In addition to delivering hard wearing trailers with excellent resale value, Krueger Transport Equipment is also committed to the continuous development and supply of its Australian-designed and company owned Road Friendly Suspension. Uptake for this complete package is on the rise as more carriers realise the performance and efficiency gains.
John Krueger, Managing Director and founder of Krueger Transport Equipment, committed to developing his own trailer suspension system almost 30 years ago. Such an endeavour is almost completely unheard of yet despite the challenges of continuous development and locking step with the latest advances in truck and trailer technology, John is adamant that he has an obligation to the product, and to his customers – large and small – including the likes of Linfox. From the outset, he has only accepted componentry made by companies with a reputation for quality because Australia’s trucking industry deserves the best. Thus, Krueger’s Road Friendly Suspension (RFS) entered the market. Today, there are more than 12,000 RFS units in service.
“I wanted trailer suspension that I could use all the time,” John says. “It was a risky move in those early days – as a trailer builder – to make your own suspension.”
He was frustrated with not being able to source reliable suspension products and wanted a fantastic product that he could take ownership of rather than become yet another trailer builder that purchases at the mercy of fly-by-night agents.
“Our experience with these agents, particularly those from abroad, was that they offered virtually no service or backup for their suspension systems,” John says. “Also, there was no certainty that they’d be around in the next 15-20 years to provide the level of support that we expect as standard.”
Many of these third-party suspension options, according to John, were awkward to work with, difficult to mount and could take upwards of 12 hours to perform a wheel alignment due to a lack of innovative features to streamline the task.
“It was as though you needed to mould each chassis around the suspension kit because they came in weird, often inconsistent sizes,” John says. “So, with the support of the Krueger engineering team, I designed my own trailer suspension model that enabled the standardisation of a trailer chassis rather than having to constantly alter our designs to accommodate these different suspension models.”
Working with odd sized suspension was bad enough let alone having to weld on additional plates which were often either too wide or too narrow to weld properly.
Krueger’s in-house suspension proved to be superior on this front, too, as his team were able to weld direct to the bottom flange to prevent structural cracks and there was also a substantial difference in tare weight as additional plates were not required to mount them.
These design considerations lead to the development of a standard range of chassis and suspensions that, for the team at Krueger, simply worked every time.
Krueger celebrated a breakthrough moment when it made a critical change to the front hanger that brought the wheel alignment process down from 12 hours to just one.
“As an innovator of trailers as well as suspensions, we carry a lot of responsibility,” John says – adding that he continues to persist regardless of the financial pressure in research and development because, again, he has an obligation to deliver a product that will best support the industry. “I regularly meet with good engineering people and hold lengthy discussions on how to refine our own suspension systems. Designs are generally reviewed every three-to-four years however we are upgrading all of the time as we find loads are generally getting heavier. Our system has the flexibility to fit upmarket axles and hubs featuring preset bearings with lubricant that can be guaranteed for one million kilometres and reduced service intervals.”
The latest changes to RFS include better axle saddles that make the connection more bulletproof and bolt-on shocker bolt for ease of maintenance. Firestone airbags come as standard, shock absorbers are available across all models and there are also other various options available including lift axles, heavy duty models and even capacity for disc brakes.
John has also established supply chains with best-in-world suppliers for parabolic springs.
RFS is certified as per Australian Design Rules (ADR) – designed and manufactured for Australian conditions and rigorous use.
Krueger Transport Equipment also has a dedicated online spare parts division and its own workshops which are ideal for optimal aftersales support.
“Simply drive in and get it sorted,” John says. “There’s no fuss with us. Generally speaking, if a half-a-million-dollar rig came in, subject to what the problem is, we do our best to get the truck back on the road as soon as possible. That’s the advantage of specifying our suspension and trailing equipment. We look after our customers.”
Linfox President of Fleet & Procurement, Ray Gamble, can attest to this, having worked with the team at Krueger for more than 25 years.
“We were among the first in the industry to trial RFS,” Ray says. “We have since specified it as standard for our Krueger trailers acquisitions and have experienced virtually no warranty issues. On the rare occasion something goes wrong it goes into a Krueger workshop and is only in there for as long as it takes.”
Linfox’s latest order comprises 300 Krueger units all fitted with RFS.
“Krueger backs its RFS with a one-million-kilometre bearing warranty which gives us piece of mind about the investment,” Ray says. “These trailers are reliable and durable which is the perfect combination for exceptional linehaul performance.”
Fast Fact: Krueger’s RFS is a success story for the Australian road industry with more than 12,000 units of the Australian designed suspension in use. It is not only available on Krueger transport equipment but is also available to be specified on equipment manufactured by alternative trailer builders.