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Link adds 105K Triton Tri-Drive to heavy vocational family

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Trailer-Body Builders  /  May 17, 2019

Link Mfg, which makes specialty-engineered suspensions, recently delivered the first set of its new Triton Tri-Drive Air Suspensions.

The industry’s first “ultra-high-capacity” tri-drive air suspensions are engineered to be used in multi-axle configurations for heavy-haul and off-highway applications, Link said. Designed for traditional production-line installation, Triton’s 105K carrying capacity gives OEMs a path to broadening their product offerings by increasing the load-bearing capabilities of existing vehicle platforms.

Triton Tri-Drive Air Suspensions are engineered for application flexibility and can be combined to provide a variety of vehicle carrying capacities, Link said, including 35K single-drive, 70K dual-drive and 105K tri-drive configurations. Regardless of disposition, Triton Air Suspensions are designed to integrate with most major heavy-haul axle makes and models.

“Using our new Triton Tri-Drive Air Suspensions, OEMs will now have higher-capacity equipment to offer, giving them access to off-highway mining, quarry and logging markets they may not currently serve,” said Bill Ott, vice president of engineering for Link Manufacturing. “Our line of Air Link Suspensions have been 100% off-highway-rated for 25 years, giving us decades of practical engineering experience in that market space.

“The Triton Air Suspension is the byproduct of that experience.”

Ott said the Triton’s heavy-duty mounting system was born of the company’s off-highway experience. He claimed that through voice-of-the-customer feedback, many of the problems associated with other tri-drives have been engineered out of the Triton, making its installation fast and simple.

The Triton mounting system features extra-wide weight-bearing brackets that provide yaw stability, delivering predictable and well-balanced handling, the company said. Ride quality also is enhanced by Triton’s high-mounted air springs and under-slung spring saddles, which allow +/-4 inches of articulation, minimizing roll.

“Link’s experience in designing rugged military suspensions has also contributed to the development of the Triton Tri-Drive Air Suspension,” said Neil Mardell, who manages defense programs and heavy vocational products for Link. “Triton’s ability to articulate, providing maximum traction over the most punishing terrain, is partly the result of its highly advanced, military-grade beam design.”

Triton also is equipped with longitudinal and lateral control rods that ensure proper axle tracking and alignment. Trailing beams are interconnected by a torsion bar, further improving ride stability. Unique dual-height control valves help the suspension maintain optimum ride height independent of load levels, and all units are fitted with heavy-duty shock absorbers.

Triton Tri-Drive Air Suspensions are engineered to maximize durability, while minimizing maintenance requirements, Link said. Polyurethane bushings help provide longer service life and eliminate lubrication requirements. Polyurethane also is more resilient than natural rubber bushings and resistant to petroleum distillates and other common contaminants.

All Triton suspensions are treated with Link’s Link-KOAT migratory self-healing metal treatment. Link-KOAT provides excellent corrosion resistance and rust protection, the company claimed, even when surfaces are exposed to excessive abrasion, harsh chemicals and other severe-duty environmental factors.

“For the end user, this suspension will improve the laden and unladen ride quality for the driver and the lifespan of the vehicle it serves,” Mardell said. “With Triton, users will enjoy the load-bearing capacity and roll stability of traditional steel spring suspensions, without the bone-jarring ride.”

Added Ott: “Drivers will also be able to traverse uneven off-highway topography much more swiftly, which means more loads hauled in each work cycle.”

 

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We used to spec the Raydan (Air Link) suspensions in our Michigan log trains. Tough & Reliable, basically the “Camelback” of the off-road air suspension world. 

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On 5/19/2019 at 6:12 PM, Mack Technician said:

We used to spec the Raydan (Air Link) suspensions in our Michigan log trains. Tough & Reliable, basically the “Camelback” of the off-road air suspension world. 

What kind of luck did you have with it MackTech? I've often thought about it when spec'ing but I always get mixed opinions. People seem to either love it or hate it.

And despite Mack pushing it around here for a while I had a Mack rep at a trade show tell me to stay away from it. He said it puts too much stress on the frame and they had all kinds of cracking issues?

On paper I love the idea of it though. Best of everything. With our mandated SPIF laws here our lift axles have to be self equalizing, so air suspension is the easiest and most reliable for this. But with the Air Link you still would have the full articulation of walking beams.

And I like  how it is fail safe. They say you can run it uninflated if you blow a bag or have an air problem. 

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11 hours ago, Bullheaded said:

What kind of luck did you have with it MackTech? I've often thought about it when spec'ing but I always get mixed opinions. People seem to either love it or hate it.

And despite Mack pushing it around here for a while I had a Mack rep at a trade show tell me to stay away from it. He said it puts too much stress on the frame and they had all kinds of cracking issues?

On paper I love the idea of it though. Best of everything. With our mandated SPIF laws here our lift axles have to be self equalizing, so air suspension is the easiest and most reliable for this. But with the Air Link you still would have the full articulation of walking beams.

And I like  how it is fail safe. They say you can run it uninflated if you blow a bag or have an air problem. 

I'd argue it's a good system if the salesman specs it to the right application.

We never had a frame crack on the trucks we ordered. I'd guess if anyone could bust one it would be a Michigan Log Train. The installs were on CL733's, long bed with Serco 8500 loaders, Cummins ISX, Rockwell full lockers, double framed, with a pintle plate closing the rear of the rails. The log racks were unitized w/8 point attachment and not free standing cribs, so that also adds frame strength via the one piece bed. On the other hand the amount of roll-over stress on an "Axle-up" turn should have still been able to break the frame if it was capable? IMO-Bouncing through the woods down a frozen snowmobile trail, for miles, with an overload constitutes a proving ground. 

Axle cracking is the real issue with the heavy set-ups. I've seen guys in the shop with the same truck set up (as above) and Hendrickson Z-member (loaded) air suspensions pull up their pusher & tag axles and the "Z" became a flat "------" under load. Those guys usually would crack the axle housing under the Z spring support pedestal. Camelbacks and Raydan grab a lot of the axle housing at the anchor points so they never seem to crack it. The Z spring guys also often get water in the axle before the cracks are found (hidden under the receiver), so now your putting a bearing kit in the diff while your fixing the spring pedestal cracks. Eventually Mack made a weldable Z-pedestal and less cracking happened. 

The crux of the issue with heavy vocational is axle tunnel crush from the spring u-bolts being compounded with overload on the same area of the axle. The U-bolt is pre-crushing the axle tube on the same spot your load is trying to snap the axle housing at. If your overloading you want a suspension with no u-bolt distortion, only weldment attach points.  Camels and Raydan don't crush, so now your tunnel isn't being distorted before the load is applied.

I had to pull the main members on one Raydan and re-bush the forward eyes on each side. I was able to do it with no special tools beyond our press. I really like the set-up. Simple, Beefy.

I wonder if the salesman may have witnessed breaks with a Canadian Spread, if they make them? That would compound the front anchor twist against the frame esp with a shorter turn radius truck.

They say you can run it uninflated if you blow a bag or have an air problem.----I'd guess you will also get less axle tip and less driveline vibration when the suspension of the link goes flat?

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They say you can run it uninflated if you blow a bag or have an air problem.----I'd guess you will also get less axle tip and less driveline vibration when the suspension of the link goes flat?

That and the fact that they say they have a rubber bump-stop inside their air bags.

I'm not sure if they made a 72 inch spread, but all the ones I have seen around here are 60 inch. That's what I run. 72 gets you a bit more allowable but I'm always hourly so it don't matter. Plus 72 kills tires.

Thanks for the info. I also know logging and off road, so if it holds up for that it can't be that bad.

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