The SAF-Holland Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fifth wheels, was awarded the 10 PPM Quality Award via US truck manufacturer PACCAR Inc. (Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF) – for its locations in Singen, Germany, and Woodstock, Canada, for 2019. Only a few select suppliers who attain a defective parts ratio of 10 or fewer per million are granted this quality award.
The SAF-Holland Group has received the 10 PPM Award, which is issued on an annual basis, for the sixth time in succession for the Singen plant and for the fourth time in succession for the Woodstock plant.
“I am particularly pleased that we are the sole European manufacturer of fifth wheels to win this award,” said SAF-Holland Group CEO, Alexander Geis. “Winning the award again confirms our performance promise in terms of quality, delivery reliability and service as well as our long-term goal of meeting or even exceeding the expectations of our customer, PACCAR, day-in, day-out. This is primarily due to the high level of commitment exhibited by our employees.”
Best-in-class product design
In addition to achieving 10 ppm quality status, suppliers must meet demanding criteria for delivery performance, warranty support and continuous improvement. To achieve the elite quality status, the suppliers need best-in-class product design and process capabilities as well as a quality-focused corporate culture.
The SAF-Holland plant in Singen, one of the leading European manufacturers of fifth wheels, has been supplying fifth wheels to DAF Trucks in the Netherlands and Belgium since 2005. The German location, a specialist provider and original equipment manufacturer of the truck industry, is offering individual solutions for off-road, civil and defence technology.
The plant in Woodstock has been supplying the PACCAR brands, Kenworth and Peterbilt in North America for over 40 years. The Canadian location employs approximately 240 people who manufacture the Mark V Landing Gear as well as a variety of different fifth wheel and axle and suspensions.
Fifth wheels: safety-relevant components
Fifth wheels are highly safety-relevant components which SAF-Holland has been paying special attention to for decades. In its research, development and production, the commercial vehicle supplier focuses on safety for all road users from development to delivery, easy operation and optimum total cost of ownership.
SAF-Holland claims to be the only manufacturer to offer a safety device for opening the fifth wheel with just one hand. This requires significantly lower operating forces and is an important argument in times of lack of drivers. The driver can use the position of the safety lever (top or bottom) to visually check if the locking mechanism is securely engaged.
Safe single-handed operation
The automatic safety lock is fitted as standard at no extra charge according to SAF-Holland. The driver unlocks the fifth wheel with just one hand via the safety lever. Simply thumb the lever down, pull the handle out thus opening the fifth wheel coupling. The operator can also check the position of the locking lever to ensure the locking mechanism is actually engaged. When the lever is pointing downwards, however, the mechanism is not closed and the connection is not secured. The driver can use the position of the safety lever – indicating fully locked and secured (raised) or open (lowered) conditions – to visually check if the locking mechanism is securely engaged.
All fifth wheels from SAF-Holland save up to 100kg compared to competitive products and thus significantly increase the payload. Automatic lubrication pumps or completely grease free fifth wheels further reduce downtimes and maintenance costs.
SAF-Holland’s truck-and-trailer connections are tailored to every type of prime mover and its respective application from light trucks (7.5 tonnes) to heavy-duty transport of 36 tonnes to special transportation weighing up to 75 tonnes. Fifth wheels and kingpins from SAF-Holland are designed to be versatile.