Prefabricated inspection pit manufacturer Premier Pits has announced it has been named the UK distributor for BrakeMate, a new workshop product said to eliminate the lifting of heavy brake calipers and hubs and keep the lifting of discs to a minimum, as well as significantly cutting downtime for brake disc maintenance.
“BrakeMate has been designed as an elevated service platform for servicing heavy vehicle disc brake assemblies; it eliminates all manual lifting of the caliper and hub and substantially reduces service time, leading to a saving in both time and money,” said Premier Pits.
“Manufactured in Australia by Tulip Corp, who have been engineering products for 75 years, BrakeMate cuts the time it takes to replace a single disc by one hour. It also enables a single user to complete the whole process, rather than being a two-person job. This enables other jobs to be completed more efficiently, meaning further time savings.”
The firm continued: “The brake disc assembly on heavy commercial vehicles, buses and coaches can weigh up to 70kg, much higher than the 25kg limit recommended by HSE. Lifting such weights can often lead to injuries which are not only painful to the employee but also financially painful to employers through lost time and compensation claims which can range from £10,000 to £30,000.”
The system comprises two trolley-based working platforms, explained the company.
“Firstly, using the adjustable clamp mechanism, the calliper, which can weigh up to 30kg, is easily removed and stowed on the platform for reassembly later in the process. The clamp can be used on callipers situated in the 3, 9 and 12 o’clock positions, and an adaptor is also available for callipers in the 6 o’clock position.
“Once the calliper is removed, the disc/hub trolley is moved into position and located onto the studs. Adapter plates allow for connection with common 8 and 10 stub patterns. A manual hydraulic ram separates the hub assembly from the vehicle which allows the user to feel the force being applied.
“After removal, the two trolleys are then mated together to form a completed workstation in order to separate the disc from the hub. The used disc is rolled onto the built-in rotor rack, which is turned 180 degrees to allow for the new disc to be moved into position. The process of removal is reversed and the unit is easily, safely and accurately fitted to the vehicle.”
Using BrakeMate is said to offer a one hour per disc saving, or six hours per vehicle based on an average tri-axle vehicle. If the equipment is used once a week, this equates to 312 hours saved per year – which, at a £60 per hour workshop rate, equates to a potential £18,720 saving. BrakeMate will pay for itself in less than six months, the company adds, with additional cost benefits accrued from the use of the time saved for other jobs.
Premier Pits also highlights various additional safety benefits of the product.
“BrakeMate makes Caliper lifting an easy proposition going to 1.3m, and eliminates heavy lifting in awkward positions under the wheel arch,” said the firm.
“Removal of the 70kg hub assembly is no longer a two-person job and requires no physical lifting.
“Splitting the hub is difficult and may not be done as accurately as required. BrakeMate keeps all parts aligned when splitting and gives the feel required by using manual hydraulic 10T puller.
“Handling of 30kg hubs is made simple with a rotating service trolley. Realigning the hub is simple and safe; final assembly is fitted back on the vehicle again safely and accurately with the hydraulic lift control.”
A video demonstration of BrakeMate is available at the Premier Pits website.