Mats: New Kenworth air suspension shaves up to 400 pounds

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Kenworth Truck Company doesn’t take weight issues lightly.

Its newly introduced AG380 air suspension weighs in at 650 pounds fully installed, a weight reduction of up to 400 pounds compared to similar trailing arm suspensions, according to Kenworth Chief Engineer Jim Bechtold, who introduced the suspension at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The new suspension can be spec’d on Kenworth’s complete Class 8 line of over-the-road tractors for highway applications – up to 80,000 pounds (GCW) – with full production slated for June.

In addition, Bechtold says the Kenworth AG380 is lighter than most four-spring suspensions. “Some extremely weight-conscious carriers will now be able to bypass the spring suspension and select the more comfortable air bag suspension for their drivers,” Bechtold says.

Bechtold noted that the AG380 received over two years of ride, handling, stability and durability testing on the road and in the lab before being brought to market.

“We know that a stable ride and good handling are essential to customers, so we got them involved in the testing process,” he says. “We had 13 customer units in the field, producing over four million miles of actual service data along with extremely valuable customer feedback.”

The AG380’s key components also underwent the equivalent of six million miles of road service during quality testing conducted in the lab at the Paccar Technical Center. To increase reliability, Kenworth says it designed the AG380 with about half the parts of other truck suspensions. In addition, the new suspension is maintenance free with no lubrication points.

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