Link Mfg, a manufacturer of specialty-engineered suspensions, recently introduced the new 52K Air Link Gen 3 Tandem Drive Suspension.
The company says the suspension was reconfigured to meet the needs of states, municipalities and road maintenance contractors using tire chains on heavy vocational equipment with 315 tires. The new suspension features maintenance advantages, is 50 pounds lighter and carries an extended three-year warranty.
Many entities with responsibilities for large-scale snow and ice management operate heavy equipment, with dump trucks and refuse vehicles often pressed into service during winter months. But for fleets running 315 tires, using tire chains can cause damage to a vehicle’s suspension and undercarriage due to inadequate clearance.
“Link’s new 52K Gen 3 has been reengineered specifically to improve clearance for 315 tires and chains while maintaining the exceptional ride quality long associated with our Air Link heavy vocational suspension line,” said Neil Mardell, manager of defense programs and heavy vocational products for Link. “Hanger brackets have been lengthened, heavy-duty dampers have been moved forward, center bushings have been raised, and the vertical distance between the trailing arm and walking beam pivots has been optimized.”
The suspension also features larger, high-volume, low-frequency air springs that deliver a smoother ride, whether the vehicle is under load or empty, Link maintained. Dual height-control valves maintain proper ride height, leveling the vehicle independent of load and maximizing its roll stability. Weighing in close to 875 pounds, the 52K Gen 3 is now 50 pounds lighter than its predecessors.
The Gen 3 also was designed to enable easier service and demand less maintenance, Link claimed. The suspension’s anti-corrosive polyurethane bushings require no lubrication, and trailing arm bushings are easily replaced with hanging brackets while still in position. The suspension features fewer moving parts, extra-large bearing surfaces, more brawny main components and a higher level of load-bearing redundancy.
Once wheel alignment is set on the Air Link, no future adjustments are required.
The suspension offers advantages compared to spring leaf or rubber block walking beam, two-spring “six-rod” and trailing arm suspensions, including ride quality, Link said. The Air Link Gen 3 delivers a smooth comfortable ride, resulting in less driver fatigue and equipment damage. High roll stability, coupled with equal weight distribution to both axles means safer operation on-highway, off-highway and in all weather conditions.
“The Air Link suspension was originally developed to operate in extreme environments, such as Canada’s oil fields and remote northern logging areas and has also been proven in harsh military applications in the US, Canada and the Middle East,” Mardell said. “The 52K Gen 3 is the latest iteration of the air-over-walking-beam suspension design Link patented more than 26 years ago and is a sound and mature technology.”
All Air Link suspensions are treated with Link’s exclusive Link-KOAT migratory self-healing metal treatment. Link-KOAT provides corrosion resistance and rust protection, even when surfaces are exposed to excessive abrasion, harsh chemicals and other severe-duty environmental factors, Link asserted.
“Until now, fleets managing snow and ice with heavy vocational vehicles were forced to choose between the benefits of air springs and the ability to use 315 tires,” Mardell said. “Link’s new 52K Gen 3 Tandem Drive Suspension makes their choice a lot easier moving forward.”