CLEVELAND, Ohio—Link Manufacturing, a provider of suspensions, suspension controls and air management products, unveiled what the company says will become the industry’s first family of intelligent auxiliary suspension systems. With field testing in progress, the 8K, 10K, 13.5K and 20K Road Optimized Innovation (ROI) Auxiliary Suspensions Systems are expected to be commercially available in 2022.
The products and the technology behind them were presented during a press conference at the American Trucking Associations' Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) 2021 Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition in Cleveland.
“If an auxiliary suspension system is engaged when not needed, it can cause the tires to drag, or ‘scrub,’ negatively affecting tire wear, gas mileage and maintenance intervals,” said Mike Leakey, VP of sales and marketing for Link. “Conversely, if auxiliary axles are not deployed when needed, the vehicle may not comply with local bridge laws, and the vehicle and its occupants may even be exposed to dangerous mechanical forces.”
First introduced in the company’s ROI Cabmate Cab Suspension in 2019, the ROI Auxiliary Suspension System will sense and maintain tire-to-ground pressure, reducing tire wear and maximizing fuel mileage, the company stated.
“Link’s ROI technology is able to sense when the vehicle’s load has changed and automatically deploys or retracts the auxiliary suspension system as needed,” Eli DeGroff, product manager, Road Optimized Innovations for Link, said in a statement. “Unlike traditional all-on or all-off auxiliary axles, Link’s smart suspensions are able to determine the load they need to bear and automatically adjust to precisely accommodate that weight.”
According to the company, Link’s new 8K, 10K, 13.5K and 20K auxiliary offerings will automatically respond to the vehicle’s wheel traction and don’t need to be manually retracted. In snow, mud and other challenging conditions, Link’s ROI technology, working in conjunction with the vehicle’s ABS, will sense the absence of surface friction and will reduce pressure as needed to shift the requisite tractive force to the drive axles.
Link’s load-balancing auxiliary suspension system with ROI keeps a vehicle’s drive axles loaded. In addition, the ROI technology has been designed to reduce strain on frames and primary suspension components, the company added.
The suspensions will be suitable for trucks and tractors in the heavy-duty, on-highway and off-highway arena, including dump bodies, cement trucks, roll-off trucks and other vocational applications. For its initial aftermarket product launch, Link is designing a Bodybuilder Package that has the control system integrated into the suspension.