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Dana introduces new heavy-duty axles, wheel ends

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Dana Corporation's Commercial Vehicle Systems group took the opportunity to present a new axle series, a new axle system and wheel ends for the heavy-duty market at a recent Roadran...


KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Dana Corporation’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group took the opportunity to present a new axle series, a new axle system and wheel ends for the heavy-duty market at a recent Roadranger event in Kalamazoo, Mich. The new Dana Spicer D-2000F steer axle series is geared to heavy-duty vocational components for heavy-haul applications. Designed for compatibility with both air disc and drum-style brakes, the new axles also offer a five-inch drop beam option, as well as increased axle ratings to better meet the performance demands of construction, refuse, fire truck, and other heavy haul applications.

“The choice of disc or drum brakes allows the customer to better tailor the vehicle for their application needs, while axle ratings of up to 22,800 pounds allow greater payload,” said Mark Davis, product manager – steer axles for Dana. “These features can add up to a lot more productivity for the fleet.”

“The deeper five-inch beam drop option allows the truck manufacturer to lower the chassis, and that opens the door to several important customer benefits,” said Davis. “These include improved cab entry and exit and additional passenger room in the cab.”

The new Dana Spicer steer axle series also includes:

* A power rib beam design , which provides weight savings, while maintaining durability and deflection characteristics often associated with high torque brakes, according to company officials;

* An in-line, draw-key kingpin retention system with spring washer tensioning, which officials say improves durability and reliability, while helping to maintain good camber alignment;

* Compressible inserts, seals and threaded caps on the kingpin, which improve contamination exclusion and grease retention, according to officials; and

* Tie rod ends with sealed boots and patented purge valves, which officials say improve contamination exclusion and overall axle/vehicle durability and reliability.

The new D-2000F and D-2200F axles can also accommodate tire pressure management systems and bare fully compatible with the new Dana Spicer LMS Hub systems (see below), say officials.

Two gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) are available: 20,000 pounds for the D-2000F model, and 22,800 pounds for the D-2200F model.

New wheel ends complement steer axle

Dana officials also introduced the heavy-duty Dana Spicer LMS hub system to complement its new 20,000- and 22,000-pound GAWR steer axle series. By doing so, Dana hopes to offer customers extended wheel end life, reduced maintenance and downtime, and improved performance.

“The new heavy-duty LMS hub system reinforces Dana’s commitment to provide on/off highway and vocational customers with advanced products, technologies, and systems that deliver longer life and lower life cycle costs,” said Jason Altwies, wheel end product manager for Dana. “Further, this low maintenance system integrates industry leading technologies and premium components, that will reduce maintenance costs and increase uptime for our customers.” Altwies added the new heavy-duty wheel end system also includes the same features of the current Dana Spicer LMS hub system, such as:

* ConMet aluminum or iron hubs for added flexibility and maximized payloads.

* Pre-adjusted wheel bearings to reduce installation time and maintenance.

* Bearing spacers for lengthened seal and brake life.

* Outrunner oil bath seals, for increased uptime.

* Dana Spicer LMS hubcap and vent system, which officials say lower life cycle costs.

* Improved spindle nut system, which company officials say ensures proper exacting torque for improved performance and increased safety.

The hub system design controls bearing adjustment and eliminates installation variables that can lead to end play, premature wheel seal failure, brake lining replacement, and wheel bearing failure, resulting in increased uptime and lower life cycle costs, say officials.

“The combined and demonstrated expertise of our steer axle and wheel end product lines enables Dana to offer its customers integrated, proven products and systems that optimize drivetrain performance,” said Altwies.

Dana Spicer LMS hub systems are approved for both on- and off-highway applications and are available in a range of axle ratings – up to 22,800 lbs GAWR for steer axles. The new LMS hub system is also compatible with both drum brake configurations and air disc brake technologies. Warranty coverage is for up to three years or 350,000 miles on steer axles, with Dana-approved lube.

New axle system aims to improve fuel economy

Dana officials also took the opportunity to demonstrate a conceptual drive axle system on its popular Dana Technology Truck, in the hopes of garnering industry feedback on a configuration, which aims to provide maximum fuel economy for the fleet user. The Dana Technology vehicle was available for test-drives and hands-on review by industry media at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, Mich.

With new efficiency improvements and weight-saving design features, the drive axle system consists of the new Dana Spicer S21-170DE high entry single drive axle and the Dana Spicer R21BS reconfigurable tag axle. The truck is also fitted with a prototype Fuller UltraShift fully-automated transmission with an experimental fuel-saving calibration in the software.

“This is another example of how Dana and Eaton work together to develop engineered solutions that address current and future trucking industry needs,” said Leo Wenstrup, senior product manager for drive axle systems for Dana.

“Fuel efficiency will be an issue in our industry well into the future, and Dana and Eaton will continue to deliver engineered solutions to the market that address these customer needs.”

The 6×2 drive and tag combination eliminates the extra weight and complexity associated with a traditional 6×4 tandem and generates more than a 200-lb installed weight savings when compared to a traditional 40,000-lb tandem, Wenstrup said.

“The use of high efficiency, wide-based single tires, as installed on the technology truck, can save another 400 lbs over the standard dual tire arrangement. This, along with significant reductions in rolling resistance, further improves fuel economy,” he said. “To address the issue of traction deficiency historically associated with 6×2 vehicles, the air bags of the tag axle are exhausted when the differential lock is engaged. This temporarily shifts all the weight to the drive axle at low speed, which gives the same traction as a traditional tandem axle.”

The single-axle design requires 14 fewer pints of lubrication, providing additional weight and maintenance savings, and efficiency improvements are achieved by eliminating energy losses associated with inter-axle drivelines and rear axle assemblies, Wenstrup explained. Eliminating the inter-axle driveline also reduces maintenance concerns and avoids damaging driveline-related vibrations.

Dana plans to offer a kit to convert Dana’s unique 6×2 configuration to a conventional tandem axle to increase vehicle resale value and offer flexibility for a variety of second-owner vehicle applications. At time of resale, the selling dealer would order a conversion kit from Dana.

The kit would contain all the necessary parts to convert the vehicle from a 6×2 to a 6×4 configuration for the new owner.

This complements the planning for a convertible transmission package that Eaton may offer to transform the Fuller 13-speed from a fuel economy calibration to a high-performance automated transmission.

For more information on the Dana Spicer LMS hubs or for any other Roadranger products and services, visit the Internet at www.roadranger.com, or write to Roadranger Marketing, P.O. Box 4013, Kalamazoo, MI
49003. To reach Roadranger right now, dial 1-800-826-HELP (4357) in the U.S. and Canada.


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