Ron Froese, SAF-Holland's director of powered vehicle product sales, talks about one of the products the company brought to TMC this year: the FW35TT fifth wheel for yard tractors.

SAF Holland shows off air suspension, fifth wheel

Feb. 27, 2017
Lighter yet stronger is overwhelming mantra for both products, company says.

NASHVILLE. SAF-Holland brought two new products here at the 2017 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting; the new CBX23 AeroBeam lightweight fixed frame air suspension for flatbed and tanker fleets, along with the “enhanced” FW35TT fifth wheel, designed specifically for terminal or “yard” tractors.

Roger Jansen, SAF-Holland’s product manager for trailer axles and suspensions, noted that the CBX23 is the “next model” in the company’s lightweight CBX AeroBeam series, which features a “base weight” of 465 lbs., which is some 45 lbs. lighter compared to the previous iteration of the CBX23.

To hold up in flatbed and tanker applications, the new CBX23 features heat-treated cast alloy suspension beams, 80 ksi frame brackets and a 5.75-in. diameter friction-welded axle that is 12% thicker than competitive axles – all covered by a 5-year structural warranty.

Jansen noted that the CBX23 is also treated with SAF-Holland’s “BLACK ARMOUR” anti-corrosion coating and can be spec’d with NewP89 or P89 Plus air disc brakes.

In terms of fifth wheels, SAF-Holland’s upgraded FW35TT terminal tractor fifth wheel is now being made from a higher-strength steel alloy for an 80,000- lb. load rating. It also features a twin-lock design to prevent kingpin “bounce out,” which Ron Froese, director of powered vehicle product sales, said is a “leading cause” of trailer coupling delay or failure.

“It’s specifically designed to excel in demanding yard operations, where fifth wheels couple and uncouple more times in an hour than some on-highway tractors do in a month,” he stressed.

To achieve the durability needed to deliver an increased maximum vertical load capacity rating of 80,000 lbs., the FW35TT top plate is cast with an extra thick top surface to increase life, Froese explained, with the entire casting is made from high yield cast steel to provide “top performance” in all operating environments.

In terms of maintenance He added that the FW35TT’s twin lock jaws are secured with easy-to-remove pins and can be replaced in less than 15 minutes. Also, when the grease-free pocket liners need replacing, it now takes “only seconds” to pull out the old pocket liners and drop in new ones, Froese emphasized.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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