SAF Holland has officially opened its trailer axle manufacturing plant in Warrenton, MO. The $4-million, 100,000-sq.-ft. plant has the capacity to build 80,000 trailer axles per year. It is the company's latest move to streamline worldwide operations for the SAF and Holland areas of specialization.
Offering only drum brakes at this point, the plant will gear up for production of axles equipped with disc brakes as well. The company anticipates that disc brakes will become increasingly popular on trailers, as economies of scale lower production costs and customers recognize that reduced operating costs of disc brakes can offset their higher purchase price while increasing their vehicle's resale value.
“European trailer manufacturers want single-source supply, and SAF did not have that until the SAF and Holland merger,” said Steffen Schewerda, executive vp. “Trailer OEMs require various levels of integration and customization to meet their specific needs. As a result, they require a partner that can provide customized integrated systems.”
Prior to the merger, SAF was strong in axle manufacturing, while Holland was strong in the production of trailer suspensions. The Warrenton plant incorporates SAF axle manufacturing technology.