Link trailer suspension

Link unveils HD suspension

March 23, 2020
New air-ride TR50-HDT designed for off-highway use, allowing manufacturers to achieve 150K tri-axle capacity

Link Mfg recently revealed to the industry its new TR50-HDT heavy-duty off-highway air-ride suspension.

The company showcased three of the 50K suspensions in a tri-axle configuration on a 100-ton-capacity Smithco mining side tipper trailer during the 2020 CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

Until now, heavy-haul, off-highway trailer manufacturers had few choices when it came to their suspensions. They could outfit a trailer with a tri-axle walking-beam suspension, in which case they were exposing the trailer to jounce, rebound and other significant dynamic stresses when encountering uneven terrain. To improve ride quality, manufacturers could also choose lower-capacity air-ride suspensions, but in the quad configuration required to bear heavier loads, these imposed their own stress-inducing forces associated with wheel drag, or scrubbing.

With the introduction of the TR50-HDT heavy-duty off-highway air-ride suspension, trailer manufacturers have a more effective and efficient way to equip their heavy-haul trailers for severe-duty environments, Link claimed. The TR50-HDT, in its tri-axle configuration, gives trailer OEMs the ability to achieve the higher load capacities they seek, while maintaining the superior ride characteristics of an air-ride suspension, without the added weight and scrubbing issues associated with a quad.

“The TR50-HDT was engineered specifically for off-highway and mining trailer applications and was designed to reduce axle and trailer stress, overall weight and maintenance costs,” said Greg Hulstein, director of engineering for Link Mfg. “The high-capacity air-ride suspension offers maximum performance, even in the most punishing environments.”

The TR50-HDT offers trailer OEMs the highest capacity and range of articulation available in any air suspension. Designed for a 17-inch ride height with +/- 4 inches of travel, the suspension is also available in other ride heights upon request. The TR50-HDT’s maximum axle spread is 60 inches at its 50K capacity, and it can operate at up to 40 mph (65 kmph) even over rugged terrain, Link said.

Each TR50-HDT features three high-capacity air springs, and the suspension’s performance characteristics are further enhanced by its heavy-duty ride shocks. The shocks help mitigate the dynamic forces that can damage trailers, axles and wheel ends, and the system is flexibly designed to allow additional shocks to be added.

“We were excited to work with Link in the development of its new TR50-HDT,” said Duane Myears, sales manager for Smithco Side Dump Trailers. “This suspension fit our needs precisely, allowing us to migrate away from heavier quad suspensions and to offer our customers a higher-capacity, better performing trailer with almost a ton of weight savings.”

Link’s TR50-HDT can be configured to fit the majority of heavy-haul trailers with 17-inch ride heights, and further customization is available, the company maintained. Two-axle A train, three-axle B train and super B train axle configurations all can be accommodated by the TR50-HDT.

For superior durability and low maintenance, each TR50-HDT heavy-duty off-highway air-ride suspension is fully integrated with a 6-inch solid round KGI axle. The 92.8-inch axle track utilizes 14R 25-inch wheel ends and 18-inch drum brakes.

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