In my last article, the discussion was on the amount of drag that a ring-and-pinion has in a truck’s efficiency. In this installment, I want to talk about the weight savings that I enjoy from having the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher axle configuration. My background in flatbed operations gave me a lot of experience in weight-sensitive operations. Four hundred pounds, in many cases, made the difference in getting, or not getting, a customer’s business.
There are many fields in the transportation industry where rate reduction can lead to higher profits. To me, the area where the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX really shines is in the tanker and bulk commodities segment. In this trucking segment, having a lower tare weight is important. In many cases, these operations are empty in one direction. Having the flexibility of not having extra tires in contact with the roadway when not necessary, further increases the efficiency of their operations.
Many people will say, “Four hundred pounds is not that big of a deal”. To the people who believe this, I encourage them to push a wheelbarrow that weighs four hundred pounds for a few blocks and let me know how much energy it takes to move it. At the end of the day, it’s four hundred unnecessary pounds that are being moved every mile that the truck moves. Think of how much money is spent on the use of aluminum and other lightweight materials to reduce a truck and trailer’s tare weight. Here’s an area where there is a reduction in tare weight, along with less parasitic drag, as discussed in the previous article. This is just one more of the advantages of the flexibility that is offered to my trucking operation by employing the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher axle on our Cascadia.