SAF-Holland has unveiled its new CBXA AeroBeam fixed frame air suspensions, with offerings that support Canada’s specialty trailers and Ontario’s SPIF configurations.
The lightweight top-mount trailer air suspensions will eventually replace the CBX Aerobeam lineup on the market today.
“The specialty market requires some specialty products,” says trailer suspension and axle product manager Bill Hicks, noting that North America accounts for 120,000 new specialty trailers per year.
The suspension series includes four models in all.
The lightest offering is the 469-lb. CBXAN23 AeroBeam, with a 23,000-lb. capacity for standard-duty on-highway tankers and flatbed trailers. Weight-conscious users can also opt for SAF-Holland’s optional P89 SLT air disc brake packages, which can shed about 62 lb. per axle.
Moderate on/off highway users can turn to the CBXAS23 suspension, which offers the same capacity but weighs in at 492 lb. The 524-lb. CBXAS25 and its 25,000-lb. capacity, along with the 555-lb. CBXAS30 and its 30,000-lb. capacity, round out the lineup to support moderate-to-severe-duty application in on/off road service.
Product features include the AeroBeam cast steel arm with a thru-beam design and integrated shock absorber that provides undercarriage clearance and protection from road debris. Black Armor metal treatments offer a protective barrier against corrosion.
Meanwhile, a pivot connection tension control bolt promises to maintain clamping forces, eliminating the need to routinely retorque connections. That, in turn, will help protect bushings and frame brackets from premature wear, SAF-Holland says.
Multi-axle trailers also have the option of the PosiLift axle lift that fits all models and promises maximum lift clearance. The self-steering axles to meet Ontario’s Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) configurations will be available within a month.
“We’re working through the details right now,” Hicks says. “There’s just a few packaging things.”
Given the varied trailer designs in the market, SAF-Holland is offering multiple frame bracket configurations. Weight-sensitive users have access to a narrow, tapered weld-on bracket, but there are also weld-on, weld-on with wing, stainless steel, and bolt-on brackets.
A 5-3/4-inch axle is also said to be 19% more rigid than competitive offerings, which could play an important role in fighting inside tire wear, Hicks says.
Adding to that, the CBXA’s AeroBeam SwingAlign system is designed for quick axle adjustments without requiring disassembly or replacement parts. And the accurate alignments can enable more precise tire track settings.
The product line comes with a seven-year warranty, too.
CBX Aerobeam product lines are expected to be phased out over the next one to two years.
A robust market
The new product line comes amid a robust trailer market, with some trailer suppliers pushing recent orders into 2022 delivery timelines. And SAF-Holland has not been immune to component shortages faced by the entire sector.
“Component availability is a struggle,” says Randy Flanagan, vice-president – sales. Like other manufacturers, the business has been affected by shortages of microchips. “Weird things” like clevis pins coming from Asia have also been a challenge, as container ships are backed up off the coast of California.
“We’re making sure our sourcing is robust,” he says.
Trailer manufacturers themselves are struggling to source wood floors and tires, Flanagan adds. And a leading supplier of reefer foam was also offline during a recent cold snap in Texas.
“It seems like every day it’s something different,” he says.
SAF-Holland also continues to ramp up its hiring efforts, and it has been able to re-hire many “good quality people” who had to be let go during Covid-19-related downsizing, Flanagan adds.
There’s no time to waste.
“The ramp-up came so quick,” he says, referring to net trailer orders that hit their lowest levels ever last April, only to reach record highs in October and November. “None of the forecasting agencies thought it would be such a V-shaped recovery.”