Link Employees Celebrate Our 2 Millionth Cabmate

This week was one of the most memorable and rewarding weeks in my 25 years at Link as we celebrated the production of our two millionth Cabmate premium cab suspension. While we made the official announcement yesterday, the real highlight was the celebration where our management team and special guests were able to recognize and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our employees who made it all possible. If you’re not familiar with the history of Cabmate, it is the quintessential story of American ingenuity and how one idea can grow into something bigger and stronger than originally imagined. In 1980 Bill Nibbelink built the first Cabmate in order to have a more comfortable ride for his truck. Within…

Our 12-Point Checklist for Proper Auxiliary Suspension Maintenance

Auxiliary suspensions are fairly straightforward in concept – remaining in a raised position when not needed and dropping down to the road to support a heavy load – but a lot of sophisticated engineering goes into the steerable and non-steerable suspensions that Link manufactures. The first thing maintenance professionals notice when examining our auxiliary suspensions is how sturdy they are built. In fact, I was speaking with a gentleman just the other day who just had his first Link steerable auxiliary suspension installed, and he was very impressed with how large and robust the bushings and other components were compared with other suspensions he was more familiar with. While we take great pride in the reliability and durability of our…

Showcasing the Productivity, Versatility & Safety of Link Ramps at NAFA Institute & Expo

NAFA 2019

I spent the better part of last week at the NAFA Institute & Expo in Louisville, Ky., meeting with members of the fleet management industry who were representing corporations, universities, and all levels of government who use vehicles to move goods or people. It’s an important event for us to connect with fleet owners and managers, buyers, upfitters and motor pool professionals, and explain how our selection of ramps can improve their operations. During the event we learned a lot about the latest advancements in driver safety and accident avoidance technologies. We also had a number of discussions with NAFA attendees centered on ergonomic concerns for the person making the delivery, and that’s where Link Ramps come into play. Our…

Follow This Cabmate Maintenance Checklist for Optimum Performance & Comfort

Cabmate was first developed in 1980 and has quickly become the industry standard for premium cab suspensions. Fleet owners and drivers benefit from the improved ride quality Cabmate provides, resulting in a more comfortable ride with less sway, while offering better protection for the mounted equipment inside the cab. Although it is engineered to be incredibly reliable and durable, it needs to be maintained like any other piece of equipment. However, because it’s designed so well and isn’t easily visible during a routine inspection, it can suffer from the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” and not get the maintenance it needs until a driver complains the truck isn’t riding as smoothly as it used to, a dashboard…

TMC 2019 Focus: How Technology Can Help Tackle Trucking Industry Challenges

I spent the better part of last week at TMC 2019 in Atlanta, the annual conference of the ATA Technology & Maintenance Council. This is one of the leading educational events for the trucking industry and is designed to provide fleet owners and operators with the latest information on how to improve maintenance, sustainability and fuel efficiency. Professionals from around the country come to TMC to network and join committees, study issues and help establish new best practices and standards. The theme of this year’s event was “going beyond the frontier of maintenance.” There were several educational sessions that addressed future-oriented truck and trailer technologies, vehicle electrification issues, KPIs, and equipment specification trends. A few of the main trends that…

Patented Link-KOAT® Treatment Adds Durability to Auxiliary Suspensions

spraying in a spray booth

Have you ever stopped to consider the extreme abuse the equipment underneath your vehicle is forced to endure? From constantly getting hit with flying rocks and debris to being soaked with the corrosive chemicals applied in the winter, it’s no surprise that premature rust is a common problem. Our Focus on Collaborative Engineering Resulted in Link-KOAT® To solve the problem of protecting our suspensions from chemicals and the elements, the team at Link embarked on a journey to find a coating system that would enhance durability by mitigating rust on our auxiliary suspensions. The result is Link-KOAT, our patented, migratory, self-healing metal treatment. Like many good projects, the development of Link-KOAT began with a customer suggestion. We invited the customer…

