We’ve seen labels on non-stick pots and pans warning us about the use of abrasive cleaners and scrubbers. There are also many different sponges and products to exfoliate a person’s skin. But speaking about our trucks and tires, tire scrub also causes a tire to “exfoliate” the rubber off the tread. It becomes more of a problem in tandem axle configurations. Every time a truck, or trailer, is turned, it causes the tires to be dragged sidewards, therefore scrubbing or “exfoliating” the tread. Exfoliating the skin on a human’s foot produces soft, smooth feet. Scrubbing a tire will remove rubber from the tire and make it smooth. There is a big difference between a human’s foot and a tire, because the human body will replenish the exfoliated dead skin cells. When a tire gets scrubbed, the surface of the tire will not re-grow new tread. 

This is another advantage of the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX 6x2 liftable pusher axle configuration. A tandem axle is necessary to legally carry heavier loads. However, tire scrub can be greatly reduced while empty, or with lighter loads, as this suspension system simply lifts the axle from the roadway when not needed to carry the load. 

There are benefits to lifting the axle: 

1. There is no need for the truck to use power to roll the tire down the highway.
2. There is less tire scrub because as we all know, there is not a perfectly straight road. Any curve on the road drags the tire sidewards. 

This second benefit is very noticeable when making a turn with an axle lifted out of a tandem. The truck rolls through the turn much more smoothly and requires less power from the engine to complete the turn. In my case, our 2022 Cascadia has the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable axle, as does our 2008 Utility 4000DX trailer. When getting off a ramp or making any turn, the truck and trailer just move freely because they are not dragging tires sidewards, as they would with a tandem axle which really doesn’t want to turn at all. The reality of the matter is that a tandem axle only rolls freely when the truck and trailer are driving perfectly straight. 

This is the third part of my series on the benefits of employing the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher axle configuration to achieve an unparalleled reduction in parasitic drag. Here are the links to the previous two blogs on this subject: The Ring-and-Pinion Goes Round and Round and Four Hundred Pounds.  

You can read more on fuel-saving tips and equipment used to reduce wear and tear as well as the specs on our Freightliner Cascadia by clicking here.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/T™, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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