Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems announced during the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show that it has partnered with Freightliner Trucks to offer the OPTIMAAX 6x2 liftable forward tandem axle, exclusive to the new Cascadia. The new OPTIMAAX reduces weight, saves fuel, and improves traction and maneuverability.

The new OPTIMAAX axle will help fleet customers optimize the movement of variable loads, as well as assisting carriers with diminishing loads, such as bulk haulers and delivery vehicles that may have empty backhauls after carrying items such as groceries, livestock, beverages, and fuel. It will also help fleets that focus on weight reduction and those who want to optimize fuel efficiency.

Automated controls sense the load capacity and either lift or lower the axle without relying on the driver, maximizing time with a raised axle and enhancing traction.

The benefits include:

  • Boosting fuel efficiency
  • Reducing weight by 300 to 400 pounds over a comparable 6x4, allowing trucks to either carry additional weight or save fuel
  • Gaining traction when backing under trailers in soft soil or low traction conditions
  • Improving maneuverability when the lift axle is raised
  • Saving money on tolls where lift axles are not charged if lifted

“This combines a leader in heavy trucks with a leader in suspension technology,” said Gerry Remus, general manager sales and business development for Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems. “It’s one more way we’re focused on engineering our product for efficiency and are lowering the overall running costs for fleets.”

The OPTIMAAX 6x2 design is compatible with drum and air disc brakes, and it is unique because the axle is fully welded, not bolted. That gives it additional strength and durability.