Bendix air dryer hits production milestone

Bendix Air DryerBendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC announced Wednesday it has reached the 5-million unit production milestone for its AD-9 air dryer.

Launched in 1989 – an ironic tie in with the sound of the product’s name, Bendix says – the AD-9 has garnered a reputation for toughness, ease of maintenance and longevity. With almost 4 lb., of Bendix’s premium desiccant inside a replaceable cartridge, Bendix says 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.

Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Air Charging, says he has customers come up to him at trade shows and point to the AD-9 and say, “‘Man, I love this thing,’” he says. “They’ll talk about how many years and how many miles, and how it’s never let them down.”

But Bendix says the AD-9 is more than just a resilient road veteran: The product’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 says. “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.”

Installed between the compressor and reservoirs, Bendix says 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, Bendix says.

“As dynamic as things are in the trucking technology landscape, the AD-9 remains a constant,” Nagel says. “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.”

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