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Lonestar’s electric terminal tractor features Link’s ROI Cabmate

Dec. 29, 2020
Collaboration adds Smart Cab suspension to manufacturer’s EVs, boosts ride quality, stability in severe-duty environments

Link Mfg. recently collaborated with Lonestar Specialty Vehicles to outfit Lonestar SV’s electric terminal tractors with new, purpose-designed ROI Cabmate Smart Cab Suspensions.

First introduced in 2019, Link’s Road Optimized Innovation (ROI) technology enables a vehicle’s cab suspension to respond to external conditions in real time by continuously adjusting the stiffness of shock absorbers to optimize ride stability and comfort. According to Link, the ROI Cabmate Smart Cab Suspension also features electronic height control that minimizes air consumption compared to traditional height control valves, because it does not fill or exhaust air in response to dynamic suspension motion.

“Terminal tractors are subjected to some of the harshest applications in the commercial vehicle space and operate on a wide variety of surfaces,” said Blake Yazel, general manager of Lonestar SV. “Equipped with Link’s ROI Cabmate suspension, our electric terminal tractors are able to provide optimal ride stability and comfort, even when operating in the toughest applications. The engineering and quality construction of the ROI Cabmate compliments our advanced EV technology very well and we couldn’t be happier with its performance on our product.”

Not only do terminal tractors have to deal with a broad array of terrains, but vehicles and drivers alike must cope with multiple drop and hook cycles per day. The concussive forces associated with repetitive coupling and decoupling of trailers alone can take their toll on man and machine.

Operators of terminal tractors may be exposed to dynamic forces that, according to ISO 2631-1:1997 standards, can cause internal injury over time. The ROI Cabmate can reduce the potential for injury and thus help reduce health risks while increasing worker satisfaction and productivity.

The ROI Cabmate suspensions on Lonestar SV’s electric terminal tractors employ multiple sensors that never stop monitoring or responding to the vehicle’s environmental circumstances. An accelerometer monitors the motion of the cab, while a position sensor measures the position and velocity of the cab relative to its frame.

“A terminal tractor using Link’s ROI Cabmate will operate in a constant state of dynamic damping, producing an optimal ride, improving operator alertness and reducing fatigue,” said Eli DeGroff, product manager for Road Optimized Innovations at Link. “Regardless of what a vehicle encounters in its working environment, the ROI Cabmate instantly responds with the ideal suspension stiffness to control and minimize cab motion and vibration.”

Driver retention continues to be a factor for today’s fleets. Link maintains the ROI Cabmate Smart Cab Suspension improves the driving experience by increasing driver satisfaction, maximizing driver comfort and minimizing driver fatigue.

The ROI Cabmate also can promote greater driver and vehicle productivity in the terminal, the company said. Trailer loads and surface conditions both affect vehicle-handling characteristics and in some cases can slow vehicle movement. With ROI Cabmate, the cab, driver and entire driver-to-vehicle interface remains more stable. The driver retains greater control and has greater confidence going about their daily routine.

“No other industry supplier has done more to promote ride quality, stability and comfort for drivers, and nobody else has anything like Link’s ROI technology,” DeGroff said. “Our work with Lonestar and others is helping to set the table for a variety of new on- and off-highway applications.”        

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

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