Hendrickson International introduced two new truck suspensions – a steer axle and a 6x2 tandem rear axle package – along with a new integrated air slider trailer suspension system at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The new SOFTEK NXT is being touted as a lightweight front steer axle with mono-leaf spring suspension rated from 12,000 to 12,500 lb. capacities that saves up to 118 pounds compared to more traditional designs.

Compatible with drum or disc brakes, SOFTEK NXT incorporates a two-piece knuckle assembly featuring premium kingpin bushings and seals for improved bushing life as well as reduced maintenance service time. The company noted its SOFTEK NXT (at right) will be available for OEM specification in North America by the fourth quarter this year.

Next up is the new OPTIMAAX liftable forward 6x2 tandem axle system with automated controls that saves 350 lbs. of weight while reducing tire wear due to liftable axle providing ride and handling during variable load conditions.

Hendrickson noted that a proprietary fully automated control module eliminates driver intervention and training and allows the OPTIMAAX suspension to better adapt to the requirements of the load; raising the axle when the additional capacity is not needed and lowering the axle to distribute the load evenly when required. The design can also help boost fuel economy by up to 5% through the elimination of the second drive axle and the lifting of the non-drive axle. 

Available in 20,000 lb. capacity, OPTIMAAX will be available for OEM specification in North America sometime during the fall of 2014, the company noted.

Finally, Hendrickson is launching a new air slider trailer suspension model called VANTRAAX ULTRAA-K this July.

The new design incorporates zero maintenance damping air springs or ZMDs as well as pivoting mud flap brackets to help improve ride quality. Hendrickson added that its new slider suspension design is also lighter than conventional models by 100 lbs. and comes with a 10-year structural corrosion warranty.