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Scania has launched a new tandem-axle bogie-lift system for 6x4 and 8x4 chassis. Known as LDTA, the liftable-and-disengageable system offers full double-drive traction when needed but lifts and disengages drive to the rear axle within 25 seconds at the touch of a single switch, giving improved economy, said to be by up to 3%, and manoeuvrability. When engaged, the system, which adds 60kg to the truck's kerb weight, provides around 70mm of ground clearance on the lifted axle.

LDTA is now available to order on air-suspended Scania RB662 and R660 axles, with three bogie design weights of 19, 21 and 26 tonnes. Those ratings are reduced by 50% when the LDTA is engaged. The system is not currently available on tridem chassis or with hub-reduction axles.

It's particularly suited to operations where little or no load is carried for much of the time. Scania reckons that around 90% of the fuel saving is from elimination of internal friction losses, and only 10% from reduced rolling resistance. The axle lifting and drive disengagement, via a dog-clutch, are inter-dependent.

The drive can't be disconnected when the axle is lowered, while the axle lift is only available when loads are low enough. Vincente Connolly, Scania's UK sales director said "This is a highly desirable function for customers in a variety of applications, such as construction and timber haulage. Our engineers have determined that substantial fuel savings are achievable, especially for vehicles which make multiple drops every day and run empty on the return leg.

In addition to improved fuel economy, operators also benefit from less tyre wear and increased manoeuvrability.

The cost of the unit will rapidly be compensated for by highly positive contribution to our customers' total operating economy - we expect this option to be included in many truck specifications going forward."

The only similar system on the market is from Volvo, which reports that it's tandem axle lift has been a success since its launch in 2015, particularly in the waste transport and forestry sectors, as well as for abnormal, but not over-weight, load haulage.

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