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Hendrickson Tapped for Vocational Rubber Suspension on Miller Industries Century M100

Hendrickson’s ULTIMAAX 60K advanced severe-duty rubber suspension is a natural choice for Miller Industries’ new Century M100 rotator.

By: Caterina Pontoriero, Manager, Marketing Communications & Member Engagement
Date: August 10, 2021

When it comes to extreme driving conditions, Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems knows how paramount reliable and durable equipment can be. With a specialized focus on durability and ride quality to benefit overall lifecycle costs, Hendrickson’s ULTIMAAX 60K advanced severe-duty rubber suspension is a natural choice for Miller Industries’ new Century M100, the largest capacity rotator in the towing and recovery industry.

Ultimate Stability

Hendrickson’s ULTIMAAX suspension delivers enhanced stability, handling, and ride quality for severe-duty vocational trucks and tractors rated for 46,000-pound to 70,000-pound capacities not only in the wrecker/recovery market, but also in applications such as fire/rescue, dump, logging, refuse, mixer, oil field, and mining. ULTIMAAX’s overload capability makes it a great choice for a reliable and durable rear rubber tandem suspension. ULTIMAAX provides higher site ratings and allows the vehicle to carry more payload. Its progressive rate rubber spring system delivers a balance of loaded and unloaded ride quality, and the walking beam increases ground clearance, distributes loads equally between both axles, and offers up to 17.5 inches of diagonal articulation for outstanding mobility and traction in any environment.

“The key benefits we typically hear from drivers who use ULTIMAAX is that the roll stability, handling, and traction of the suspension is second to none,” says Sean Whitfield, director of marketing at Hendrickson. “When a vehicle is loaded, the progressive load springs engage fully to increase the vehicle stability to support the load when maneuvering. During unloaded or lightly loaded situations, diagonal shear springs absorb road shock and vibrations to the vehicle reducing unnecessary wear and tear to the cab, chassis, and body minimizing repair costs and downtime,” Whitfield explains.

“The cross tube provides predictable handling for the drivers, restricting side movement on axles while turning for more vehicle control which is essential when driving heavy hauls with typically a high center of gravity.”

ULTIMAAX is a low-maintenance system, resulting in cost-savings for users. “ULTIMAAX allows the vehicle to maximize payload without sacrificing the structural integrity of the system,” Whitfield continues. “This is achieved without sacrificing durability or ride quality, which are key aspects of a good suspension and critical for overall life cycle costs. It is also lighter than some other competing mechanical suspensions which can add to the bottom line.”

Miller Industries and a Growing Need

When Miller Industries was designing the Century M100, the process grew in scale to meet the changing demands and expectations of customers. “The 52,000-pound rear suspensions used on smaller capacity class 8 rotators were no longer applicable on a vehicle of this magnitude,” says John L Hawkins, vice president, Heavy-Duty Products at Miller Industries.

Miller Industries needed to increase the rear suspension capacity while maintaining roll stability and ride quality, without adding unnecessary weight to the chassis, he says. In came the ULTIMAAX 60,000-pound rear vocational suspension, a perfect fit for Miller Industries’ needs on the M100.

“A meeting was held with Hendrickson and Miller Industries, as well as participating truck OEMs to discuss implementation of the ULTIMAAX suspension as a factory installation,” explains Hawkins. “After the ULTIMAAX was approved for the M100, Miller Industries facilitated the introduction of the ULTIMAAX suspension as a factory option to be used in severe duty applications that require increased GVWR beyond 52K.”

Hendrickson’s ULTIMAAX rear suspension is now a component of the Century M100, a massive project that maintains the quality and expertise that both Hendrickson and Miller Industries’ customers have come to rely on, Hawkins adds.

“Collaborating with OEMs is extremely important when developing a suspension,” says Whitfield. “Understanding the customer’s pain points and needs in the beginning of a project allows you to focus on specific areas to achieve the right solution and hit the timelines set. The teamwork that is reached by working closely together gives you a better understanding into their world and challenges, which allows Hendrickson to be a better and more valued partner in helping accomplish their goals both now and into the future.”

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