4 Best Brake Pads for Trucks: Ranking & Buyers’ Guide

best brake pads for trucks

Your truck has enough horsepower and speed to tear up the highway and tow or haul a heavy load, but are you certain you will be able to slow your rig down when it matters the most? For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the 4 best brake pads for trucks.

4 Best Brake Pads for Trucks:

RankPictureProductItem Weight
#1Power Stop K6268-36 Front & Rear Z36 Truck and Tow Brake KitPower Stop Z36 Truck & Tow Performance Brake Kit65 pounds
#2Hawk Performance HB552P.722 SuperDuty Brake PadHawk Performance SuperDuty Brake Pad7.4 pounds
#3Hawk Performance HB302Y.700 LTS Brake PadHawk Performance LTS Brake Pad6.6 pounds
#4Wagner Severe Duty SX756 Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set Wagner Severe Duty Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set6.2 pounds

Good brake pads are vital to get the best performance from your truck’s braking system and save lives. Although you may be thinking about buying the cheapest set of brake pads, this is not the best choice. You should buy brake pads that are durable, easy to install, and made with high quality materials.

#1 – Power Stop Front and Rear Z36 Truck and Tow Brake Kit – Winner Best Brake Pads for Trucks

Power Stop Z36 Front & Rear Truck and Tow Brake Kit - best brake pads for trucks
Power Stop Z36 Front & Rear Truck and Tow Brake Kit

The Power Stop Z36 front and rear brake pads provide superior stopping power perfect for drivers who tow boats and trailers, tackle mountainous driving, haul loads, lift trucks and drive in the harshest weather conditions. The rotors are slotted and drilled to keep the brakes cool even in the most extreme conditions.

These brake pads provide the extreme braking performance to ensure the safety of your trucks and four-wheel drives. Power Stop brake pads have stainless steel shims that provide superior heat dissipation and greater stopping power without making any noise.

For these reasons, if you’re looking for a complete brake kit, we’ve crowned this set the best brake pads for trucks.

Pros:

  • Carbon-fiber pads create less brake dust
  • No noise ensures a pleasant drive
  • Increased brake power without compromising on everyday drivability
  • Rounded slots help keep away debris and gas
  • Maximum rotor cooling as a result of precision holes
  • Silver-zinc Dichromate plating helps prevent corrosion and rust

Cons:

  • Some people find installation a bit difficult
  • The brakes will not perform if you do not follow the break-in process

#2 – Hawk Performance Superduty Brake Pad

Hawk Performance SuperDuty Brake Pad
Hawk Performance SuperDuty Brake Pad

Hawk performance super duty brake pads are designed for professional trucks and truck fleets and SUV’s towing heavy loads. These brake pads feature unmatched braking performance even after repetitive braking applications.

These brake pads are made with high quality materials that have an extremely high coefficient of friction that helps to provide SUV’s and trucks unbeatable stopping power combined with excellent high-temperature heat dissipation.

These brake pads are highly preferable for professional fleets and light trucks towing high payloads. These brake pads are very quiet and produce very little dust.

If you’re looking for brake pads only, and not an entire brake kit, as is offered by Power Stop, these are our best brake pads for trucks, and are designed to take a beating.

Pros:

  • Better initial bite and modulation
  • Ideal for excessive payloads
  • Extremely high coefficient of friction
  • Great stoppage power

Cons:

  • Some people find that the brake pads squeal at low speed
  • Initial bite may not be as strong as before

#3 – Hawk Performance LTS Brake Pads

Hawk Performance LTS Brake Pad
Hawk Performance LTS Brake Pad

Hawk Performance LTS brake pads use severe-duty brake pad friction technology to fulfill the braking demands of SUVs and trucks. The large braking system of trucks experience higher temperatures; therefore, they require a brake pad that features some excellent heat dissipation characteristics. The Hawk Performance LTS brake pads use the proven and established Ferro-Carbon formulation to ensure superior stopping power for vans, full-sized light trucks, and SUV without dust and noise. Once they are burned in properly the stoppage is extremely smooth and progressively quicker during rapid stops.

