Roadranger Solutions, the marketing operation of Dana and Eaton, unveiled two products at the recent TMC show in Tampa: the latest Smart- Ride trailer suspension from Dana's Commercial Vehicle Systems; and a Dana-Spicer Tire Inflation and Monitor System (TIMS) that can now be combined with the new Bendix TABS-6 antilock braking system.

The Dana-Spicer Smart Ride RN40 trailer suspension is more than 200 lb. lighter than other models in the series, which was introduced last fall. According to Mark Holley, product manager for trailer axle and chassis control systems, redesigns of the suspension trailing arm, crossmembers, and intercoastals were key factors in producing a lighter component.

A joint technology initiative with Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems enables fleets to combine the Spicer Tire Inflation and Monitor System (TIMS) with the Bendix TABS-6 (trailer ABS version 6), using only one electronic control unit. (ECU).

James Beverly, Dana's chief engineer for chassis systems, said integrating the tire inflation and monitoring system right into the trailer unit was a “no-brainer” because it saves space and weight, and cuts electronic control and power demand.

“By unifying them within the ABS matrix, there are fewer components, less wiring, more simplified installation, and lower weight,” he said. “You also end up using just one ECU instead of two, which makes it more efficient and far less costly.”

Beverly noted the system is designed so tire inflation is suspended during a panic stop to ensure brakes get all the available air pressure.

Paul Waszkowski, product manager for trailers at Bendix, added that incorporating Dana's TIMS product into the antilock braking system also helps protect the TIMS electronics since the TABS-6 unit has been redesigned to offer greater protection against corrosion and contaminants.

“We have a sealed ECU with a nylon screen that helps the unit breathe as it equalizes to external air temperature changes, without…letting moisture and other elements in,” he said. “A locking ECU cover acts as a secondary line of defense against contaminants as well.”