Link Manufacturing has agreed to a multi-year manufacturing deal for the new Volvo 6x2 program after a year-long process in which Link and Volvo collaborated on product engineering. The Link pusher will be marketed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico through both the Volvo and Mack brands.

The lift axle configuration features Link’s 20K DuraMax axle with a modified 9-inch drop center. It will include adjustable mounting brackets, compact frame mounting, unique air bag locations for rapid axle deployment and an open-designed lift spring.

The system is configured within Volvo’s Adaptive Loading package on its XE Series. The same configuration will be available on the Mack Load Logic as part of the Super Econodyne powertrain package.

Field-testing was conducted using selected fleets for multiple on-road driving applications in all weather conditions. The Link 6x2 showed increased fuel efficiency of 3-5% over 6x4 configurations and extended tire life compared with 6x2 tag configurations, according to Link. Volvo said it will be the first OEM to offer a 6x2 pusher axle for the U.S. market.

“The opportunity to partner on this project with an innovative global leader like Volvo is a significant milestone for Link,” said Michael Hof, director of sales and marketing for Link. “Link prides itself on high quality engineering and world-class manufacturing, but this project has challenged us to be even better.”

Related: Rise of the 6x2