Product Watch Newsletter, Sept. 28, Vol. 1, No. 2

Rolf Lockwood

In this second edition of the new Product Watch e-newsletter from Today’s Trucking, we’ve got an interesting new air-ride steer-axle suspension from Dana to talk about, among other things.

It’s the new ‘FrontRunner’ suspension, which uses a patented roll-control device plus both steel taper-leaf springs and air springs to balance ride quality and roll stiffness. It won’t be around ’til early next year but we recently had a test drive of an early demo model.

The whole point is to create a front end that can handle the extra brake
torque we’ll see on front axles after the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes its new stopping-distance regulations. They’ll probably be the rule in 2007.

Not incidentally, the FrontRunner can also save significant weight, Dana says.

Based on a 60-mile test drive along Michigan’s Interstate 94 highway – not the smoothest pavement on the planet — by my colleague Jim Park, it works. “It holds the road as well as any taper-leaf suspension, and even steers straight through pavement ruts,” Park reports.

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Rolf Lockwood

Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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