SAF Holland officially announced the opening of its trailer axle manufacturing plant in Warrenton, Missouri.
The $4-million, 100,000-sq-ft plant has a capacity of 80,000 trailer axles per year. It is the company’s latest step in integrating not only trailer components, but also disparate global markets, technologies, and the SAF and Holland areas of specialization.
Offering only drum brakes at this point, the plant will gear up for production of axles equipped with disc brakes as well. The company anticipates that disc brakes will become increasingly popular on trailers as economies of scale lower production costs and customers recognize reduced operating costs of disc brakes offset their higher purchase price and higher resale value.
Integrating trailer components such as axles, brakes, and suspensions will become more common in North America, the company believes.
“European trailer manufacturers want single-source supply, and SAF did not have that until the SAF and Holland merger,” says Steffen Schewerda, executive vice-president. “Trailer OEMs require various levels of integration and customization to meet their specific needs. As a result, they require a partner that can provide customized integrated systems.”
Prior to the merger, SAF was strong in axle manufacturing, while Holland lacked its own axle but was strong in the production of trailer suspensions. The Warrenton plant incorporates SAF axle manufacturing technology. Meanwhile, SAF Holland operations in North American are exporting its expertise in landing gear, fifth wheels, suspensions, and other components.