Clutch brakes are known for saving a machine’s transmision and allowing it to run for as long as possible. Without the help of the clutch brake, a transmission would need to be replaced far sooner.
Essentially, clutch brakes are utilized to ease shifting and further a transmission’s life in almost every machine that uses a non-synchronized transmission system. Despite what many people think of when they first hear the words “clutch brake”, this helpful tool is used in more than just automobiles. Clutch brakes are used in everything from heavy industrial machines to diesel trucks to even sports bikes.
Why Do We Need Clutch Brakes?
The majority of vehicles that are manual have a clutch brake. It typically looks like a toothed, rotating plate and is intended to ease the shifting as a driver switches in between gears. If a driver doesn’t shift gears perfectly, then the synchronizers in the transmission won’t match perfectly with the RPM. The clutch brake is in place to help provide less strain on the transmission, and that’s why the transmission can last longer if a manual vehicle has a clutch brake.
If the driver pushes the clutch pedal as far as it can go (usually all the way to the floor) then the clutch brake will kick in to prevent the transmission shaft from turning.
Clutch brakes are intended to help keep drivers safe because if a transmission blows out while a driver is operating their automobile, it could have dangerous consequences.
How Long Do Clutch Brakes Last
How long a clutch brake will last depends on the type of vehicle it’s operating in. While the majority of clutch brakes will last for multiple years, if a clutch brake is placed in a vehicle that stops and starts fairly often (like a tractor) then the clutch brake may not last as long.
Think of the last time you were resting at a stop light next to a large dump truck. When the light turned green, you heard the truck make a loud metallic grinding noise as the truck began to accelerate. This was most likely the sound of a clutch brake that had gone bad. Having a bad clutch brake can also lead to other issues with the vehicle like first-gear failure due to the driver forcing the gear into first without the gears shifting smoothly.
How To Make Your Clutch Brake Last Longer
If you’re the driver of a manual vehicle, you can make your clutch brake last for as long as possible by following a few tips. You should have your vehicle checked relatively often to make sure that all the gears are shifting correctly as you’re driving. The gears should also always have the proper amount of oil. If they don’t, the clutch brake will have to work more than usual and this will place additional strain on the brake. Over time, it will fail to function as effectively.