Brake pads on a machine can be made from a variety of materials including metallic, semi-metallic, or synthetic composites. They perform the integral function of slowing down and stopping a machine from being compressed against a vehicle’s rotors.
But every time you press your brakes, that friction causes wear that brings you one step closer to needing a brake pad replacement.
Knowing when to replace your brake pads is essential to the safety of your machine for you and other people on your work site. Your worn pads could keep you from making a firm stop if there’s a malfunction. The extra fractions of a second because of weak pads could cause a fatal accident.
If you’re not a machining expert or have never replaced your brakes before, not to worry here are four indications that it’s time for a brake pad replacement.
1. Squeaky Brakes
If you hear squeaking brakes, it’s likely not a bug; it’s more of a feature. Sometimes industrial brakes are built with a small metal indicator that makes a noise when the brake material loses some thickness.
If you hear it every time you brake, your brake pads might need a brake pad replacement.
Be aware that weather or climate can just as easily affect your brakes. Wet or humid conditions or a layer of dust build-up could make this sound as well. After the weather clears, if the noise goes away, you’ve just worn off the thin layer of dirt or rust that was created by the weather. Otherwise, bring it to a specialist.
2. You Don’t Know When They Were Last Changed
If you recently inherited a piece of machinery or don’t have maintenance records for a piece of machinery, take a look at the brakes. Every machine has different indicators of wear and tear, so get to know what to expect.
Often, pieces of equipment like wind turbines change hands over the years. Get to know what to expect from their brake pads, so you know when to start changing them.
3. Metal Grinding
If things get really bad or if your brake pads suddenly fall off, the piece behind the pads will start making direct contact with your rotor. You will hear a metallic grinding noise to correspond to this issue.
Have it looked at ASAP because this grinding could cause severe and expensive damage to your machine.
4. Replacement Indicators
If you’ve got a newer machine, it might be able to tell you when your brake pads are wearing down. Double check with a manual online or in your main office to see what the light means.
Know When It’s Time For a Brake Pad Replacement
Your brake pads should last for a number of years, depending on how much wear and tear you put on your machine. But even if they haven’t worn out, they could become dry and cracked.
They’re one of the cheaper components on any machine. If you feel it’s time for replacement brakes contact us.