Peterbilt’s front air leaf suspension enters full production

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Peterbilt Motors Co. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, began full-production of its new front air leaf suspension. The company says its proprietary front air leaf suspension — now available for customer order on Models 384, 386, 388 and 389 — is a new-generation front suspension with an innovative design and high-performance components that deliver significant improvements in ride and overall service maintenance.

According to Peterbilt, the front air leaf suspension has a lower spring rate for better isolation of road inputs and a 20 percent improvement in ride, while maintaining the roll stiffness and handling performance of a taper leaf suspension. Additionally, the front air leaf design uses four air springs to support up to 75 percent of the spring load. The company says the unique front spring design has a wide, flat, lower leaf for good lateral stiffness and control; and a stout upper leaf for improved roll stability and handling.

“The new Peterbilt front air leaf suspension provides numerous benefits to the end customer, resulting from a reduction of road inputs to the cab, chassis and powertrain, which extends component lifecycles,” says Landon Sproull, chief engineer of Denton, Texas-based Peterbilt. “The suspension’s advanced design features shackle configurations that are common with today’s taper leaf suspensions, and proven maintenance-free rubber bushed spring pins to reduce maintenance.”

Peterbilt says additional front air leaf suspension features include:

  • Lightweight components, resulting in a reduction of 26 pounds as compared to taper leaf suspensions;
  • Ride height compatible with Low Air Leaf and FlexAir rear suspensions;
  • Suspension weight capacity ratings from 12,000 to 13,200 pounds;
  • Compatibile with air disc or drum brakes; and
  • Proven in field testing, with more than 4 million miles of real-world conditions in Mexico, Canada and the United States.