Dana unveils new tandem axle for 6x2 tractors

Design said to boost fuel economy by up to 3%

LOUISVILLE, KY. Wednesday evening during a news conference here at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Dana Holding Corp. unveiled its new Spicer EconoTrek tandem axle for 6x2 tractors. “This axle is a new durable, lightweight 6x2 configuration that improves performance, reduces maintenance and increases fuel economy for heavy-duty linehaul tractors,” said Steve Slesinski, director of global product planning.

He explained that the axle’s design improves fuel economy by up to 3% through decreases in mechanical drivetrain energy loss and reduces weight by up to 400 lbs compared to a “traditional” 40,000-lb tandem axle arrangement.

“At Dana, we continually evaluate the performance of our drivetrain designs to ensure that they deliver long-term value for fleet owners,” noted Pat D’Eramo, president of Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies. “Updated with new components and designs to increase fuel efficiency and durability, the Spicer EconoTrek tandem axle offers performance improvements that can boost the productivity of 6x2 fleets.”

Available this June, the Spicer EconoTrek combines the company’s newly upgraded Spicer S170 and S190 single-reduction single drive axles with the new lightweight Spicer S20-045B tag axle. Together, these axles provide reliability and durability for the industry’s lightest 6x2 tandem axle configuration, stated Slesinski.

First introduced in 2004, according to Slesinski, the Spicer S170 and S190 high-performance single drive axles have been outfitted on more than half-a-million commercial vehicles and are  “designed for efficiency while withstanding the most demanding applications.” He said the axles have now been improved to “ensure optimal operation and durability with less required maintenance… and are even more resistant to abusive differential spin-out events.”

Slesinksi said the new Spicer S20-045B tag axle features advanced designs leveraged from Dana’s popular line of Spicer commercial-vehicle drive axles. Made of high-strength, micro-alloy steel with a thin-wall, square-edge formed axle housing box, it weighs 20 to 30 lbs less than competitive models. “The axle is shaped like a low-profile drive axle to provide significant strength for the axle’s vertical load-bearing capabilities, reducing tire wear while simplifying suspension and chassis installation at a lower weight,” he advised.

The EconoTrek is optimized for use with electronic-controlled air suspension systems, such as the new Bendix eTrac system, said Slesinski. He pointed out that the eTrac system will seamlessly transfer weight to the Spicer S170 or S190 series drive axle for improved low-speed traction when combined with the Spicer patented wheel-differential lock feature.

According to Slesinski, fleet owners can “quickly and accurately calculate the money-saving advantages” of the EconoTrek tandem axle via its www.dana.com/commercialvehicle website.

Dana also noted that its Spicer Diamond Series driveshaft will be featured on Navistar’s International LoneStar truck on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show. According to Dana, this installation demonstrates how weight-sensitive customers can increase payload and improve their bottom line by pairing its SPL universal-joint technology with the “robust aluminum” Spicer Diamond Series tube.

“Commercial-vehicle OEMs and fleet owners are quickly recognizing the performance and maintenance advantages of our Spicer Diamond Series driveshafts,” said Pat D’Eramo, president of Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies. “Our innovative driveshaft is being used by a forward-looking OEM at the industry’s most popular event of the year, which clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm for our cutting-edge technologies and the proven benefits they can provide to fleet owners.”

Dana also announced the expansion of its third-party aftermarket distribution network for medium- and heavy-duty truck carriers, adding new sites in Atlanta, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City to bring its total network to 20 locations.

The company said that as the “demand for high-quality, fuel-efficient and maximum-performance aftermarket parts continues to grow,” it is increasing its carrier distribution network and utilizing strategically placed facilities to provide same-day delivery, depending on the location and type of carrier.

Dana is also making customer-service improvements, including adding an on-staff carrier expert, extending emergency truck-down hours to 6:00 p.m. EST and providing an inventory exchange program, all while continuing to offer a two-year warranty.

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