The ring-and-pinion goes round and round, round and round, round and round. This reminds me of an old song from my youth, “The Wheels on the Bus”. Yes, that was many, many moons ago. 

But, anyway, today I want to write about the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher rear axle assembly. One of the main advantages of a 6x2 rear axle assembly is the fact that there is less parasitic drag than with a 6x4 rear axle assembly. Anyone who has ever turned the pinion gear in a differential, knows that this is not exactly a free-wheeling assembly. To those of you who have never turned a pinion gear, I encourage you to seek out the opportunity to turn this assembly by hand. There will be a few discoveries to be made while rotating a rear axle differential. The first observation will be that a pinion gear does not turn very easily. The second observation will be that it’s not possible to get it to turn very quickly by hand. A third observation, is that as soon as your hand stops turning the pinion gear, it will immediately stop turning. I encourage all the readers who have not turned a pinion shaft on a rear axle assembly to do so.

On a traditional 6x4 axle configuration, both axles in the tandem are powered. This means that there is two ring and pinions and an interaxle differential. Each one of these components contributes to more of a parasitic drag every mile that the truck goes down the road. On the 6x2 Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable rear suspension, there is only one differential instead of two and there is no interaxle differential as found on the 6x4. In my opinion, the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher rear axle assembly is the ultimate performance and efficiency choice. 

Now, if you can, or if you can’t get the song “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round” out of your head, check out some more articles on the Freightliner Team Run Smart page from myself and the other TRS Pro’s. 

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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/Tâ„¢, 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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