Trailer Drum Brakes
The break-in period is a typical phenomenon with all drum brakes and especially electric drum brakes. Electric drum brakes will require a break-in period to achieve full performance. This break-in period applies for new axles and any time new brake shoes and/or magnets are installed as part of regular maintenance.
Lippert Components has found, through extensive brake testing, that the break-in period for our drum brakes can range from 20 to 50 brake applications. Brakes can be seated in by turning the brake controller gain to maximum, employing the trailer brakes at an initial speed of 40 mph, and then allowing the truck/trailer combination to slow down to 20 or 25 mph.
For best results, do not use truck brakes or exhaust during this procedure – and leave it in drive. The trailer brakes will seat in faster by using them to stop both the truck and trailer. The driver should feel a noticeable difference in the brake performance during this period, sometimes in as few as 10 applications.
Ideally, you will complete enough applications so that the brakes achieve smoking, or at least smell very hot. This will seat the brakes faster, and after they cool they will feel more aggressive. After about 50 applications, the brake lining material will be fully cured from the heat and develop close to 100% contact with the brake drum surface.
This break in period not only seats the shoe lining material, but also seats in the brake electro-magnets.
During the break-in period, the linings will wear at a faster rate than they do AFTER they are seated in. Brakes should be manually adjusted after the first 200 miles of operation and periodically thereafter, at approximately 3,000 mile intervals.
Burnishing your electric trailer drum brakes in this manner will result in increased performance and longer lifespan of the product.