RSD, in case you don’t know, stands for Reduced Stopping Distance. This acronym has become quite popular since the federal government introduced regulation FMVSS 121 in August 2011 (Phase 1) and August 2013 (Phase 2). This regulation required all production tractors to meet a stopping distance of 250 feet, instead of the previous distance of 355 feet.

So, who is selling RSD shoes? Well, if you look on the Internet or listen to local sales folks, there are several options available. But the real question is, have their “RSD” shoes been certified?

Recognizing RSD

There are two different methods to officially certify friction as RSD compliant:

  1. Certification as part of an OE truck build, or
  2. Approval by a certified vehicle test provider

Only two suppliers meet the above requirements – Bendix and Meritor. So if you’re buying or installing “RSD” friction material made by any other manufacturer, you’re not getting certified RSD shoes.

One popular myth out there is to just “replace your shoe with a larger shoe.” Yes, RSD shoes are bigger, but there is more in the mixture than just size. One of the most important characteristics of RSD shoes is their superior ability to handle high temperatures while maintaining torque. Replacing RSD friction with a standard, albeit bigger, shoe won’t deliver the same value.

Stay Safe on the Road

The best way to ensure your truck can meet federal stopping standards is know what you’re getting from every brake job. To ensure you’re getting RSD-compliant shoes:

  1. Ask your supplier for evidence of this compliance.
  2. Check the label on the shoe. Meritor and Bendix have added a label on their RSD shoes to make technicians aware they are servicing an RSD brake. If the label’s not there, odds are the shoe isn’t RSD.

For more great tips to help you stay RSD compliant, contact your local Volvo dealer.