Silver Eagle Manufacturing Company, a long-time trucking industry supplier of specialized wheeled equipment, partners with Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems to provide air disc brakes and control valves on its products, including trailers specifically designed for launching drones and command center trailers.
Bendix, which develops and manufactures active safety, air management and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, recently reciprocated by highlighting the 80-year-old company and its diverse line of products.
“We do a lot of fun and interesting things,” said Gary Gaussoin, president and chairman of Silver Eagle.
“One of our newest converter dollies is a telescoping T-dolly that automatically closes the gap between two trailers at highway speed. We have unique designs, and we pride ourselves on quick turnaround and creative ideas.”
Innovation and Specialization
Gaussoin’s father, C Julius “Judy” Gaussoin, founded Silver Eagle Company as a trucking company in 1933. When he saw a particular need for his fleet, Judy developed and manufactured a full front trailer suspension.
“Through his own innovations, we started making things for our fleet, like the Silver Eagle Fifth Wheel, and then other companies wanted them, so we started manufacturing in 1936,” said Gary Gaussoin, who joined the family business as a draftsman in 1970. “It became its own company, Silver Eagle Manufacturing, in 1969.
“Now we employ about 125 people. We do our own on-site engineering and we bend and weld metal, assemble, and paint primarily our own designs.”
Those designs serve a wide range of purposes across North America, as Silver Eagle’s two primary customer areas are over-the-highway transportation and military applications. Flatbed trailer bodies, composite chemical tankers and trailers for the Humvee also are in the Silver Eagle catalog.
“My dad used to say that the man who uses the tool knows best how the handle should be bent,” Gary Gaussoin said. “And we’ve maintained that philosophy of always listening to the users of our vehicles. We try to be the supplier that we’d want someone to be for us.”
Quality and Performance
Silver Eagle offers the Bendix ADB22X-LT air disc brake factory installed. Introduced in 2016 and created specifically for trailers, the ADB22X-LT is based on the same successful platform as the ADB22X tractor brake.
“We offer the ADB22X-LT as an option on any dolly,” Gary Gaussoin said. “It’s used most frequently by UPS on their converter dollies for small package and freight trailers. Because a dolly serves as a steering axle for the rear trailer, we were concerned about preventing brake steer, which can be a risk with unbalanced brakes on a dolly.”
Air disc brakes also can enhance safety by providing shorter stopping distances compared to drum brakes, reducing brake fade, and providing greater reliability with more consistent stops. Other air disc brake advantages include quicker pad replacement and longer pad life, leading to greater uptime and lower maintenance costs, Bendix said.
“They’re easy to set up on our lines, so our people like them, and the customers are very pleased with the performance,” Gary Gaussoin said.
Additionally, Bendix valves have a long history in Silver Eagle dollies and trucks, and the new automatically telescoping T-dolly features Bendix valves in its controls.
“When Bendix sees a dedicated team like the people at Silver Eagle at work on a challenge or driving to find best ways to exceed a customer’s high expectations, we see ourselves as well,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix North America’s regional vice president for fleet/trailer sales and service engineering. “Their insistence on excellence, their ability to address complex problems, and their deep commitment to fully understanding what their end-users want and need are all qualities that make us proud to support their business and partner with them to help develop safer vehicles.”