Voith retarders – for greater safety, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability

Voith retarders – for greater safety, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability

Better braking – with Voith retarders for commercial vehicles

    With Voith retarders, up to 90 percent of all braking actions can be performed without wear. This represents a significant increase in safety. Retarders protect the service brakes, thus reducing expenditures on spare parts and maintenance. At the same time, transport capabilities increase due to higher average speeds.

    High brake performance is essential when it comes to stopping a truck that weighs several tons. Classic friction brakes can reach temperatures of up to 1000 degrees under demanding conditions such as adaptive braking on the highway or on long downslopes. This leads to a rapid reduction in braking efficiency. Voith retarders provide the solution:  The permanent hydrodynamic endurance brake system ensures reliable, wear-free braking. This protects the service brakes and ensures they are always available. It is no surprise that endurance brakes in buses and trucks are a legal requirement throughout Europe.

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    Voith retarders – the advantages at a glance

    • Greater safety throughout the entire speed range ensured by high retarder brake performance and cold service brakes 
    • Downhill cruise control – using the v-constant function, the retarder maintains constant driving speed on downward slopes 
    • Lower operating costs – considerably longer periods without the use of service brakes results in fewer visits to the repair shop and lower maintenance costs 
    • Low weight – Voith retarders are light, allowing optimal use of load limits
    • Higher transport capabilities – due to higher and more uniform average speeds 
    • Lower consumption – more uniform speeds and proactive driving behavior saves fuel
    • Non-polluting – up to 80% lower emissions of brake dust

    Product highlight: Turbo Retarder Clutch VIAB

      Wear-free start-up and braking – with the VIAB Turbo Retarder Clutch

      Wear-free start-up and braking – with the Turbo Retarder Clutch VIAB

      The heavier the truck and the rougher the terrain, the greater the load on the clutch and brakes. The solution: Using the VIAB wear-free integrated acceleration and braking system, even heavy-duty trucks can start up powerfully, maneuver accurately within millimeters, and brake safely – repeatedly and without wear. This results in considerably longer periods when the friction clutch and service brakes are not in use, ensuring greater safety and riding comfort. Wear-free start-up and braking - two in one.
      A high level of comfort due to sensitive hydrodynamic start-up and maneuvering with the VIAB Turbo Retarder Clutch

      The Turbo Retarder Clutch VIAB – the advantages at a glance

      • A high level of comfort due to sensitive hydrodynamic start-up and maneuvering – even with a high total weight
      • Maximum tractive power across the entire speed range
      • Full engine torque at low speeds up to the traction limit
      • Stable temperature even under high load conditions compared to conventional torque converters
      • The integrated high-performance primary retarder allows maximum brake performance even at low driving speeds
      • Retarder function even in reverse gear
      Easy transportation of heavy loads
      Easy transportation of heavy loads

      The stator transported for us on a heavy-duty truck across Germany from our plant in Heidenheim to the hydropower station in Töging am Inn was a gigantic 8.2 meters wide and weighed 105 metric tons. Thanks to the Turbo Retarder Clutch VIAB, the driver from haulage firm TSB was able to start up powerfully, maneuver with millimeter precision and brake safely at all times.

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      The Voith retarder portfolio – the right solution for every vehicle

        Together with vehicle manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Renault, MAN, and many more, we are developing customized retarder solutions.

        Water retarders 

        The Voith Aquatarder provides braking using the engine coolant. This means there is no additional operating medium, no additional oil change, and no adjustment work. Voith’s secondary water retarder was awarded the European Transportation Prize for Sustainability and the ECW Innovation Label Award for its innovative, energy-saving and non-polluting approach.

        Oil retarders

        Using an oil supply that is independent of the transmission fluid, the oil in Voith’s oil retarders can tolerate the maximum permissible operating temperatures. The braking energy is transferred via the heat exchanger to the vehicle’s cooling circuit, where it is effectively dissipated.

        Hydrodynamic braking – retarder design and operation

          Voith retarder operating principles

          Hydrodynamic braking – retarder design and operation

          • Hydrodynamics makes wear-free braking possible.
          • The magnitude of the braking torque depends on fill level and speed. 
          • The retarder is perfectly integrated into the vehicle braking management system.
          • The braking energy is converted into heat and dissipated via the vehicle cooling system.

          Wear-free braking – how a retarder works

          The Voith Retarder 3250, cross-section including gearbox integration
          In the hydrodynamic retarder, there are two blade wheels that face each other. The rotor is connected to the vehicle’s universal joint shaft by means of the retarder drive shaft; and the stator to the stationary housing of the retarder. During braking, there is oil between the blade wheels. The oil is accelerated by the rotor, and decelerated in the stator. As a result, the rotor is also decelerated, braking the vehicle. The braking heat created as a result is dissipated quickly and efficiently by the vehicle cooling system – without negatively impacting the surrounding components.
          Interactive flash animation for downloading

          Inline and offline retarders – a question of transmission


          Secondary retarders can be divided into inline and offline retarders. Retarders can be attached to the gearbox, or installed in the drive train. They are directly connected to the vehicle’s universal joint shaft.


          Offline retarders are connected to the universal joint shaft by means of a high gear integrated into the gearbox. Owing to the gear ratio, offline retarders are lighter and have a more compact design than inline retarders, while producing the same braking performance.

          Do you have any questions about Voith retarders or the VIAB Turbo Retarder Clutch?
          We’re here to help!


            Retarder Experts


            t + 49 7951 32-1555

            Contact our experts




            t +49 7951 32-531

            Contact our experts

            Technical Support

            Technical Support


            t +49 7951 32-1555

            f +49 7951 32-1506

            Contact our experts

            Spare Parts Order

            Spare Parts Order


            t +49 7321 37-4000

            f +49 7321 37-7805

            Contact our experts

            Further information about Voith retarders

              • Interactive flash animation for downloading

                ZIP, 0.30 MB

              The Voith retarder tested in practice

                Higher average speeds, less wear – the Voith retarder tested in practice

                What exactly does a retarder do in practice? We tested the Voith retarder on a test track of almost 5 km, including slopes up to 7%, and over a long-haul distance of more than 3,100 km under real conditions. The result: On the track with slopes, the average speed with the retarder increased by 56%. At the same time, the driver used the service brakes 85% less. Over the long-haul distance, the average speed increased by 5.9%, and service brake use dropped by 70%. Conclusions: Trucks using retarders reach their destination faster, while service brakes see significantly less use, which has a positive impact on out-of-service times and maintenance costs.

                The Voith retarder in a comparison test

                Comparing the braking of a Renault Range T truck with and without retarder (English)

                Our Service - Part of Your Business

                  Where your truck is in good hands

                  Whether it’s maintenance or repairs, troubleshooting, or the functional testing of individual components: our professionals will make sure you stay on the road. At the Voith retarder workshop in Crailsheim, and throughout the world.

                  Judge us by our performance

                  • Onboard troubleshooting and upgrade 
                  • Replacement and repair 
                  • Repair of supplied retarders (all model series) 
                  • Troubleshooting and functional testing of individual components 
                  • Worldwide delivery of Voith original spare parts, as well as 
                  • replacements and basic retarders

                  Retarder oil list

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