Link Brings Suspension and Ramp Innovations to the NTEA Work Truck Show

Next week marks one of the biggest events to hit Indianapolis each year. No, not the NFL Combine or the Indy 500. The NTEA Work Truck Show runs March 5-8 at the Indiana Convention Center and Link will be set up in Booth 2019 to showcase the variety of solutions we offer for commercial vehicles and work trucks. This event is unique in that it brings together three key segments of the commercial vehicle industry: truck chassis manufacturers and their dealers; truck body, equipment and trailer manufacturers; and truck body, equipment and trailer distributors – all to learn about the latest products, discuss challenges, and find solutions. The two main product lines we’ll be showcasing at NTEA are our family…

World of Concrete Highlighted Need for Collaborative Engineering and Specialized Suspensions

Having recently joined Link Manufacturing, World of Concrete was my first tradeshow with Link and one of my first opportunities to meet face-to-face with some of our key customers and prospects in the commercial construction and concrete space. If you’ve never been, this event is quite a spectacle, attracting 1,500 exhibitors and 58,000 attendees registered, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits covering a total 745,000 square feet. Link customers were well represented with significant exhibits at the show, featuring their vocational trucks with dump bodies, mixers, cranes, and other vocational applications. As Chris English pointed out in a recent article, the right heavy-duty truck suspension can overcome a lot of challenges drivers of these vehicles face, such as roll stability…

How Our Road Optimized Intelligence Line of Suspension Innovations Fit into the Future of Trucking

One of the benefits of exhibiting at international events like the IAA Commercial Vehicles show is to see firsthand the trends and technologies shaping the future of trucking. Europe often embraces new concepts early, so in many ways the show is a preview for what will hit America’s asphalt in the coming years. By far the biggest trends we saw that will impact the future of the trucking industry was the continued march toward autonomous vehicles and the leaps and bounds that are taking place in technologies that are making vehicles smarter and more efficient. This includes everything from communication between vehicles and dealers, to sensors with telematic capabilities for on-highway diagnosis of issues, to safety related equipment such as…

Showcasing Products that Add Safety and Efficiency to Funeral Home Operations at the 2018 NFDA Convention

NFDA 2018 - Salt Lake City Skyline

In a few short days a small team and I from Link are heading to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2018  NFDA Convention. This continues to be the marquee event for the funeral industry, offering professionals and suppliers from around the world an opportunity to learn about the latest trends, see the latest in funeral service products, and network with thousands of attendees. This will be the first time in the six years I’ve been with Link that the event will be held west of the Mississippi, which I expect will bring new visitors from the West Coast that may not have been able to make past events. While some may view the funeral industry as very traditional, it’s…

Link Brings Innovation to Germany for the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show

Our team from Link is grabbing our passports and packing our bags for the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. The show takes place every two years and bills itself as the world’s leading trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. It’s a fantastic event for a variety of reasons, primarily because it allows us to see firsthand the latest in European vehicle innovations, meet with our European OEM customers and contacts, and find out what innovations key suppliers are working on. Of course, it also allows us to showcase how Link products fill niches that many European companies do not. Where Technology Trends Take Shape It’s no secret that a lot of vehicle technology trends start in…

Summer is Construction Season—How Air Link Helps Construction Vehicles Outperform on the Job Site

Construction Vehicles

Summer is the heart of the construction season throughout North America. Dump trucks, cement mixers, cranes and heavy haul trucks are running continuously to meet high demand and tight timelines. This heavier workload puts additional strain on the chassis suspension and can wear out components at a faster rate. Everything from the vehicle’s driver to its body mounted equipment takes a beating if the right air suspension for the construction vehicle isn’t being used. Due to the unique nature of the work and the various terrains being driven on, construction vehicle suspensions face distinct challenges. For example, many applications are top heavy and require a suspension system that provides adequate roll stability. In addition, rough terrain and unfavorable traction conditions…

Link Engineers a Load Handling System (LHS) Trailer to Outperform for the Canadian Army

LHS Trailer

When most people think of Link Manufacturing, heavy duty suspensions for on-highway and vocational vehicles is the first thing that comes to mind. But our R&D and manufacturing expertise extends to other specialty products, including trailers. In fact, in March, Link Suspensions of Canada and Mack Defense announced the completion of the 100th Load Handling System (LHS) Trailer, built for the Canadian Army’s MSVS – SMP Program. Link worked collaboratively with Mack Defense to engineer and manufacture a highly reliable and durable trailer that meets the Canadian Army’s exacting specifications. Capable of hauling 22,000 lbs., the trailer is extremely versatile and can be used to haul cargo, outfitted as a mobile workshop or communications center. It is the most recent…

