Link Manufacturing, a leader in specialty engineered suspensions, recently reach a major milestone with the production of its 2 millionth Cabmate suspension.
To commemorate the achievement, the company planned events throughout the year to recognize customers and thank employees for their support and dedication, including an employee celebration May 23 and commemorative plaques for OEMs.
Cabmate was the first cab air suspension for Class 7 and 8 trucks, Link said, and is used by more North American OEMs than any other system. As a testament to Cabmate’s increasing prominence in the industry, as well as Link’s expanding OEM relationships and manufacturing expertise, Link reached its 1 millionth Cabmate 28 years after its introduction, and reached the two millionth milestone only 11 years later.
Cabmate initially was developed in 1980 when truck driver Bill Nibbelink was searching for a more comfortable ride, the company said. Bill built the first cab air ride suspension for his heavy-duty truck and then started making additional units in his garage. The result of his efforts was Cabmate, which quickly grew in popularity. Link Mfg soon was on its way with this first productopening its first Cabmate factory in 1984.
From the outset, Link focused on working with OEMs to collaboratively engineer systems for their specific makes and models. By 1985, Link introduced its first factory install, which was integrated into the truck OEM’s manufacturing system. Throughout the decade, Link developed partnerships with leading OEMs to offer Cabmate as an option on their vehicles, Link said.
During the 1990s, the focus turned to reducing weight to help vehicles achieve greater fuel efficiency. Over the ensuing decade, Link introduced a series of design changes to further enhance the durability of the Cabmate system. In total, more than 200 Cabmate models have been designed for vehicles that range from day cabs, extended length sleepers, terminal tractors, agriculture sprayers, fire trucks and defense vehicles, the company claimed.
Link now boasts state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Iowa, where the majority of Link’s cab, chassis, auxiliary and trailer suspensions, and ramp products are built. Additionally, Link Suspensions of Canada, based in Nisku, Alberta, manufactures heavy vocational suspensions for severe duty vehicles, Link said.
“Cabmate is a perfect example of American ingenuity,” said Jim Huls, president of Link Manufacturing. “One great idea resulted in an excellent company serving the needs of an entire industry to enhance performance and comfort. The incredible success of Cabmate reflects our collaborative relationships and tremendous trust OEMs put in Link, along with the dedication from our talented and innovative employees.”
Link currently is developing the Cabmate Road Optimized Intelligence (ROI) system, an intelligent cab suspension that maximizes ride comfort for the driver and offers greater protection of electronics inside the cab, the company claimed. Using an electronic control unit, Cabmate ROI reads information hundreds of times per second from accelerometers and position sensors to instantly cushion the blow as the vehicle goes over rough terrain by determining the optimum settings for the shock absorbers.
“We’re a great American success story because we are driven to outperform our customers’ expectations at every turn,” Huls said. “This spirit is embraced by every employee on our team today and all of those who have played a role in Cabmate over the years.”