Trailer Magazine

Product of the Month

  • Powerdown P322 shock absorber

    November 2017

    Powerdown P322 shock absorber

    Powerdown General Manager, Mathew Gatgens, has worked with his team to develop a new gas shock absorber suitable for fitment to Hendrickson trailer suspension systems. Utilising a specialised and measured low-pressure gas injection process, Powerdown has expanded on its vast Supershock range with the new P322 shock absorber, offering operators performance gains and improved equipment endurance.

    The P322 is suitable for heavy-duty Hendrickson suspensions (see breakout box). According to Mathew, fitting quality shocks can make a significant difference to trailing equipment longevity – particularly for consumables like tyres.

    “Most of the tyre wear on air suspended trailers is due to poorly performing shock absorbers that have either worn or have had excessive heat build-up affect the unit,” Mathew says. “When a shock absorber overheats, the oil inside the unit loses viscosity, which affects its control of the trailer and causes patchy tyre wear as well as unwanted load movement.”

    Mathew explains that ‘shock absorber fading’ can lead to other issues that can result in increased driver fatigue and additional operational expenses to compensate for inefficiencies caused by deteriorating and ineffective suspension systems.

    To mitigate the negative impact of overheating gear, the Powerdown P322 features a gas injection process that provides optimised cooling properties inside the shock, allowing it to operate cooler for a longer period of time while also resisting a loss of dampening performance.

    “Low pressure nitrogen gas is used instead of high pressure gas in order to avoid excessive pressure build-up on the main rod seal inside the shock absorber that would compromise the longevity of the unit,” Mathew says. “A hydraulic stop is incorporated into the design to enhance the performance of the P322. This avoids metal-to-metal contact within the shock, acting as a hydraulic cushion of oil slowing the suspension components in a controlled fashion as the suspension reaches the end of its extended travel.”

    According to Mathew, hydraulic cushioning is essential when shocks are used as the primary suspension travel limiter – especially when a trailer is used in conditions where it reaches its maximum suspension capacity regularly. “The P322 also features a Powerdown ride height sticker, which is designed to indicate where the shock is operating in terms of stroke when it is fitted to a trailer.”

    Mathew says that he will continue to work closely with his team to find better ways to benefit the commercial road transport industry. “Through innovation and continuous testing, Powerdown is committed to developing specialised shock absorbers that add value and boost trailer suspension system performance.”

    Fast Fact
    The Powerdown low pressure gas P322 shock absorber is the newest addition to the Supershock range and is suitable for fitment to heavy-duty Hendrickson suspensions including: AAT230/HT230, AAT250/HT250 and AAT300/HT300.

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