WasteExpo Attendees Discuss What They Need from a Refuse Truck Suspension

refuse truck suspension

I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 WasteExpo conference in Las Vegas at the end of April. With more than 13,000 people in attendance, it was an ideal opportunity to hear firsthand about the key issues facing those in the waste collection business—from grassroots haulers to billion-dollar companies. It was also a chance to share how our heavy-duty suspensions are suited to provide key benefits for drivers and management alike. New Trends and Technologies Creating Difficult Decisions for Waste Management Executives Our conversations revealed some interesting trends impacting the waste management industry. For example, as more alternative fuel vehicles enter the market – such as hybrid, electric and compressed gas – companies are trying to determine which ones are…

The Right Fire Truck Suspension Keeps Vehicles Out of the Shop and Maintenance Budgets Out of the Red

Firetruck Suspensions

Link Manufacturing has a long history of working closely with the firefighting industry to design fire truck suspensions specifically suited to the unique needs of those vehicles. Delivering on our commitment to collaborative engineering means creating a strong connection with fire truck OEMs and the brave men and women who use them on a daily basis, so we can truly understand their needs and design suspensions that deliver the best results. Next week I will be traveling with Jeff Simms from Link’s Canadian operation on our annual trip to the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference to meet with fire truck OEMs, firefighters, and the administrators who are responsible for responding to more than a million calls each year. Jeff and I…

Our New Family of Self-Steer Auxiliary Suspensions Will Simply Outperform All Others

Link Manufacturing originally made its mark in the trucking industry with Cabmate, which has become the leading cab air suspension system for Class 7 and 8 trucks. Over the years we’ve become known as a premier manufacturer of auxiliary suspensions as well. Our self-steer and non-steer auxiliary suspensions are trusted by OEMs, fleet owners and body builders alike, and our pusher axle is a key component of the Volvo®/Mack® 6×2 configuration. But today marks a new chapter for Link and our customers, as we announced the availability of our completely redesigned family of self-steer auxiliary suspensions. This has been a fully collaborative effort for our engineering and manufacturing teams, who were challenged to create a new line of auxiliary suspensions…

Cat’s Eye Tire Pressure Monitoring System Is Just Good Business

Cat's Eye Tire Pressure Monitoring System Blog

As we head into the new year, drivers and fleet owners are analyzing expenses and looking for opportunities to cut costs and operate more efficiently. Three of the biggest expenses they face are insurance, fuel and tires. While we can’t help with insurance premiums, installing the Cat’s Eye tire pressure monitoring system helps improve fuel efficiency and improve tire life. With an expected ROI of 3-6 months, installing one now can help take pressure off your budget in 2018. Designed for any vehicle that runs dual wheel combinations with a 60 PSI rating or higher (from personal RVs to one-ton and Class 8 trucks), the Cat’s Eye not only lets drivers know with just a glance if tires are properly…

NTEA Show Offers the Latest in Work Truck Solutions

Indianapolis has been a busy place over the last few weeks. The Big 10 Women’s Basketball tournament was held there, and the NFL combine drew thousands of players, executives and national media members to Lucas Oil Field. Link was in town as well, exhibiting at the annual NTEA Work Truck Show. This allowed us to flex our muscles by showcasing our latest developments for the work truck industry, including our new Swivel Ramp and updated 13.5K lift axle, while getting valuable one-on-one feedback from customers and learning about the latest trends in the work truck industry. Link has been active with the NTEA for more than 20 years. We appreciate the great insight from the discussions with our distributors and…

Sowing New Opportunities: Developing Customized Cab Suspensions for Agriculture Equipment

Link has a 35-year history developing cab suspensions for a wide variety of trucking and vocational markets. With so much experience working with heavy-duty vehicles, a natural fit for our cab suspensions was the agricultural industry, where we’re positioned to address the unique demands of farmers and ag machinery OEMs. In the coming weeks, farmers across the Midwest will begin prepping their fields, and many of them will be enjoying a smooth ride due to a Link cab suspension. For the past 20+ years, Link has partnered with Ag OEMs to provide cab suspensions for application sprayers. These sprayers travel at high speeds (relatively speaking) across rough and uneven terrain. With a well-designed Link cab suspension, farmers experience reduced pounding…

