Signs You Need to Replace Your Industrial Drum Brakes

When’s the last time you checked your industrial drum brakes?

If the brakes on your machinery aren’t working, they can bring your entire production system to a halt, costing you huge amounts of money. That’s why it’s important to keep them in check with regular maintenance.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to do that. Read on to find out how to check drum brakes and what the tell-tale signs of failure are.

How to Check Drum Brakes for Damage

When you’re carrying out brake maintenance, these are the signs you should be looking out for.


Noise is one of the first signs of bad drum brakes.

They may come in the form of squeaks, scraping, grinding or screeching sounds.

These usually occur when brake shoes are worn down. When they’re worn down completely, brake discs and calipers will start to rub together, causing scratching and other damage. An accumulation of dust and dirt may also cause noises.

When your brakes are in use, listen out for any abnormal sounds. If you notice any, you may need to replace some parts. Do this as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.

Otherwise, you’ll have to spend time and money replacing other parts as well as your brake pads.

Less Response than Usual

If your drum brakes are working correctly, you should feel them respond by slowing your machinery as soon as you press down on the pedal, lever or button required.

If they’re beginning to wear down or fail, their responsiveness will start to wane. You’ll notice that their ability to slow things down will be reduced, and you may have to apply more force to get the desired effect.

This is one of the most common signs of brake failure in vehicles and with machinery, the same rule applies.


Do you feel as though certain parts of your machinery are pulling to one side when you operate the brakes?

This is a common sign of uneven wear on drum brakes. However, it could also be caused by problems with your brake fluid. Either way, it’s an easy fix. You’ll have to drain and adjust the brake fluid, replace the brake shoes, or perform a brake adjustment.


If you’re noticing vibration occurring when you apply your brakes, you should check the rotors immediately. This is a sign that they’ve become warped.

This happens when brakes have been used for long periods of time or with great force. During brake use, rotors are subjected to large amounts of friction and heat.

Over time, they’ll begin to warp out of shape. As a result, they won’t sit flush to the brake pads, and that’s what causes those vibrations.

Inspect and Replace Your Drum Brakes

If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, it’s time for some brake maintenance.

You may need to adjust them. However, if things are serious, you may need to replacement altogether.

If you’re not sure how to check drum brakes, maintain them or replace them, we’ve got you covered. Read our guide to installing and replacing drum brakes for all you need to know.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.