Air bag suspension system added to International 9000 Series sleepers

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For long-haul truck drivers, bumping and winding roads and highways can play havoc with a comfortable ride and a restful sleep when their partner is at the wheel. But International Truck and Engine Corp. says it has relocated the cab suspension system outboard to deliver improved comfort and stability. The new rear air bag cab-suspension system being installed on its 9000 Series sleeper cabs is designed to give drivers better control and unrivaled comfort — and their driving partners a more peaceful slumber — by reducing cab roll and sway.

The suspension system is engineered to support the weight of the truck and provide the driver and passengers a more comfortable ride. Its components include front-and-rear suspensions, springs, shock absorbers, torsion bars, axles, a strut system and connecting linkages. Changes to the system, according to International, include:

  • Locating the air bags and shock absorbers farther apart and outboard nearer the edge of the truck. This provides more stability, especially in crosswinds, by limiting the pitch and yaw in the cabs, which makes the ride much smoother;
  • Boosting the number of bumpers to two, also to help with the yaw and further to provide more resting surface for the cabs when they’re stacked to reduce damage from bumps;
  • Placing a cup around the bumpers to give them greater load characteristics, which allows them to flatten less than previously, limiting the sway of the cab; and
  • Centering the bumpers over the mating stop to allow the full face of the bumper to contact the stop, also improving ride performance.
  • “This new suspension system for the International 9000 Series sleepers provides value to owners and delights the drivers,” says Allen Renfrow, product-development engineer for chassis-system engineering at Warrenville, Ill.-based International. “And happy drivers recommend our vehicles to the people who make the buying decisions.”

    Because a sleeper cab is longer, more surface area on its sides becomes exposed to the wind. When cross winds develop, drivers and anyone trying to nap in the sleeper feels the roll and swaying. But with the shock absorbers and air bags located farther apart, the ride becomes smoother and more stable, International says.