Hendrickson Truck Suspension Systems announced the Steertek NXT, the next generation its weight-saving Steertek fabricated front steer axle.

Designed for the global market, Steertek NXT will accommodate a variety of wheel end and knuckle designs and features scalable architecture to meet a capacity range of 8,000 pounds to 23,000 pounds.

Steertek NXT saves up to 47 pounds compared to traditional I-beam axles while combining rigid strength, maneuverability, and reduced maintenance, says the company. It can also be combined with Hendrickson's monoleaf spring technology to form the Softek lightweight front suspension system. Softek provides up to 92 pounds of weight savings.

Steertek NXT includes continuous beam architecture, which minimizes stress points for added durability while providing a superior strength to weight ratio. The rigid, box-shaped cross section of the axle resists horizontal, vertical and twisting forces more effectively than traditional I-beams, according to the company, and is designed to manage the increased brake torque loads resulting from new 2011 stopping distance regulations changes. Steertek NXT is compatible with both drum and disc brakes with either 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch fasteners.

"Providing an axle that accommodates multiple brake solutions to help our customers meet the new stopping distance regulations has been a priority for Hendrickson," says Doug Sanford, vice president and general manager for Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems.

The patented two-piece knuckle assembly simplifies kingpin bushing serviceability and includes a new double lip seal to further improve bushing life. Integrated steering arm and tie rod attachments increase strength and further reduce weight, providing greater durability helping to reduce maintenance costs.

Steertek NXT highlights a new, integrated clamp group and axle seat which is a key design feature that results in a platform for efficient system integration of various suspensions. These include new suspension system innovations from Hendrickson as well as OEM proprietary designs. Steertek NXT's new clamp group also provides improved ground clearance and reduced part count compared to previous designs.

Customers looking for enhanced ride quality can spec Hendrickson's Airtek integrated front air suspension with the Steertek NXT steer axle. Airtek offers premium comfort and increased roll stability while offering up to 55 pounds of weight savings. Steertek NXT can also be paired with Hendrickson leaf spring designs featured as standard equipment with most OEM customers.

Steertek NXT will be available through most major North American truck manufacturers beginning in August of 2011. Available in capacities up to 14,600 pounds, it is approved for on-highway and medium-duty truck, bus and motor home applications.

More info: www.hendrickson-intl.com.