Pros:

  • Unbeatable fade resistance
  • Better rotor and pad life
  • SUV and light truck brake compound

Cons:

  • Some people are not satisfied with the quality
  • During certain weather conditions, they might squeak

#4 – Wagner Severe Duty Semi-Metallic Disk Pad

Wagner Severe Duty Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set
Wagner Severe Duty Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set

The Wagner severe duty semi-metallic brake pads are exclusively designed for trucks that are driven in harsh weathers. These brake pads are made by following stringent quality standards and industry testing to enable greater stopping power for trucks. These brake pads are not only quiet they are also pretty affordable. The Wagner semi-metallic disc pads provide superior braking power without making much noise. These brake pads are also very easy to install.

Pros:

  • Ceramic disk pad set
  • Excellent performance in varied weather
  • Great for heavy braking and truck driving
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Hard material may result in squeaking noise when brakes are engaged at slow speeds
  • Tough on rotors

Truck Brake Pads Buyers Guide

To purchase the ideal brake pads, it is vital to know what to look for. Consider the following features before making a decision.

Price

There are many types of brake pads available in the market that has different qualities and price range. Since brake pads are imperative for road safety, it is best to get one that is reliable and durable. Although price does not always indicate quality, you do not want to buy ultra-cheap brake pads as they are usually of inferior quality. You will also need to keep your budget in mind; therefore, it is wise to select a well-known manufacturer to ensure you get the best value for money.

Type of vehicle

Brake pads are not a ‘one size fit all’ type of auto part. Before ordering them, you need to make sure that your chosen brake pads will fit your truck. You need to be sure of the model number and year of manufacture of your truck as the brake pads that fit the 2014 model will not necessarily fit the 2017 model.

Type of brake pads

There are various types of brake pads available the most common of which are ceramic, organic, and semi-metallic. Your choice of brake pad material should depend on the conditions under which you will most probably be driving.

  • Ceramic – Ceramic brake pads are considered the best brake pads available. Although they are a bit expensive they are quiet, stop the vehicle quickly, and produce very little brake dust.
  • Semi-metallic – Semi-metallic brake pads are good quality brake pads available at affordable prices. Their versatile use makes them very popular among truck owners. However, they can be a bit noisy and give off a lot of brake dust.
  • Organic – organic brake pads are the potpourri of brake pads. They are made with various non-metallic ingredients which are not very durable. Although these brake pads are inexpensive, they wear down quickly.

Brake Dust

Truck drivers that do not do much hauling or towing prefer ceramic brake pads as they cause very little brake dust. Think carefully about your truck usage before making a purchase.

Ease of installation

Another important feature to look for in brake pads is that they should be easy to replace. Make sure that they come with clear instructions and the required hardware including shims and synthetic lubricants.

Stoppage power

Trucks that typically tow or haul heavy loads should pay more attention to fade resistance and overall stoppage power when choosing brake pads.

Thickness

Brake pads wear down with use; therefore, it is important to find thick brake pads as it will take longer for them to wear down.

How Do Brake Pads Work?

There is a lot more to efficiently using your truck’s braking system then simply pushing on the pedal when a dog unexpectedly runs outs in front of you. The braking system of trucks, cars, and motorcycles are made up of different parts that turn the driver’s actions into the physical force that brings the car to a halt. One of these parts is the brake pads.

Brake pads are an important part as they are the basic part responsible for applying pressure and friction to the vehicle’s brake rotors. Brake rotors are the flat, shiny discs that are sometimes visible behind the wheels of some vehicles. The friction and pressure applied to the brake rotors help to slow and stop the vehicle. The vehicle stops moving once the wheels stop turning. Although the part that brake pads play in stopping a vehicle is very simple, brake pads themselves are anything but.

