Hendrickson producing lighter integrated steer axle, suspension

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Hendrickson Truck System Group announced Friday, March 7, that it has launched production of the new lighter-weight Softek front steer suspension and axle system. The new Softek system combines Hendrickson’s Monoleaf steel spring and the rigid box-shaped Steertek axle for outstanding ride and stability with a substantial weight savings, the company says.

Softek delivers a lighter front suspension and axle combination to help fleets and owner-operators counter the increased weight of new engine technology; at a capacity of 12,000 pounds, fleets can trim up to 92 pounds compared to traditional two-leaf suspensions. Softek also comes in a 12,350-pound capacity system.

The monoleaf spring technology is designed to reduce weight and eliminate interleaf friction. Hendrickson says a front-fabricated beam provides a durable and lightweight front axle, and with its box-shaped design, Steertek resists horizontal, vertical and twisting forces more effectively than traditional I-beam axles, enabling tires to maintain better contact with the road to help improve handling and steer tire life. The Softek system’s integrated steering arm and tie rod attachments help add strength, while the two-piece knuckle assembly is designed to simplify kingpin bushing serviceability.

“Hendrickson is putting more emphasis on technology that can increase payload capacity for truck owners without compromising performance,” says Sean Coleman, director of marketing and program management for Woodridge, Ill.-based Hendrickson Truck System Group. “Softek has been engineered to reduce vehicle tare weight while delivering exceptional ride and handling.”