Mining Truck Brakes



A major mining company in Australia tested treated brake rotors vs. untreated rotors with dramatic results. Due to this test they are now tooling up to equip all of their trucks with treated brakes.

 The Facts

komatsu 730eA client of our Australian associates recently revealed an issue with the excessive wear and cracking on the service brake rotors and brake pads on the 730E Komatsu trucks in their fleet. The brakes on these 2000 horsepower trucks have a gross weight of 715,000 pounds to stop from speeds up to 35 mph.

Each side on the front has a 46 inch diameter rotor operated by three calipers. Each side on the rear has two 25 inch rotors driven at armature speed. Each rear rotor has one caliper.

In an attempt to solve the problem, treated Komatsu brake rotors were installed to the left hand side of one of their trucks in service. The right hand side was fitted with standard untreated Komatsu rotors to act as a control.

After one month they were inspected and it was found that the treated rotor had no cracks and the untreated one had severe cracking to the braking surface. Also, at this time the pads on the treated rotor had worn 1.5mm as opposed to 7mm on the pads on the untreated rotor. The untreated rotors were replaced.

The next inspection recorded was at 5 months. At this stage the treated rotor was still on and had developed some cracking but these were quite minor in size compared to the untreated side. The right hand side had already had its second rotor fitted which was now cracked far more severely than our original one.

mine truck pan outmine truck wide pan

komatsu untreated at 2 months1

komatsu 2

Untreated Rotor After 2 Months of Use!                                     Treated Rotor After 5 Months of Use!


 Quoted from the mining company’s report, “It is obvious to date that the treated rotor will outlast at least 3 conventional rotors and in fact will be monitored weekly just to see how far it will go before it needs to be discarded. The deep and open cracking of the conventional rotor in such a short time will affect the pad wear quite considerably give the speed at which these rotors rotate in service which in this instance is 27:1 compared to the tire rotation.”