LIGHTER BUT STRONGER: Dana's new trailer suspensions reduce weight while maintaining a superior strength-to-weight ratio, company officials say.
LUGOFF, S.C. – Dana Corporation has introduced SmartRide – a new line of lightweight trailer suspensions including a new lightweight slider assembly.
The company used its proprietary shape optimization software to pinpoint exactly where weight could be removed from the suspension system without compromising its strength or durability.
“It allowed the engineers to be very precise and efficient when they were adding or removing material,” said Mark Holley, product manager, trailer axle and chassis control systems.
A significant portion of the weight savings came from the RS40 slider assembly, which is now 60 lbs lighter than its predecessor.
The new slider assembly will be available with gross axle weight suspension capacity ratings of 40,000 and 46,000 lbs.
While the company was able to reduce the weight of its suspension, it maintained all the popular features of Dana’s AdVANtage suspension systems, said Holley. One of the ways Dana engineers reduced the weight was to incorporate openings in a truss-like pattern (triangular-shaped holes) in the cross members of the slider box.
“This generated significant weight savings while still maintaining one of the best strength-to-weight ratios in the industry,” Holley said.
Dana engineers also reduced the length of the slider pin which resulted in further weight savings.
Another enhancement on the SmartRide slider assemblies includes the location of the four-pin lock system. The pins are now located in front of the hanger, which the company says provides a rigid attachment and more even load distribution to prevent buckling or bending.
Dana also uses a large diameter axle (5 3/4″ compared to the industry standard 5″), which allows for thinner walls. This results in a weight savings of 30 lbs per axle. Holley added it also increases the bending stiffness by 15 per cent, which in turn reduces tire wear and improves fuel economy.
The SmartRide slider box also includes an additional cross-member at the front, while the third cross-member has been moved back to create more room for the air reservoir.
Another benefit of the new Dana Spicer SmartRide suspensions is that they use truck-like brakes.
For fleets, this can help optimize their parts inventory. The cam enclosure also improves lubrication, reduces contamination and extends cam life to lower maintenance costs, the company says.
SmartRide suspensions are available in three box widths, including a wide-track option for super-singles (a handy option for when they become more widely permitted north of the border).
SmartRide suspension systems can be spec’d with options such as Dana Spicer Low Maintenance System wheel ends and the Dana Spicer Tire Maintenance System. Production of SmartRide suspensions is slated for the first quarter of 2005 and will take place at Dana’s Lugoff, S.C. and Barrie, Ont. plants.