As Link® Manufacturing continues to develop new products, one of the constant challenges is conducting meaningful testing in real-world situations. As OEM customers get more technologically advanced and work with more sophisticated suppliers, they expect partners like Link to bring more than just good ideas…they want to see validated technology. Until now, Link had performed durability and validation testing in our Applied Technology Center in combination with on-road testing using leased vehicles. However, this approach exposed obstacles for long-term testing.

In late 2014, Link embarked on a new approach. At that time, Link decided to purchase it’s own vehicle for technology evaluation and simulation. Link worked with Van Wyk Trucking, Peterbilt and several dealers to come up with the exact specifications that would represent major fleets and be compatible with a broad variety of testing applications. The choice was a new platform Peterbilt 579 sleeper. The decision was based on Link’s long history with Paccar combined with Peterbilt’s interest in cab suspension technology development.

“This is a significant step for Link in our efforts to serve our OE customers better”, stated Greg Hulstein, Lead Senior Engineer at Link. “The new platform will allow us to complete larger-scale testing in a more cost-effective manner, in potentially tighter timeframes.”

The truck was ordered in February and was assembled at the Denton, Texas plant. It was delivered to Link on June 4th. Link plans to use this truck for a variety of new product performance evaluations, including future Cabmate technology enhancements and new 6×2 systems. In addition, the truck will be used as a marketing tool at future trade shows and demonstrations to highlight Link’s capabilities.