Having it both ways

Hendrickson vocational suspension offers smooth ride and stabilityHendrickson has rolled two suspension styles into one package designed to give heavy-duty vocational trucks both a smoother and more stable ride.The HN 522 VariRate suspension, introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, resolves the traditional conflict between stability and ride quality in vocational applications such

Hendrickson vocational suspension offers smooth ride and stability

Hendrickson has rolled two suspension styles into one package designed to give heavy-duty vocational trucks both a smoother and more stable ride.

The HN 522 VariRate suspension, introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, resolves the traditional conflict between stability and ride quality in vocational applications such as dump trucks by having the ability to provide both, said Frank Stevens, vp-aftermarket development and corporate marketing.

"With vocational suspensions, it's been a tradeoff in the past," he said. "When the vehicle runs without a load, you'd want the suspension to have a little deflection to give the driver a nice, soft ride. But when you operate the vehicle with a heavy load, you need more stability and stiffness in the suspension to support the weight."

The HN 522 uses a combination of shock absorbers and rubber boosters to provide a softer, smoother ride when the vehicle is empty. The VariRate package has also been upgraded with a thick 5-in. bottom plate - which is traditionally only a half-inch thick - to provide more stability.

Also, the HN 522 has no center bushing, which is one of the first parts of a suspension that wears out, said Stevens. Instead of spending $1,000 to $1,200 to "re-bush" a suspension at three years of age, a fleet can extend that mark to five years, he said.

Hendrickson also introduced two other products, a new air-ride trailer suspension and a one-piece forged torque rod.

The Intraax 300 trailer suspension is designed for heavy-hauling operations, such as logging and dump trailer applications. With 30,000-lb. capacity, the Intraax 300 has 30% more strength than Hendrickson's previous package.

Hendrickson's new Ultra Road torque rod is 3 lb. lighter than most other rods and provides an estimated 25% more life.

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