Hendrickson International

Hendrickson Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems wins 2012 Automotive News PACE Award

Hendrickson Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems was named a 2012 Automotive News PACE Award winner. The prestigious award recognizes automotive suppliers for superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance.

Hendrickson Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems was recognized for its Compliant Tie Rod (CTR) and Dampening System with PerfecTrak Technology. The original concept was a result of listening to customer feedback during Vocational Fleet Councils conducted by Hendrickson. "This prestigious award exemplifies Hendrickson's commitment to innovation and providing quality and value to its customers," said Gary Gerstenslager, president and chief executive officer of Hendrickson.

Complaints of failed tie rods and premature failures of steering dampeners were the fuel that drove this innovation. The traditional rigid tie rod worked independently from the steering dampener and was subject to damage in the rough conditions in which vocational trucks are exposed. The new CTR addressed three issues: reducing tie rod failures due to bent crossbars; simplifying the steering dampener; and increasing the system durability. 

The new design concept of the CTR was able to provide the following additional benefits, while assisting with environmental green initiatives:

• Less tie rod replacements as the leaf spring crossbar can absorb object strikes and returns back to its original state.
• No lubrication required on natural rubber tie rod ends because ball and seat style on traditional tie rod ends required regular greasing.
• Reduced shock replacements with optimized dampener without coil which allows for substantially increased life cycle use.
• Toe setting can be adjusted on one side of tie rod assembly as opposed to having to adjust both sides on the traditional rods.
• Built in return mechanism is gained from the flexibility of spring steel tie rod working in series with the rubber bushing allowing consistent movement.
• Vehicle control improved because impact on one tire does not affect the motion/movement on the other tire.

"Hendrickson Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems is honored that the CTR system won the PACE Award," said Mike Gottschalk, general manager of the Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems Division. "This is a true reflection of our on-going commitment to provide quality and innovation to the truck and trailer industry."

The 18th annual PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award was presented by Automotive News, Ernst & Young and Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.). The competition was open to suppliers who contribute products, processes, materials or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks. The Automotive News PACE Award is accepted around the world as the industry symbol of innovation.

Hendrickson Specialty Auxiliary Axle Systems won in the Product Category which recognizes innovations in new products or components or systems that have significant market impact and act as "game changers" in the automotive industry.

Hendrickson earned an Automotive News PACE Award following an extensive review by an independent panel of judges including a comprehensive written application and a site visit. For complete details of the Automotive News PACE Award, visit www.autonews.com/pace.