How Long Does a Brake Drum Last?
Since the brakes are arguably the truck’s most vital safety feature, brake parts should never be allowed to fail. Rather, timely repair and/or replacement is always the best course of action. There are two telltale signs that your brake drums need to be replaced, indicated by noise and feeling.
To achieve maximum drum life and optimum performance, proper brake maintenance and brake balance are
essential. Consult your truck or trailer manufacturer’s maintenance manual for proper maintenance of the
The following procedures are suggested as a means of obtaining maximum service and to determine the
need for replacement.
NOTICE: When replacing lining, brake drum or rotor on one end of the axle, replace the same
components on the other end of the axle. This will maintain proper braking load on the axle.
A1. Inspection of Brake Drums or Rotors
When relining brakes, the brake drum or rotor should be cleaned and inspected. To be
suitable for further service, the brake drum or rotor should pass the following checks:
A. The brake surface should be free of scoring, excessive heat checks and free of
B. The brake surface diameter should be within the maximum diameter cast or
stamped on the drum or minimum thickness cast or stamped on the rotor.
C. The mounting holes and pilot must be round and true.
D. The mounting surface must be clean and flat.
CAUTION: If any of the above conditions are not met, the brake drum or rotor should be replaced.