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Hendrickson's no-shock suspension offers reduced maintenance

May 1, 2013
Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems launched its Zero-Maintenance Damping (ZMD) ride technology, available exclusively through Hendrickson

Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems launched its Zero-Maintenance Damping (ZMD) ride technology, available exclusively through Hendrickson beginning Q1 2013.

The “shockless” air suspension system, available on select VANTRAAX integrated air slider models, provides reduced maintenance by eliminating the shock absorbers. Chain down-stops replace the rebound limiter function traditionally performed by the shock absorber. The down-stops provide reliable protection for trailers being loaded onto rail freight cars and enhances ride quality. ZMD air springs integrate the damping function traditionally performed by the shock within the air spring itself by exchanging pressurized air through channels interconnecting the bellows and piston of this patent-pending air spring. Unlike a shock absorber whose damping capacity is finite and deteriorates with age, ZMD air springs provide continuous damping at a consistent rate over the life of the air spring, increasing trailer component life.

Hendrickson also introduced ULTIMAAX, a severe-duty rubber suspension for vocational markets where durability is paramount.

ULTIMAAX integrates Hendrickson's walking (equalizing) beam technology, with its patented progressive rate spring. In the empty or lightly loaded condition, shear springs carry a majority of the vertical load resulting in a constant low spring rate and excellent ride quality. Due to the advancements of the progressive rate spring, as load increases, the ride and stability characteristics of the suspension change to meet the application's needs without an abrupt change in spring rate. This superior ride translates to reduced road shock and vibration to the vehicle which contributes to longer service life of the cab, chassis and body equipment.

Available initially in capacities of 46,000, 52,000 and 60,000 pounds, ULTIMAAX is approved for vocational and severe-duty applications.

These are the latest introductions for Hendrickson, a company celebrating its 100th year in business in 2013.

“The 100th year anniversary is about celebrating the past, but more importantly, looking to the future. The events surrounding the centennial anniversary feature new products and resources, while reinforcing the company culture and passion for the industry” says Gary Gerstenslager, Hendrickson's president and chief executive officer.

The Hendrickson story began in 1913 when this small Chicago-based manufacturing company built custom-engineered trucks. In 1926, Hendrickson introduced the first patented walking-beam tandem truck suspension, a design that distributed the truck's load evenly between the two rear axles to improve ride and traction.

Hendrickson was acquired by the Boler Company in 1978 and consequently entered the trailer suspension and lift-axle business. Eventually, Hendrickson sold the truck manufacturing operation to focus solely on suspension systems and related components. Today, Hendrickson remains a privately held organization and committed exclusively to the systems needs of the global commercial vehicle industry.