction brake pads and even slotted rotors which run cooler that stock non slotted units are a firm favourite with many light truck drivers.

High friction brake pads can help a truck stop faster but often do not outlast the original parts, There is always a trade off with life and performance and light truck drivers have to make their selection accordingly.

The heavier a truck is the better the brakes need to be. Always choose components wisely and have them fitted professionally to avoid shocks. Check brake fluid regularly and top up with correct spec of a quality brake fluid and always remember to replace brake pads when they are low. Wearing brake pads to a point where is less than one eighth of an inch of material is not recommend as this is where brake fade sets in and loss of brake can be experienced. Also running pads too low can cause rotor damage and seriously increase the cost of your next brake repair.