Focus On...Trailer Suspensions
August 28, 2012
Price and performance are often considered first with equipment, and trailer suspension repair or replacement is no exception. Like virtually all products, durability and quality that deliver quick return on investment are first and foremost on the minds of customers.
“Our Intraax and Vantraax suspensions are … known for their reliability and durability,” says Brian Buckham, senior marketing manager-trailer commercial vehicle systems for Hendrickson USA, which will be celebrating its 100th year in business in 2013. “[Our products] deliver enhanced ROI, matched with world-class warranties and unconditional customer support from a brand they can trust.”
Improved materials and production enhancements have allowed Hendrickson to reduce weight and improve reliability, durability and productivity of its Intraax and Vantraax products.
“The design optimizations … have resulted in weight reductions that translate to more payload and ultimately increased ROI for our customers,” says Buckham. “Our suspensions are designed with fewer wearable parts than those of competitors, so maintenance is considerably lower for trailer owners.”
At Meritor Trailer Products, Bill Wakefield, manager-strategy and product management, is seeing more customers looking for technology to help them reduce costs. [[300x250AD]]
“The first is helping to reduce the cost of ownership, especially in critical areas such as fuel economy, tire wear and maintenance. We are working toward lighter-weight materials, weight-efficient designs, and suspension designs that prioritize improved tire wear and fuel economy,” says Wakefield. “The second ... is intelligent feedback. Customers want technology that will help them be more efficient, such as a suspension that sends a warning signal to the driver when it is not operating at correct ride height or when the slider pins are not properly engaged.”
The Meritor MTA suspension family offers equivalent fuel efficiency improvements as the RideSentry, while offering a “unique bushing and shock absorber design that works together to create better braking, handling and ride quality than competitors’ products,” Wakefield says.
Even as technological advances improve durability and reliability, price still remains a contributing factor when purchasing a suspension, says Bill Hicks, director of product planning for trailer systems at SAF-Holland.
SAF-Holland recently launched the CBX Series to address these needs. The CBX line includes a slider tandem suspension and fixed-frame suspension models with capacities from 23,000 to 30,000 lbs., including underslung and self-steering models. They use the company’s fusion beam technology.
The series include the SAF self-steering CBX23, SAF self-steering CBX25, and SAF self-steering CBX25/30. The CBX23 and CBX25 models deliver capacities of 23,000 lbs. and 25,000 lbs., respectively, while the CBX25/30 offers an additional 30,000 lbs. of load-carrying capacity at creep speed (5 mph or less) and 25,000 lbs. of capacity for on-highway operation.