Because of how much a typical truck or car weighs and how fast the wheels rotate, brake pads undergo tremendous stress every time every time you apply the brakes. Think about it: Can you grab and hold a fast spinning heavy metal disk? Imagine squeezing that disk slowly until the vehicle stops – it is a thankless job, but the brake pads do it again and again for thousands and thousands of miles without complaining.

Benefits of Replacing or Upgrading Your Truck’s Brake Pads

Replacing your truck’s brake pads when the time is right or upgrading them not only helps you save money, in the long run, it can also save your truck and even your life in an accident. If the brake pads are not in the proper working condition they are can be a threat to you and the other vehicles on the road.

Replacing the brake pads when required also helps to get rid of the annoying squeaking sounds that you hear whenever the brakes are engaged thus making your truck safer.

What to Look for When Buying Brake Pads for Your Truck

Deciding which brake pads will be best for your truck is not a simple choice. There are a wide range of brake pads for different applications and uses. The model of your truck, the driving that you do together with your budget plays an important role in your decision.

The type of brake pads that will be suitable for your truck depends greatly on your driving requirements. Do you have a trailer attached to your truck? Do you usually drive on the freeway or in a mountainous area? These are some questions that should be kept in mind while searching for the brake pads that will be ideal for your needs. Furthermore, it is vital to take into account the weather conditions in which you will be driving and the state of the roads on which you will be traveling.

You can also check the size and shape of your current brake pads to make sure that you get the right type. This may be time-consuming but will ensure that you get the correct one.

The repeated use of brakes, while you are driving, will get your brakes hot. Therefore you cannot bargain on the quality of the brake pads. Bad brakes will compromise your road safety if they are unable to perform when you are driving. You do not want your truck to hit another vehicle or end up in a ditch if your brake pads are not working properly due to their inferior quality. The faster and high powered the truck is the more important it is to pick an aggressive pad. The high level of friction happening at high speed makes it vital to have a product that works over and over again.

Things to Avoid When Buying Brake Pads for Your Truck

Whenever you are buying brake pads for your truck make sure that you avoid inferior quality of brake pads.

If you do not want any squealing when you press the brakes, then be sure to buy brake pads that have an efficient design.

Avoid brake pads are hard to install or that are not accompanied by the kit required for installation.

Do not buy brake pads that are not compatible with your vehicle or are not suitable for the driving that you do.

Brake Pads FAQs

Are brake pads universal?

No, brake pads are not universal. They are auto parts that do not fall into the ‘one size fit all’ category. Every model of a vehicle requires different brake pads.

When should I replace my brake pads?

It is hard to set a timeline to determine when the brake pads should be replaced as they can wear out slower or faster depending on road conditions, the weight of the vehicle, how you drive the car, and driving frequency. However, it is better to have them checked at every oil change.

Generally, the first indication that you need to replace your brake pads comes in the form of a screeching, squealing, or whining noise that comes when the brakes are engaged. Some vehicles also have an indicator light that lights up when it is time to replace the brake pads.

Which brake pads wear out first?

Typically the front brake pads wear out faster than the rear ones.

Which type of brake pads creates less dust?

A noticeable feature of the ceramic brake pads is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they deteriorate. The ingredient in ceramic brake pads produces light-colored dust that is less likely to stick to the wheels and is much less noticeable thus giving the tire a much cleaner appearance longer.

How long will brake pads last?

Brake pads are usually thought to be good for 30,000 to 35,000 miles. However, their service life can vary from driver to driver and vehicle to vehicle.

Conclusion

It is clear that brake pads are a vital component of your vehicle. You should always choose high quality brake pads to ensure your safety and safety of others on the road.

Although you can get a professional mechanic to change your brake pads but changing them yourself can be an interesting DIY project. It can be much simpler and highly rewarding if you possess the necessary tools.

Images: Goodmanautomotive