There are few product groups within the aftermarket that are overlooked in terms of their regular examination and replacement, but the auxiliary belt and the drive system, are certainly among them. Why the auxiliary drive system has traditionally been ignored can be largely attributed to the fact that it is generally a very reliable system and few vehicle manufacturers (VMs) specify its change in their service schedules.
However, Dayco, a leading engine products and drive systems supplier for the heavy duty industry, is urging fleet workshops to turn their attention to the auxiliary system for the benefit of the operators and provide a business opportunity for themselves.
Check & Change
Unlike the previous generation neoprene rubber based belt, the EPDM formulated belt used nowadays, wears very differently. So whereas during use, the previous technology would gradually lead the belt to perish by cracking or chunking when a section of belt actually comes off the current EPDM technology belt wears gradually, not unlike the wear to a tyre, which actually makes it more difficult to detect.
As a result, technicians should use the vehicles mileage as their first point of reference, which means that if it has covered 60,000 miles or more, the belt should be thoroughly inspected and if it shows any sign of damage or wear, should automatically be replaced.
To help technicians correctly assess the condition of the belt, Dayco has designed the aWEARness gauge, which provides them with three ways to check whether the belt needs to be replaced or is okay to be reinstalled. The two most relevant to an EPDM belt are the wear indicator bar, which highlights material loss and the profile indicator, which reveals whether the belt retains its correct form. Both reflect the level of wear and if the belt fails either check, it must be replaced.
By applying the generally accepted average annual mileage of between 80,000 and 100,000, then virtually every truck in the UK will be relevant for the "check & change" rule at least once a year, so providing fleet workshops with a tremendous business opportunity.
Range and Quality
Dayco has almost 1,500 belts - 48 of which are elastic and more than 20 double sided in its PV range and all are application specific in accordance with the specification of the OE belt, which means technicians can be sure they are fitting the right belt for each and every application.
As Dayco is a full system supplier to the VMs, it is ideally placed to offer the independent sector the full range of components, which includes tensioners and idlers alongside its comprehensive belt range. This means that technicians are able to install a like for like, OE replacement, with the assurance that provides for them and their valued customers.
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