Spring Will Be Here Soon: What You Need to Know to Help Customers Select the Right Lift Axle

Link-Lift-Axle

Spring is just around the corner, meaning many in the farming, construction and agriculture-related industries are starting to gear up for their busiest time of year. If you’re a dealer or aftermarket distributor, that means it’s your busy season too, and you’re more likely to get questions about selecting the right lift axle now than at any other time of year. Do you know the right questions to ask to ensure your customers get the right lift axle the first time? By serving the aftermarket lift axle industry for nearly 20 years, we know what your customers want and how to deliver it on-time. First and foremost, that’s durability. They also want a lift axle that’s easy to install, a…

The Ride of Your Life: Our New Ambulance Suspension System Features Stability Control with Tuned Shocks

Imagine for a moment the stress ambulance suspensions are under during an emergency response. The patient is likely in pain and the EMTs are trying to administer care while the vehicle is traveling at high speeds and maneuvering to avoid cars and other obstacles. This sometimes requires moving onto the shoulder where the road isn’t level or is filled with debris and potholes, leading to a rough ride for the occupants. Maintaining a safe, stable and smooth ride requires an ambulance suspension and shock system that is up to the task of these extreme conditions. Providing a Stable Ride for More Than a Decade For the past decade Link’s UltraRide air suspension system has been the leading air suspension system…

From Raydan to Here: The Rich History and Promising Future of Link Suspensions of Canada

Anyone who has installed a Link product can recognize the signature quality and reliability of our heavy duty and vocational suspensions. But you may be surprised to learn that Link’s ancestry spans decades and borders. A few of our clients might even recognize the name Raydan as the predecessor to Link Suspensions of Canada (LSC). Raydan Manufacturing was incorporated in 1992 and built a reputation through the development and popularity of Air Link and Easy Slider products, which would come to shape LSC. We continue to manufacture high-capacity Air Link Suspensions, as well as SWB (Spring over Walking Beam) and our newly introduced Atlas single axle suspension suspensions from our location in Nisku, Alberta. Versatile Applications for Various Markets Link Suspensions of Canada has developed and strengthened Link’s relationship with military branches and defense contractors. Many of our heavy duty and vocational suspensions are…

New Products and New Expectations for Link in 2016

As we come to the end of each passing year, I tend to ask myself, “How did we end the year compared to how it began?” In the case of Link Manufacturing, the company has thrived thanks to the commitment to our customers and dedication of our employees who are driven to outperform in all areas of our business. One of the keys to our success has been the development of a strong core of manufacturing capabilities, including our fabrication, machining, paint finishing and assembly operations. We’ve also made major gains in product development, improving the performance of our suspension capabilities by adding features such as increased durability and weight optimization. Those areas will continue to get stronger as we…

Cat’s Eye Tire Pressure Monitoring System Helps Keep Drivers Safe During the Busy Holiday Delivery Season

If the more than $15 billion spent by shoppers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is any indication, it’s going to be an extremely busy holiday shopping season. Retailers and their package delivery partners will be working overtime to meet the demand. In fact, FedEx expects to deliver a record 317 million packages this holiday season, an increase of 12.4 percent over last year. For the truck drivers and fleet managers responsible for making all these deliveries this time of year, a tire pressure monitoring system should be at the top of their Wish List. Not only is it one of the busiest times of the year for truck drivers, but road conditions are less than ideal. Early winter weather…

A Salute to Firefighters and a Look at Link Fire Truck Suspensions

October is National Fire Prevention Month so we wanted to salute all the firefighters who regularly head toward danger and put others’ safety ahead of their own. Did you know firefighters respond to more than 30 million emergencies in America each year? While the exact nature of the calls range from fires to medical situations, response time is always at a premium. As you can image, the heavy loads and high speeds put a tremendous amount of stress on fire truck suspensions and components. In fact, what makes fire trucks especially well-suited to respond to fires and other emergencies (large ladders or aerial lifts, plenty of storage space, water tanks, etc.) also makes them susceptible to tremendous wear and tear….