With an adaptable axle and suspension offering that has proven itself in the Australian market, Fuwa K-Hitch has become a key piece in Australia’s high performance vehicle puzzle.
With a firm commitment to the often-quoted actions speak louder than words adage, Australia’s transport equipment industry has developed a distinctly hands-on approach towards commercial vehicle design that has seen it rise to a global leadership position in the field.
Nowhere else in the world is high productivity freight vehicle (HPFV) design more advanced than down under, and nowhere else are transport businesses able to unite OEMs, government authorities and local councils in creating the kind of equipment that hasn’t even been thought of before.
The result is a transport equipment scene that is more vibrant and creative than anywhere else in the world, with a healthy sense of pragmatism and unique openness to the design challenges of tomorrow.
The International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show (ITTES) held in Melbourne last month again showcased that ingenuity and provided a forum for the transport community to explore what may be next on the agenda.
While not exhibiting at the Show, the leadership team behind Fuwa K-Hitch used the opportunity to join the debate and find out just how its expertise in the axle and suspension field could benefit the industry.
Especially in the HPFV field, the company’s unique axle and suspension package – based on Fuwa’s famous one-piece forged axle beam – has seen increasing uptake of late, says National Sales Manager, Chris Barrett. “We have created a reliable, affordable, and almost fool proof system that adds incredible value to the kind of Performance-Based Standards-rated equipment Australia has become famous for.
“Looking at the equipment that was on show, it’s obvious that Australia is forging ahead in this new and exciting field, and I’m proud we can be part of it with our growing running gear and coupling line-up.”
According to Chris, ITTES has shown that variables like ‘weight’ and ‘speed’ are now as important as price and reliability, forcing suppliers to constantly adapt and improve. “Every fleet is different, with different vehicles and requirements, and that’s why we are constantly evolving as a business. We want to be able to provide the right solution for everyone, so just talking the talk will never cut it here in Australia.”
He adds, “Whilst tare weight is always a buzzword – particularly around these new and innovative HPFV and PBS vehicles – it is also important not to become solely focused on this and a ‘one size fits all’ regime.
“These designs are certainly outside the box and include very high centre of gravity, increased loadings and dimensions, so it is vital that the running gear is specified around these requirements. As such, the equipment supplier should be included in discussions to maximise the life and integrity of the components, which in some cases might mean sacrificing some tare weight for a more robust platform,” he says, revealing that engaging with fleets face-to-face and understanding their needs is the key to long-term success in a fast-paced market like Australia.
“If you want to build a successful and long-lasting fleet – especially here in Australia with its extreme focus on customisation – you have to consider things like the durability of a certain part, axle wear, the availability of aftermarket parts and the ease of service and maintenance. At Fuwa K-Hitch, we’re committed to providing the full package, all while catering to the unique applications we have here in Australia. That’s our true strength.”
Fast Fact: Fuwa K-Hitch recently released two new axle and suspension packages based on VDL Weweler’s European MBS design and its own forged one-piece KI axle beam. “The new KI series is fully integrated, incorporating the trailing arm welded to the beam in a move to eliminate U-bolts,” says Fuwa K-Hitch’s Chris Barrett. “The suspension is attached to the axle beam via a unique groove forged into the beam and clamping bolts only which eliminate the need for welding and u bolts. Coupled with our lightest weight alloy hub and lightweight drum options, we can offer tare weights of 425kg for KI and 415kg for MBS.”
Fast Fact: At the Melbourne Truck Show, Fuwa K-Hitch equipment was featured on a PBS-approved 26-pallet quad-axle Lucar van. The 15.7m reefer was equipped with three standard drum-braked FKH axles, a steer axle, and VDL Weweler’s 11-tonne air suspension system – also on the lift axle.