Meritor SimilAir Composite Trailer Spring now available

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ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business has announced the availability of its new Meritor SimilAir Composite Trailer Spring for linehaul and general service applications. The Meritor SimilAir is a composite mechanical spring designed to deliver ride quality close to that of an air suspension, with much lower initial and life cycle costs.

“Meritor’s SimilAir is breakthrough technology that delivers the smooth ride operators expect from an air suspension without the added maintenance, weight and cost,” says Robert Zirlin, director of product planning and development for North American Trailer Products for Troy, Mich.-based Meritor. “What sets this spring apart from other mechanical systems is its composite material, which offers numerous performance and bottom-line advantages to fleets and end-users.”

The composite spring assembly is more durable and provides a significant weight and cost savings, the company says: Suspensions equipped with the composite spring weigh as much as 240 pounds less than the lightest air suspensions, and more than 100 pounds less than other mechanical suspensions. According to Meritor, it also offers less maintenance than air suspensions, and is more corrosion-resistant than steel springs.

The company says that compared to air suspensions or steel mechanical suspensions, a Meritor SimilAir composite spring-equipped suspension offers other advantages, including:

  • No air springs, shock absorbers or leveling valves (vs. air);
  • Drive-home capability, which greatly reduces potential for costly roadside maintenance;
  • Mechanical suspension performance at the dock (i.e. no dock walk); and
  • Significantly reduced unwanted vibration and noise compared to steel springs.
  • The Meritor SimilAir Composite Spring originally was targeted at mechanical suspension users who were considering air ride suspensions, but did not want the cost penalty and maintenance requirements. During field evaluations, it attracted significant interest on the part of current air suspension users as well, according to the company.

    “While composite springs have been available on mechanical trailer suspensions for many years, they have represented a niche of extremely weight-sensitive customers,” says Zirlin. “By optimizing the ride quality and overall performance offered, the new Meritor SimilAir spring has much broader market appeal.”

    Meritor SimilAir is a joint effort between ArvinMeritor and Liteflex. The two companies recently announced a long-term agreement granting ArvinMeritor exclusive distributorship of Liteflex truck, trailer and specialty vehicle composite mechanical springs for North America and several other global markets.