Bendix spokesman says air dryer has “legacy of reliability.”
ELYRIA, Ohio — A funny thing happens when some people lay eyes on the Bendix AD-9 air dryer at trucking industry events like trade shows or distributor gatherings. “They’ll come up, grin, and pat it like you would a faithful dog, and say, ‘Man, I love this thing,’” says Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Air Charging. “They’ll talk about how many years and how many miles, and how it’s never let them down.” And on that legacy of reliability, durability, and customer loyalty, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC proudly celebrates the 5-million-unit production milestone of the AD-9.
Launched in 1989 – an ironic tie in with the sound of the product’s name – the AD-9 has garnered a reputation for toughness, ease of maintenance, and longevity. With almost four pounds of Bendix’s premium desiccant inside a replaceable cartridge, the AD-9 can capture a significant amount of contamination and still perform at a level that keeps air-dependent systems like brakes operating safely and effectively. And in specific, gritty applications such as municipal work trucks or gravel haulers, more than one customer has told Bendix the AD-9 “eats rocks” and can take just about anything thrown its way.
But it’s more than just a resilient road veteran: The AD-9’s design supports uptime by offering straightforward troubleshooting and simple maintenance, and is suitable for protecting complex air-dependent technologies like full stability and collision mitigation systems with the use of oil-coalescing cartridges like Bendix’s PuraGuard.
“It’s no surprise we’ve sold 5 million AD-9s, and that it’s bred a generation of clones and all-makes competitors,” Nagel said. “It’s trusted, it’s dependable, and people have come to know that nothing performs like a genuine Bendix dryer from the company that invented the technology. It’s also worth noting that this milestone for new-production AD-9s doesn’t include the sizable number of remanufactured dryers we’ve put back on the road over the years.”
More than 40 years ago, Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, developed the air dryer to provide clean, dry air to reservoirs, valves, and other components. Installed between the compressor and reservoirs, the air dryer revolutionized commercial vehicles with the capability to collect and remove moisture, small particles, and oil aerosols before they enter the air brake system and jeopardize efficient operation.
And the quality of a truck’s compressed air supply is more important than ever: As commercial vehicles adopt higher levels of automation, trucks are equipped with multiple solenoid valves that provide precise control but require cleaner air than traditional manual brake valves. Some Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs) also rely on pneumatic controls, as do emissions controls and other systems that enhance driver safety and improve driver comfort.
“As dynamic as things are in the trucking technology landscape, the AD-9 remains a constant,” Nagel said. “While production has slowed a bit as we’ve engineered newer air dryers for OEM production, the popularity of this stalwart means it’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future – and we look forward to making even more fans of the product every chance we get.”
For more information about Bendix air management systems, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit foundationbrakes.com. Additional insight can be found at the Knowledge Dock (knowledge-dock.com), which features videos, blog posts, podcasts, and white papers, as well as an archive of the Bendix Tech Tips series.
Dorothy Cox is former assistant editor – now retired – of The Trucker, and a 20-plus-year trucking journalism veteran. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in divinity. Cox has been in journalism since 1972. She has won awards for her writing in both mainstream and trucking journalism.