Dana Announces Major Suspension Weight Reductions

Nov 11, 2004

Lugoff, S.C. -- Nov 11, 2004 -- The Commercial Vehicle Systems group of Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN) has added a lightweight slider to its new family of Dana® Spicer® SmartRide™ trailer suspensions. Using the company’s proprietary shape optimization technology and computer analysis software, Dana engineers have saved 60 lbs. of weight on the new model RS40 slider assembly.

“This is the result of ongoing technological research that focuses on simultaneously maximizing strength and reducing weight,” said Mark Holley product manager – trailer axle and chassis control systems. “This analysis allowed us to pinpoint those areas of the suspension where modifications could be made successfully. In this case, we found that incorporating openings in a truss-like pattern in the cross members of the box would generate significant weight savings while still maintaining one of the best strength-to-weight ratios in the industry.”

Production of the RS40 is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2005 at the Dana Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems manufacturing facilities in Lugoff, S.C., and Barrie, Ontario. The integrated slider module will be available in gross axle weight suspension capacity ratings of 40,000 and 46,000 lbs.

“Our suspension products continue to evolve to meet the ever changing demands of our customers,” said Holley. “That evolution has resulted in a series of innovations in trailer suspension technology.”

For example, Dana was the first suspension manufacturer to use 5-3/4-inch large diameter axle (LDA) tubing, as opposed to the traditional 5-inch tubing. This switch provides greater strength and a 15 percent increase in bending stiffness, while reducing the weight per axle by 30 lbs. Increased stiffness reduces axle deflection to reduce tire wear and improve fuel economy.

Other innovative features of the Dana Spicer SmartRide RS40 suspension include:

Truck-style brakes allow parts commonality to reduce parts inventories by up to 40 percent, while the self-contained short brake cam improves braking performance. The cam enclosure improves lubrication, reduces contamination and extends cam life to help reduce overall maintenance costs.

The optimized pin location, which is in front of the hanger, provides greater strength and durability over competitive designs.

Robust inter-costal (side rail reinforcements) members are widely considered to be best in industry, and reduce the likelihood of rail buckling.

Three box widths are available, including 54-in. boxes to accommodate the growing use of wide base single tires.

Large diameter air springs provide quick air-up, lower operating pressures and improve ride quality.

The use of a pneumatic pin release system allows one person to reposition the slider box with minimal effort.

Dana Spicer SmartRide Suspensions such as the new RS40 feature the most complete offering of quality, integrated trailer suspension products available. Optional equipment includes the Dana® Spicer® LMS™ Low Maintenance System wheel ends, and the Dana® Spicer® Tire Maintenance System (TMS). The LMS package carries a five-year warranty and a host of industry-proven long life, low maintenance features. The patented Dana Spicer TMS automatically senses and corrects under-inflated tires resulting in improved tire life, improved safety, and improved fuel economy.

Holley added that recent manufacturing upgrades at the trailer suspension systems facility in Lugoff add more appeal to the Dana lineup of suspensions. Dana offers OE customers the added option of undercoating and pre-aligning all suspensions prior to delivery.

For more information on Dana Spicer trailer suspensions 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.


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