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September 28, 2017 11:00 AM, EDT

SAF-Holland Displays Suspension System, Retrofit Kit

SAF-Holland CEO Detlef Borghardt Borghardt by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

ATLANTA — International Tier 1 supplier SAF-Holland introduced a new lift-axle suspension system for heavy-duty trucks and a retrofit kit for its fifth-wheel coupling system.

SAF executives also made a presentation for donating almost $74,080 to the Wyakin Foundation of Boise, Idaho, which helps prepare U.S. veterans for civilian careers.

The company’s U.S. operations are based in Muskegon, Mich., and management made the announcements Sept. 27 here at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. The parent company has headquarters in Luxembourg and its three major North American brands are SAF, Holland and Neway.

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The new product is the large-capacity Neway LSZ auxiliary, steerable, lift-axle suspension system for vocational trucks that often haul heavy loads.

The system has an 18.3-inch package size as part of a design that is up to eight inches shorter than comparable lift axles. The company said this allows LSZ to fit where other lift axles cannot, thereby providing extra frame rail space for other uses.

“If the LSZ is spec’d on a new truck, it may reduce the truck’s overall wheelbase to provide extra maneuverability,” said Jason Heath, a Neway product manager.

Lift axles help heavy-haul trucks comply with the bridge formula for weight distribution. When a truck is fully loaded, more weight-bearing wheels are lowered to the pavement. When the truck is empty, the wheels are lifted to improve fuel mileage.

Heath said the LSZ lifts quickly and reduces bouncing. Dump trucks, refuse haulers, concrete mixers and pumpers, logging trucks and cranes are among the potential customers, he said.

The retrofit kit is for Holland’s electronic lock indicator, ELI-te, to be added to FW35 series fifth wheels. ELI-te is designed to make sure a trailer’s king pin is securely fastened to the tractor’s fifth wheel.

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

Tom Bronz, Holland’s director of aftermarket sales, said the retrofit kit takes about 45 to 90 minutes per tractor to install. The job entails modifications to the existing fifth wheel’s top plate.

“The lights make it easy for drivers to positively confirm that they have coupled correctly, and warn them if they have not. It’s a new generation of safety,” Bronz said.

Regarding the charitable donation, Carl Mesker, vice president for SAF-Holland aftermarket, said, “The Wyakin Foundation is an outstanding organization where a large percentage of every dollar counts toward helping veterans transition into our industry. We need more great people in the heavy duty industry and the Wyakin Foundation can be a resource for every supplier in this industry. We are excited about the success of our promotion, and appreciate the outstanding participation from our HDA Truck Pride members.”

SAF-Holland CEO Detlef Borghardt was also at the presentation. He said the corporation’s major customers are trailer makers, providing 60% of revenue; truck makers, 15%; and aftermarket, 25% of sales. Global 2016 sales for the company were the equivalent of $1.15 billion.