Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems launched its VANTRAAX ULTRAA-K slider system at MATS, to be available in July. The company says it’s the next level of air-slider technology, a “game changer”. From the slider box to Zero Maintenance Damping to its unique pivoting mudflap brackets, the system is said to bring superior ride quality while carrying more cargo per load.
Also at MATS, Hendrickson introduced the OPTIMAAX liftable forward tandem axle system with automated controls. It’s said to be a “revolutionary” 6×2 option to help save fuel, minimize tire wear, and reduce weight, with comparable handling to 6×4 tandem-axle configurations. Operating as a liftable axle in the forward tandem position, it provides versatility for fleets with variable loads by using axle capacity only when required.
In comparison with the traditional 6×4 tractor configuration, it eliminates over 350 lb by replacing the forward tandem drive axle and suspension with an integrated liftable non-drive axle and suspension which is automated with weight-sensing controls.
Then there’s SOFTEK NXT, Hendrickson’s latest lightweight front steer axle and suspension system combining the company’s STEERTEK NXT axle with its proprietary and industry leading SOFTRIDET Monoleaf Spring technology. The complete system saves up to 118 lb compared to traditional two-leaf spring and I-beam axle systems. It’s designed for heavy-duty truck applications rated from 12,000- to 12,500-lb capacities with additional axle ratings available soon.
Back to the ULTRAA-K, it’s said to be lighter than any other slider system in the industry by nearly 100 lb. The hot-dip coating process allows Hendrickson to back the slider with a 10-year structural corrosion warranty.
Instead of shock absorbers, ULTRAA-K uses Zero Maintenance Damping (ZMD) air springs for suspension damping. With no moving parts, these unique air springs are designed to provide uniform and consistent damping levels over their lifespan.
Since the air spring’s damping capacity does not degrade or diminish over time like a shock absorber, ZMD air springs are claimed to out-perform shocks in ride quality, cargo protection, downtime, and maintenance costs. The robust, covered chain down-stops protect the suspension and trailer when lifting the unit for rail transfer.
Innovative features like pivoting mudflap brackets are standard, a unique feature that can drastically reduce costs associated with damaged mudflaps and mounting angles.
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