Coming soon: a new value parts supplier with an old name2 June 2021
A new source of replacement parts that offer good value for money and fit all makes of commercial vehicle air brakes and suspensions is coming from the Haldex group. Most parts will be offered under the Grau brand. That name references the company Midland Grau, a British-German manufacturer which Haldex acquired in the late 1990s. These new value ranges will be offered alongside the Haldex group’s original equipment-quality premium parts. While the latter may usually be specified for commercial vehicles under warranty, it may be a different story when operators take on the expense of ongoing maintenance. Modern vehicles and trailers can run and run, so in those circumstances a part at the right price is what fits the bill.
Now the independent aftermarket has a new option to source these parts. Over the next few years, Haldex will be building up its ranges of value parts and accessories, in so doing offering everything that a distributor might need for trailer and tractor braking and suspension spares; it will be a one-stop shop. The initial products are brake pads and an automatic slack adjuster, to be followed by foundation brake actuators. Further products include compressors, pneumatic tube, disc brake rotors, electrical coils, ABS sensors and a variety of air brake and air suspension valves and reservoirs.
First, nearly 30 new lines of all-makes disc brake pad replacement kits, which include pads, springs and plugs, will launch later this year. (See also Haldex brake pads article). Second, arriving later in the year is a 70-part range of Grau actuators, including double-diaphragm spring brakes, service chambers and piston-actuated spring brakes. Variants included are application-specific; there are different holding forces on both spring and chamber side. The parts also differ in the orientation of the studs to the chassis housing, or in push rod length.
In choosing the variety of parts to offer, the company is trying to be as comprehensive as possible. One telling detail relates to breather holes on the face of the actuator. This is to let out any condensation or water, which pools at the lowest point and trickles out of the hole. As original equipment, actuators come in left-handed or right-handed versions; they are identical, but mirror-reversed. That means that if an actuator were installed in the wrong orientation – say, a right-handed actuator in a left-handed position – apart from potential operational issues, water would collect inside, as the drain hole would be positioned at the very top of the actuator face.
One potential solution for a value part would be to put breather holes at top and bottom, and such a solution might be preferred by some customers, so Haldex will be offering this. But in addition, it also offers left- and right-handed actuators for those customers that want a replacement part that fits exactly, even in a value part range. In this way, Haldex meets everyone’s needs.
Over the next few years, Haldex will be filling up a catalogue of value parts and accessories for all makes and all types of commercial vehicle suspension and braking system. From cost-effective brake pad kits to actuators to replacement valves, full ranges of components will be available soon to the independent aftermarket. The wide variety of components in these, plus the increasing quantity of types, will make Grau the go-to brand for value parts.