Equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, provides lightweight truck and trailer components to boost profitability for fleets by enabling additional payload gains.
The improved premium trailer axle, the practical tyre pressure monitoring system and extra-light fifth wheels all optimise the payload of articulated lorries according to SAF-Holland.
“In terms of payload optimisation, SAF-Holland supports fleet managers on an individual basis, offering high-quality components such as fifth wheels or axles plus accessories, even when it comes to the configuration and original equipment of trucks and trailers,” said SAF-Holland Product Manager OE Europe, Elmar Weber.
SAF-Holland is optimising the weight of its SAF Intradisc plus Integral premium axle with a new ten-spoke wheel end design. The lighter design was presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in 2018 and has been in series production since the spring of 2019. In combination with the brake caliper SBS 2220 H01, the optimised trailer axle reduces its weight by 8kg.
“SAF-Holland’s products and systems are getting lighter and lighter: On a three-axle semi-trailer, our premium axle reduces the weight by a total of 24kg ex works,” said Weber. “Fleet operators do not need to invest any extra money for this, in contrast to aluminium rims, for example.”
In order to reduce the weight of the brake, SAF-Holland has adapted the topology of the cast parts while maintaining the same high performance and service life of the disc brake. The 22.5”brake SBS 2220 H01, developed jointly with Haldex, is designed for axle loads of up to nine tonnes.
SAF-Holland claims that there are other ways to reduce the weight of articulated lorries without requiring additional expenditure. Commercial vehicles, according to the equipment specialist, can make do without the spare wheel – one trailer tyre, steel rim and bracket together weigh around 160kg. If these are not onboard, the unladen weight of the tractor/trailer combination is reduced and the payload is significantly increased – tangible added value for cost-conscious fleet managers.
Trailers do not have to be entirely dependent on having a spare wheel, SAF-Holland reports. In many cases, the SAF Tire Pilot, the automatic tyre-inflating system from SAF-Holland, can prevent punctures. The extra system weight of approx. 5kg is only a fraction of the possible savings. In the event of puncture damage, the control system maintains the tyre pressure at the preset level, allowing the articulated lorry to safely reach the nearest garage or home. Once there, the wheel can be changed. This prevents vehicles from being left stranded and minimises downtime due to puncture damage.
Truck and trailer are said to be always securely connected by SAF-Holland’s robust, weight-optimised fifth wheels.
“Our best-in-class solutions, consisting of fifth wheels and kingpins, can cope with any connection task, whether it involves lightweight 7.5-tonne lorries or abnormal loads of up to 75 tonnes,” said SAF-Holland Head of Truck Business Europe, Dr Rainer-Rudolf Gärtner.
“To this end, we are systematically developing our products and tailoring them individually to tractor units and their areas of application,” he said.
In order to keep the weight of its fifth wheels as low as possible, the supplier for commercial vehicle parts has, for example, optimised the topology of the mounting brackets and the top plate. Time, and therefore costs, are also reduced due to direct mounting which eliminates the traditional mounting plate.
SAF-Holland developed the FW 3214-W, the first chassis-integrated fifth wheel with an imposed load of up to 14 tonnes, specifically for the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Antos prime mover units.
“Because it is installed directly in the vehicle frame and individually adapted to the tractor unit, it significantly lowers its dead weight and thus increases the payload potential,” said Dr. Gärtner.
The FW 3214-W with load-optimised and wear-optimised coupling plates made of spheroidal graphite cast iron, according to SAF-Holland, is low-maintenance while the standard single-handed operation is practical (a safety latch enables coupling and uncoupling with one hand).
The FWAL-E fifth wheel made of forged aluminium is reported to be one of a kind. It is up to 55kg lighter than other couplings.
The optionally available Weightsaver mounting system can reduce the weight by an additional 35 kg. The grease-free NoLube technology with its low-wear, replaceable slide plates and bearing inserts is exceptionally economical and environmentally friendly. The extra-light aluminium fifth wheel is designed for imposed loads of up to 20 tonnes and is available in three heights: 167mm, 197mm and 219mm.
(Image: SAF Intradisc plus Integral premium axle.)