What started as a modest family business in 1950 – three bothers working out of a small mechanical workshop in the heart of Italy’s strongest industrial hub – rapidly transformed into what is now an international brand.
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There are two major product groups under the SAF-Holland axles and suspensions umbrella: INTRA – featuring a lightweight, fabricated trailing arm welded to the axle; and Modul – which features a Z-shaped design and 100mm-wide springs – either single or twin – attached to the axle with U-bolts.
From 2018, the equipment specialist has also incorporated York axles and suspensions into its portfolio, enabling greater choice and flexibility for the end-user.
The SAF INTRA family comprises seven variants including INTRADISC plus INTEGRAL, INTRA DISC with Air Vent, INTRADRUM, INTRA CD, INTRA CD TRAK, INTRA MEGA and INTRA Self Steering Axle.
The patented INTRADISC plus INTEGRAL features a two-piece rotor manufactured using composite casting with different, specially-matched materials. The unique design enables the disc to expand and contract radially independent of the adapter ring to which it is coupled via a spline. This mitigates the hot spots that plague conventional disc rotors, keeping the braking surfaces completely flat and extending pad life.
Another key feature of the INTRA range is the functional suspension arm and axle beam which are welded together to form a unitised and maintenance-free assembly.
This eliminates the need for U-bolts, clamping plates and nuts which can loosen over time and require retorquing.
The patented SAFE-GUARD-DESIGN of the functional suspension arm means the brake cylinder is mounted out of harm’s way within the arm. The shock absorber is also positioned in the centre of the hanger bracket within the functional suspension arm, thus protecting it from damage due to flying stones or other road debris.
Optionally available on the INTRA range is a premium zinc-rich three-layer paint coating process called SAF PC. This dramatically improves corrosion resistance, enabling SAF Holland to offer a 10-year warranty against corrosion.
According to Nemanja Miletic, SAF-Holland Product Manager Asia-Pacific (APAC), the INTRADISC range is the lightest disc brake option in the market.
“It is the preferred choice for anyone looking to reduce tare weight and increase efficiency,” he says. “With a six-year/ one-million km warranty on major components including bearings, 3D bushes and shocks, the INTRA series represents the best return on investment for every dollar spent.”
SAF-Holland is continuously engaged in research and development to make its products more efficient, more reliable and eminently suitable for a wide range of applications.
“The most recent iteration of the SAF INTRA range is SAF INTRA CD TRAK which is the first hydraulically driven trailer axle,” Nemanja says. “Another new feature is SAF PC (SAF Premium Coating), featuring increased zinc-based anti-corrosion protection for the axle and a 10-year warranty against suspension corrosion. This is now part of the standard offering and not just an exclusive developed for specific customers,” Nemanja says.
He also explains that the standardised offering for the Australian market is now the heavier spec INTRA Custom Design (INTRA CD) which provides a thicker axle beam with heavy-duty 3D bushes. “At the moment, we are finetuning some components in order to customise them for tailored applications,” he says.
The SAF INTRADISC plus INTEGRAL premium axle features a 10-spoke wheel-end design that is weight optimised.
“The 10-spoke wheel-end design has been developed using topology optimisation of the same hub that has been in service for decades,” Nemanja says. “Using special computer software, the weight has been reduced while also providing increased strength.”
Technically, this is achieved by removing material from the places where it is not needed and transferring it to other locations where extra strength is needed. The design was then realised, tested extensively and validated, and is now part of the standard offering with 120mm offset rims and super-single tyres.
According to Nemanja, this exercise proves SAF-Holland’s motto that nothing is so good that it couldn’t be better.
There are more than 500 retailers and 30 authorised service centres across Australia and New Zealand that support SAF-Holland customers.
“Our teams are readily available to respond to your calls and technical queries,” Nemanja says.
The use of super-single (385/65R22.5) tyres on trailers, according to Nemanja Miletic, is becoming increasingly common in the Australian market.
“SAF-Holland’s standard offering is readily available in its lightweight category with complete unit weight starting from 380kg,” he says. “These feature a wider track of 2040mm and wider hanger centres of 1200mm, providing more stability and roll-stiffness which make it ideal for Performance-Based Standards (PBS) applications. This setup has been a standard option for years in New Zealand as they have lower gross combination mass limits and every kilogram counts.”
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