• Elizabeth Collier

SAE 2013 World Congress & Expo- Case Study "Parking Brake Fires" by Kerry Parrott and Douglas Stahl

Kerry Parrott presented the Technical Paper "Case Studies of Parking Brake Fires in Commercial Vehicles" at the SAE International World Congress and Exposition held on April 16-18, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.


This paper will focus on three case study examples of commercial vehicle wheel end fires that were caused by operating the vehicles with the parking brakes applied. Because it analyzes the most commonly utilized conventional air/drum brake systems in the US market, this analysis is applicable to most heavy duty trucks, tractors, semi-trailers, and buses equipped with air drum brake systems and dual wheel/tire combinations at the wheel ends. This paper will outline and illustrate the vehicle components analyzed, the typical fire patterns observed, and the methodologies used to help determine the correct origin, and when to correctly relate the cause of the fire to the operation of the vehicle with the parking brakes applied. The case studies include a 6×4 tractor equipped with two parking brake chambers, a 6×4 tractor with four parking brake chambers, and a single axle semi-trailer with two parking brake chambers.


This full paper is available for purchase and immediate download by clicking this link, which will direct you to the SAE International site.

Or, click here to download a PDF synopsis of the paper.



Forensic Engineering & Fire Investigation

Commercial Vehicles & Equipment

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