February 2010, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
There's a mighty transition going on at an old, established North American supplier to the trucking industry. Holland from Michigan is now a combined company with SAF of Germany
SAF and Holland hope their synergy will produce demand for new 5-inch round trailer axles to go into the CBX40 (shown) and the UX40.
, and the synergy of the two companies is producing new products that are coming to market at the right time for the changing face of trucking.
The first new product was the CBX40, an air ride tandem slider introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show last year. Next up is a mechanical suspension on the same slider box. The differentiator: air disc brakes on both, just as new braking rules focus on the stopping distance of commercial vehicles. For if a tractor is going to have more powerful - likely disc - brakes, why not put them on the trailer as well?
And not just any air disc brake. This is one that carries the SAF brand and involves a totally new production process that addresses the differential expansion problems of the heavy truck disc brake.
If Holland and SAF are right, the combination of their synergies will create a significant demand for new 5-inch round trailer axles to go into the CBX40 and the UX40 - a demand the new corporation plans to supply from America's first new trailer axle plant in a generation, located near St. Louis, Mo.
It is good news for the American truck and component manufacturing industry, and it is good news for employment in Warrenton, Mo., where a $4 million investment has seen trailer axle production introduced at the Holland suspension plant. Another million will shortly see the friction welding of spindles move from an outside supplier to in-plant, giving a further guarantee of quality for the assembled suspension systems that go out of the plant.
The Holland brand for trailer axles and suspension systems will gradually transform to SAF, a brand widely respected in the world's toughest trucking markets, South Africa, Australia and, of course Europe, where SAF rules the trailer axle business.
The Holland brand will stay on the uniquely North American fifth wheels and landing gears, while they reach new markets in areas of the world where SAF has carved out markets.From the February 2010 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.