As increasing commercial vehicle weights and engine power push service brakes to their limits, more and more fleet operators are fitting back-up systems to their lorries. This article reports on some available engine brakes and retarders that can be used. Engine brakes and retarders relieve service brakes of much of their work, so that all the brakes remain cool and in peak condition for emergencies. Brake maintenance costs can be reduced dramatically, sometimes by up to 80%. The latest trend is to use integrated braking systems, incorporating all braking functions in one unit; braking is first by the engine brake, then by the retarder, and finally by the service brakes. An engine brake delivers more retardation than an exhaust brake. In effect, it converts a diesel engine into an air compressor via an exhaust cut-out valve or continually open throttle valve. The larger the engine displacement, the more powerful the compressor. The brake performs best in high gears and at high engine revolutions. A Volvo brake and a Mercedes-Benz brake are described. There are two types of retarder: electromagnetic and hydrodynamic; both are especially efficient at maintaining a constant downhill speed. ZF and Voith retarder models are described. Retarders usually have continuous braking torque and intermittent operating modes.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Reed Business Information, Limited

    Quadrant House, The Quadrant
    Brighton Road
    Sutton, Surrey  United Kingdom  SM2 5AS
  • Authors:
    • CLANCEY, S
  • Publication Date: 2000-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 32-3
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 191
    • Issue Number: 4874
    • Publisher: Reed Business Information, Limited
    • ISSN: 0010-3063

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795141
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM