SPECIAL FOR CANADA: Dana Spicer's new self-steering trailer axle.
LUGOFF, S.C. – With legislation in Canada phasing out the use of lift axles, self-steering axles are thought to be the most logical solution for most applications.
With this in mind, Dana Spicer is introducing a self-steering trailer axle (the D22SS) to meet the needs of the Canadian and Mexican markets (and to a lesser extent, that of the U.S.)
Javier Loyola, strategic marketing manager, Commercial Vehicle Systems Division with Dana, said it was important the company relied on proven parts when designing its new self-steering axle.
“We tried to incorporate proven designs,” Loyola said. “We’re taking the many design features that have proven to be successful for many years in our current lineup of trailer suspensions and axles, and incorporating that technology into a new family of robust, market-specific products.”
Dana’s self-steering axle is designed to offer improved maneuverability (it boasts a turning radius of 25 degrees) and increased payload while offering a more infrastructure-friendly alternative to lift axles.
Rated at 25,000 lbs, the axle has a king pin design with a centering device that continuously stabilizes the wheels. The company says a dual draw key design extends the life of the king pin and a tie rod mechanism connecting the two ends of the axle results in consistent, accurate centering of the axle.
“We have decades of experience in designing and manufacturing front steer axles,” said Loyola. “We’re incorporating much of that technology into these new systems.”
While any application where additional payload is required could benefit from a self-steering trailer axle, off-highway applications in Canada and Mexico will likely benefit the most.
“The market for these axles is growing fast, especially in Canada where new regulations are going into effect that will call for the mandatory use of self-steering axles on the trailer,” Loyola said.
The new self-steering axle will be in production in the first quarter of 2005, according to company officials.
New SmartRide RS50 slider suspension
The new Dana Spicer SmartRide RS50 slider trailer suspension has also been designed with the Canadian market in mind. This robust suspension system is intended for severe-service operations.
Rated at 50,000 lbs, the SmartRide RS50 incorporates many of the features found on the current RS-series suspensions, however it also boasts a number of enhancements aimed at improving durability and longevity.
Loyola said severe dry van and reefer van applications would be an ideal fit for this suspension system.
“In Canada and Mexico, weight is important but it’s more important to have a durable product,” said Loyola. He added the SmartRide RS50 slider addresses many of the concerns raised over competitive products in severe-service applications.
“We specifically addressed those issues while maintaining those technology features that have proven successful,” Loyola insisted. “We did our homework here, and these new suspensions represent precisely what our customers have been telling us they want.”
Heavy-duty cross-members and thick side rails offer extra strength and large-volume air springs and heavy-duty shock absorbers add to the product’s robustness.
The SmartRide RS50 slider is available now.
Dana Spicer SmartRide RF30 fixed suspension
Dana Spicer also added to its fixed suspension lineup with the new SmartRide RF30 designed for vocational and severe-service applications including logging, mining and bulk-hauling.
The SmartRide RF30 is rated at 30,000 lbs and boasts improved durability and ride quality, the company claimed.
Ride heights vary from 14- to 19-inches and an optional lift kit is available.
Among the enhancements are: larger-volume, reinforced air springs; high-dampening extended service shock absorbers; and large diameter axles.
“We’ve also incorporated many of the high-strength, low-weight components currently available on our trailer axle and suspension systems, which are widely regarded as the right products and solution for today’s trucking industry,” Loyola added.The Dana Spicer RF30 will be available next year.