Link’s new lift axle suspensions
By Mike Brezonick15 September 2021
Link Mfg., Ltd., the Ohio-based supplier of specialty engineered suspensions, suspension controls and air management products, has what it called “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, with capacities from 8000 to 20,000 lb., are expected to be commercially available in 2022.
Utilizing traditional auxiliary suspensions often require a significant amount of guesswork, even for experienced vehicle operators, Link said. While most systems allow the deployment pressure to be manually set, the operation of those auxiliary suspensions are still binary – either up or down.
“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, vice president of sales and marketing for Link Mfg. “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.”
Link said it developed its new, smart load-balancing suspensions using its proprietary ROI technology, first first introduced in 2019. The system is designed to sense and maintain optimal tire-to-ground pressure, reducing tire wear and maximizing fuel mileage. With the new auxiliary suspension systems, the guesswork of when to lift or lower is removed, so even inexperienced drivers can maintain maximum traction without overloading the axles, Link said. In snow, mud and other challenging conditions, the system, 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 intelligent auxiliary 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 said it is designing a Bodybuilder Package that has the control system integrated into the suspension.