Dana Expands Product Offerings With New Additions to Suspension, Axle Lineup

Nov 11, 2004

Lugoff, S.C. -- Nov 11, 2004 -- The Commercial Vehicle Systems group of Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN) has launched an aggressive new products initiative to meet the growing demand for reliable components for line haul fleets involved with severe service applications in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The products include a new Dana® Spicer® self-steering trailer axle, model D22SS, and new slider and fixed suspension systems – both part of the new Dana® Spicer® SmartRide™ suspension systems family.

“We’re taking the many design features that have proven to be successful for many years in our current lineup of trailer suspensions and axles, and incorporating that technology into a new family of robust, market-specific products,” said Javier Loyola, strategic marketing manager, Commercial Vehicle Systems Division for Dana. 

Self-Steering Trailer Axle

The new Dana® Spicer® D22SS self-steering trailer axle, which is scheduled to go into production in the first quarter of 2005, improves maneuverability by allowing for a tighter turning radius, helps reduce tire scrub on the trailer tires, allows for additional payload capacities, and helps to reduce highway wear by preventing road gouging incidents.

The axle features a leading king pin design with a centering device that continuously stabilizes the wheels.  A patented dual draw key design improves the life of the king pin.  A tie rod mechanism connecting the two ends of the axle further promotes consistent, accurate centering of the axle, while the thrust bearing with extra-large needles extends component life and reduces maintenance. 

With a gross axle weight rating of 25,000 lbs., the new Spicer self-steering axle has a turning radius of 25 degrees.

“We have decades of experience in designing and manufacturing front steer axles,” added Loyola.  “We’re incorporating much of that technology into these new systems.

“The market for these axles is growing fast, especially in Canada where new regulations are going into effect that will call for the mandatory use of self-steering axles on the trailer.”

New, 50K Slider

Designed to handle especially severe trailer operations, the new Dana® Spicer® SmartRide™ RS50 slider suspension is rated at 50,000 lbs. The slider incorporates many of the current RS Series technology features, with a host of new enhancements to improve durability and longevity.

Chief among these are a reinforcement gusset in the frame hanger with high-strength, low-alloy material; a new material thickness on the slider box; increased thickness of the cross members; a saddle bracket on the trailing arm; heavy duty shocks, and a heavy duty dock height support system.

“In designing this new slider, we took into account many of the durability issues that have surfaced over the years with competitive sliders, and specifically addressed those issues while maintaining those technology features that have proven successful,” said Loyola.  “We did our homework here, and these new suspensions represent precisely what our customers have been telling us they want, especially those fleets based in Mexico and U.S. fleets operating in and out of Mexico.”

The RS50 Series slider is available today to most of the major OEM trailer suppliers in North America.

Growth Continues with New Fixed Suspension

The new Dana® Spicer® SmartRide™ RF30 fixed suspension is targeted for vocational, severe duty service, including fleets specializing in logging, bulk hauling, mining, and dump operations.

Rated at 30,000 lbs., the RF30 was designed to improve durability and enhance ride quality.  Ride heights are available from 14 to 19 in., and the suspension may be specified with an optional lift kit (also available with the RF20, RF23 and RF25 series).

New integrity enhancing components include larger volume, reinforced air springs; high-dampening, extended-service shock absorbers; and larger diameter axles (LDA).  “We’ve also incorporated many of the high-strength, low-weight components currently available on our trailer axle and suspension systems, which are widely regarded as the right products and solution for today’s trucking industry,” said Loyola.

The RF30 fixed suspension will be available next year for delivery to most of the major OEM trailer suppliers in North America.

“These products and others that have been recently introduced represent our commitment to remain a leading supplier of forward-looking and technologically advanced axle and suspension systems to the commercial vehicle industry,” added Mark Holley, product manager – Dana Trailer Axle and Chassis Control Systems.   “That same commitment will continue with the introduction of more and more new products in the months and years ahead.”

For more information on Dana Spicer trailer components and other Roadranger products and services, visit the Internet at www.roadranger.com, or write to Roadranger Marketing, P.O. Box 4013, Kalamazoo, MI 49003. To reach a Roadranger right now, dial 1-800-826-HELP (4357) in the U.S. and Canada.  In Mexico, dial 01-800-826-4357.

The Roadranger®Solution is an unbeatable combination of the best drivetrain, chassis, and safety components from Dana Corporation and Eaton Corporation, all backed by the Roadrangers – the most experienced, most expert, and most accessible drivetrain consultants in the business. 

Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group, part of the Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Group, designs, manufactures, and markets front-steer, rear-drive, trailer, and auxiliary axles; driveshafts; steering shafts; brakes; suspensions; and related systems, modules, and services for the commercial vehicle market. Major components and modules are marketed under the Spicer®brand name.

Dana Corporation is a global leader in the design, engineering, and manufacture of value-added products and systems for automotive, commercial, and off-highway vehicles. Delivering on a century of innovation, the company's continuing operations employ approximately 45,000 people worldwide dedicated to advancing the science of mobility. Founded in 1904 and based in Toledo, Ohio, Dana operates technology, manufacturing, and customer-service facilities in 30 countries. Sales from continuing operations totaled $7.9 billion in 2003.