An alternative to steel spring and air-ride suspension

IMT Corp., manufacturer of Ingersoll axles, and Timbren Industries, manufacturer of rubber-based ride quality products, announced a joint marketing venture at ITS.

The first product offering of the venture is a complete, lightweight axle/ rubber Aeon spring suspension system called i.system. "The product is aimed at single-axle users," said Bart Van Cromvoirt, vp and general manager of i.system. "Compared with air-ride systems, the new axle/suspension system offers lower initial investment, installation, and maintenance costs."

At the heart of the i.system are Timbren's Aeon rubber springs, which absorb road shock and provide long life, said Neil Hodgson, president of Timbren Industries. Drivers will benefit from the comfortable air suspension type ride and handling, improved roll stiffness, better lateral control, and the elimination of dock walk that the i.system offers, he noted.

Advantages to maintenance managers, according to Van Cromvoirt and Hodgson, are that the system eliminates many of the routine maintenance procedures typically accompanying air ride or leaf spring systems.

These include less tire wear, fewer component pieces that need servicing or replacing, no internal torsion for longer axle life, shorter control arms that increase scrub resistance, and a simple, no-weld, low-torque alignment. The parallelogram design also increases the life of all components, including the axle.

With a capacity rating of 22,500 lb., the i.system is available in five ride heights: 12, 13.5, 15, 16.5, and 18 in. Timbren and IMT are offering delivery lead times of three to four weeks. The package also includes a 5-yr./500,000-mi. warranty.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has introduced a six-channel antilock braking system that provides individual, all-wheel ABS control on three-axle or tag-axle trucks. Part of the company's Sentinel ABS brand, the new system has six-wheel speed sensors and six modulators that transmit air when wheels lock.

The all-wheel ABS enhances braking control in slippery road conditions, according to Bendix. Specifically, the six-channel system enables shorter stopping distances and better brake-in-lane performance. And because the ABS can respond to tires individually, drivers have more control in situations where one tire stops on water or ice and another on dry pavement, for example.

The new system provides two traction options. An automatic traction feature can sense wheel slippage before a driver even steps on the brakes. When this happens, the system helps control slipping by adjusting the driver torque of the axle to the other wheels.

In addition, a manual control switch located inside the cab can be used to better manage traction in off-road, slow speed, soft soil conditions. For troubleshooting, two options are available: blink-code technology or hand-held MPSI Pro-Link diagnostics.

Affordable R-134a refrigerant recovery/recycling unit recovers, recycles, and recharges with just a single hookup to a vehicle. The manually operated Robinair CoolTech 134 has a heavy-duty compressor that quickly pulls refrigerant from the system and also pulls the system into a vacuum prior to recharging. An electronic scale simplifies recharging to factory specs. Check

Accelerated delivery of walk-in vans - a complete truck in the customer's hands at a lower cost just four weeks from receipt of the order - is the goal of Workhorse Custom Chassis' new FasTrack program. Four standardized V8 gasoline walk-in models are offered; these are expected to meet 90% of small-fleet applications. Warranty covers both chassis and body. Check

Safety backup alarm called Safe-T-Alert 2500 is the latest addition to the Superior Signals product line. Offered in six models, the alarms have decibel ratings from 87 to 107 dB, voltage ratings from 12VDC to 80VDC, and come in a variety of mounting options. Units are UL listed and meet SAE specs. Check

Farr Co. has developed self-contained disposable air cleaners for diesel-powered vehicles that it says deliver extended service life and lower operating costs. Farr says its ECO-LL (long life) air cleaners achieve three to five times longer service life than OE air cleaners.

The company bases its claims on the results of tests conducted on a fleet of LN-9000 Ford trucks using the new air cleaner as part of a special retrofit kit Farr designed for this application. The kit, available to all LN-9000 owners, uses a frontal air intake scoop and contains all the hardware required to replace the existing system.

The ECO-LL air cleaner can also be used for OEM first-fit and field retrofit applications in other Class 5 to 8 trucks with engine sizes ranging from 170 to 600 hp. and beyond.

Hunter Engineering's Series 611T wheel-alignment system incorporates Windows-based WinAlign HD alignment software for heavy-duty vehicles and offers optional DSP306T-HFSS cordless wheel sensors, which speed setup time and are easier to use. Sensor signals are accurate at distances up to 600 in. Check

Trailer antilock braking systems brochure from Haldex Brake Systems covers its standard 2S/1M, premium 2S/1M, and 4S/2M configurations; SLH (select low/select high) software, FFABS valve platform, diagnostics, and optional odometer function.

Blind-spot warning system consists of up to ten ultrasonic sensors that can be placed anywhere on a truck, trailer, or van, along with an LED display unit mounted within the cab. The display unit of Safety Enterprises' Lookout system provides readout of distances from 1.0 to 9.9 ft. System operates in normal blind-spot mode, backup mode or alarm mode. Check

Programmable electronic lock for vehicle roll-up doors automatically documents the date and time of each opening and closing of the door. It also identifies who opened the door through use of an ID/PIN number. This information is easily transferred from E. J. Brooks' RUD lock to a desktop computer. Check