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Link’s automated ROI self-steer and non-steer auxiliary suspension systems will increase asset utilization, reduce training time, improve safety, and will be compatible with OEM and aftermarket integration.

CLEVELAND (Sept. 12, 2021) — Link Mfg., Ltd., the leader in specialty-engineered suspensions, suspension controls and air management products, unveiled what will become the industry’s first family of intelligent auxiliary suspension systems. With field testing in progress, the 8K, 10K, 13.5K and 20K ROI Auxiliary Suspensions Systems are expected to be commercially available in 2022. The products and the technology behind them were presented during a press conference at the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) 2021 Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio.

Utilizing a traditional auxiliary suspension system generally requires a significant amount of guesswork, even for experienced vehicle operators. Unfortunately, in an era of increasing driver shortages and diminished experience levels, human error is common. While most systems allow the deployment pressure to be manually set, those auxiliary suspensions are still binary; they are either up or down.

“If an auxiliary suspension system is engaged when not needed, it can cause the tires to drag, or ‘scrub,’ negatively affecting tire wear, gas mileage and maintenance intervals,” said Mike Leakey, vice president of sales and marketing for Link Mfg. “Conversely, if auxiliary axles are not deployed when needed, the vehicle may not comply with local bridge laws, and the vehicle and its occupants may even be exposed to dangerous mechanical forces.”

Link developed its new, smart load-balancing suspensions using its proprietary Road Optimized Innovation (ROI) technology. First introduced in the company’s ROI Cabmate Cab Suspension in 2019, the groundbreaking ROI Auxiliary Suspension System will sense and maintain optimal tire-to-ground pressure, reducing tire wear and maximizing fuel mileage. With Link’s intelligent load-balancing auxiliary suspension system, the guesswork of when to lift or lower is removed so even inexperienced drivers can maintain maximum traction without overloading the axles.

“Link’s ROI technology is able to sense when the vehicle’s load has changed and automatically deploys or retracts the auxiliary suspension system as needed,” Eli DeGroff, product manager, Road Optimized Innovations for Link Mfg. said in a statement. “Unlike traditional all-on or all-off auxiliary axles, Link’s smart suspensions are able to determine the load they need to bear and automatically adjust to precisely accommodate that weight.”

Intelligent suspensions like Link’s new 8K, 10K, 13.5K and 20K auxiliary offerings will automatically respond to the vehicle’s wheel traction and don’t need to be manually retracted. In snow, mud and other challenging conditions, Link’s ROI technology, working in conjunction with the vehicle’s ABS, will sense the absence of surface friction and will reduce pressure as needed to shift the requisite tractive force to the drive axles.

“With Link’s ROI Auxiliary Suspension System, fleets will be able to get new drivers trained and working in less time,” explained Leakey. “Exceeding axle ratings can be dangerous as well as costly due to unscheduled maintenance and fines. Now even novice drivers can avoid these issues, maintaining safety and efficiency.”

Link’s load-balancing auxiliary suspension system with ROI keeps a vehicle’s drive axles loaded, keeping traction and braking at optimal performance levels. Link’s ROI technology reduces strain on frames and primary suspension components and lowers operating costs.

Link’s intelligent auxiliary suspensions will be suitable for trucks and tractors in the heavy-duty, on-highway and off-highway arena, including dump bodies, cement trucks, roll-off trucks and other vocational applications. For its initial aftermarket product launch, Link is designing a Bodybuilder Package that has the control system integrated into the suspension. Link’s unique, patented Swift Mount technology, coupled with its Bodybuilder Package, will give upfitters and bodybuilders the ability to install one of its intelligent auxiliary axles in less time than traditional auxiliary suspension installations.

“Using Link suspensions with ROI technology, fleets and independent owner-operators can expect superior handling, better fuel mileage, reduced tire wear, more uptime, and a lower overall cost of ownership,” said Leakey.

Link products are available and can be ordered through Link’s nationwide network of dealers. For more information on Link products or to find a dealer, please call (800) 222-6283 or visit https://www.linkmfg.com/dealers.

To access high-resolution images of Link’s ROI Self-Steer Auxiliary Suspensions Systems, please visit https://www.linkmfg.com/roi-auxiliary-suspension.

About Link Mfg., Ltd.

Link develops and manufactures a variety of suspensions, suspension controls and specialty air management products, engineered to address the unique needs of commercial vehicle, trailer, motorcoach, transit bus, shuttle bus, recreational vehicle and specialty vehicle markets. Link is the worldwide leader in heavy-duty truck cab air suspensions marketed under the brand name Cabmate. The company is also a leading innovator in vehicle air management and dynamic air suspension control technologies marketed under the brand names SmartValve, Smart Air Management Systems (SAMS), and Road Optimized Innovations (ROI). With manufacturing locations in the United States and Canada and distribution in Europe, Link Mfg., Ltd. is an IATF 16949– and ISO 14001: 2015 (EMS)–certified company whose primary products include cab, auxiliary and chassis suspensions, including heavy vocational, off-highway and air suspension management technologies. Link also manufactures specialty products such as Cat’s Eye–brand tire pressure monitoring and equalization systems, ramps and other products designed to enhance the productivity of commercial vehicles.

Link, Cabmate, Road Optimized Innovations and ROI are registered trademarks of Link Mfg., Ltd.

SmartValve and Smart Air Management System (SAMS) are trademarks of Link Mfg., Ltd.