HANOVER, Germany - A version of Hendrickson's UltiMaax severe-duty rubber suspension already is on the market in China and now is offered to European OEMs. According to plans, this suspension will be launched for North American applications starting in 2013.

The UltiMaax incorporates new bushing and beam designs into Hendrickson's walking beam technology to provide outstanding ground clearance and articulation. The system design also takes advantage of Hendrickson's elastomer technology to offer a balance of unloaded ride quality and loaded stability.

In addition, the optimized design provides several hundreds pounds of weight savings over traditional six-rod and trunion style systems, while at the same time increasing durability, said Gerry Remus, director of sales and marketing for Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany, this week.

This suspension is well suited for tipper, mixer, refuse collection and other severe-duty applications, and the system is versatile enough to handle a wide range of tractor and straight truck applications globally, Remus continued.

Its spring system uses shear springs and a progressive rate spring to provide an ideal balance of ride quality and roll stiffness based on the load. In the unloaded condition, the suspension offers superb ride quality, minimizing the impact of bumps, potholes, and other inconsistencies in the road, according to the company.

As the vehicle begins to take on additional weight, the suspension deflects proportionally to the load, providing additional stability as required. UltiMaax also incorporates a low-maintenance design critical to reducing maintenance costs and down time, Remus said.

IAA also marked a sneak preview of Hendrickson's 100-year anniversary next year. The company was founded in 1913 by Magnus Hendrickson, a Swedish immigrant.