Since 2013, all new trucks in Europe are required to meet the EURO 6 emissions standard. This is good for the environment and the climate, because the standard means that trucks are significantly restricted in the particles and nitrogen oxides they are allowed to emit. In order to meet the standard, truck manufacturers must design their vehicles to be as light as possible - in spite of the extra weight caused by additional exhaust gas treatment systems. After all, less weight means less fuel consumption. And that means fewer emissions. Lightweight construction is therefore an absolute top priority for truck manufacturers.
But what happens when individual components have to be replaced after a few years of operation? If these are heavier than the original equipment parts, emissions will also rise again - and the EURO 6 advantages will be lost. To prevent this, Continental offers an extensive range of lightweight axle air springs for the aftermarket.
In these components, metal parts such as the steel pistons are replaced by lighter but equally durable plastic parts. The fitting and the way the pistons are attached have also been optimized. Injection moulding, combined with a high-performance joining process, means that the entire internal volume of the piston can be used. All this results in a weight saving of several hundred grams compared to the standard component. And because several air springs are installed in a large truck, depending on the type of air spring used, a weight saving of several kilos can quickly be achieved. And that reduces fuel consumption - kilometre by kilometre.
Significant cash savings
Reducing weight is worthwhile for operators, because fuel costs account for by far the largest share of total costs over the entire life cycle of a truck. Bastian Dobrick, Sales Manager in charge of the aftermarket for air spring business in the EMEA region, states: "Our calculations based on average consumption and mileage show that fuel costs of more than €50,000 are incurred every year. In view of falling freight yields, any form of weight saving is therefore worth hard cash for operators."
Another advantage is that if operators use lightweight components for spare parts, the reduced weight of the entire vehicle unit gives them a greater range and more payload capacity, and accordingly more efficient operation. This aspect is becoming increasingly important because, with electrified powertrains in particular, it is vital to compensate for the extra weight of the heavy battery cells.
With the new lightweight air springs from Continental, fleet operators and freight forwarders can continue to benefit from the advantages offered by EURO 6 vehicles. In other words, significantly lower emissions, lower fuel costs and a high payload for efficient journeys.
Find the right air spring fast
Continental's portfolio currently includes more than 80 types for the EURO 6 models of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers. At https://www.airspringapp.com all the air springs of the ContiTech brand for the aftermarket are listed, together with technical data and drawings. Here users, developers and sales partners can find the right air spring type for the relevant application. A universal search function facilitates the search and makes the appropriate selection in accordance with application type, article designation, original part number and reference number.