Bendix adds automatic lift axle control to trailer stability system

Bendix has enhanced its TABS-6 trailer roll stability system by adding automatic lift axle control which helps reduce tire wear and fuel consumption.

Fleets and owner-operators can turn to the flexible and innovative Bendix TABS-6 Advanced trailer roll stability system – now offering automatic lift axle control – to help reduce tire wear and fuel consumption by maintaining proper per-axle weight load. When equipped on a trailer with a lift axle, TABS-6 Advanced monitors the load on the air bags and will raise or lower the axle as required, without needing driver input, based on the trailer’s suspension capacity and legal load limits.

“Bendix TABS-6 Advanced is the brains behind the lift axle, looking at the load and determining whether the weight warrants the use of both axles,” explains TJ Thomas, Bendix Director of Marketing and Customer Solutions, Controls Group. “It prevents the error of overloading a single axle and helps operators avoid the additional tire wear and fuel usage – and possibly extra tolls – associated with running a light load on both axles.”

The system’s automatic lift axle control is customizable and can be set to lower the axle automatically when the trailer is parked. This means that when the trailer is subsequently loaded, it is ready to handle its weight capacity.

Because the new automatic lift axle control functionality is part of the TABS-6 Advanced control software, it can be configured using Bendix ACom diagnostic software or at end-of-line installation. It can also be added to a retrofitted lift axle on a trailer already equipped with Bendix TABS-6.

The TABS-6 Advanced roll stability system combines anti-lock braking (ABS) with a set of trailer sensors, which monitor stability and can quickly and automatically trigger braking interventions when conditions that may lead to a rollover are detected. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the North American leader in commercial vehicle active safety and braking system technologies, has supplied more than 375,000 trailer ABS and roll stability systems to the market.

Both TABS-6 and TABS-6 Advanced are available options at all major trailer manufacturers in North America. TABS-6 has attained standard position at several trailer manufacturers, including Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company.

Bendix has rounded out its full line of TABS-6 aftermarket and replacement kits, offering approximately 30 kits that can upgrade an existing Bendix ABS system to TABS-6 Advanced, replace another existing system with TABS-6 Advanced, or add it as a wholly new retrofit.

Available in single-channel (SC) and multi-channel (MC) configurations, TABS-6 is compatible with both spring-ride and air-ride suspensions, and delivers solutions suitable for a variety of fleet needs.

In its single-channel configuration, TABS-6 Advanced is built on an ABS configuration of two sensors and one modulator (2S1M). This option adds less weight and allows for easier installation and maintenance, without sacrificing performance. The single-channel configuration is the ideal choice or retrofit for fleets looking to add trailer stability to an existing ABS system.

The more complex multi-channel option addresses different demands. A TABS-6 Advanced MC will be easier to install on vehicles with ABS systems already built with multiple sensor-and-modulator configurations such as 2S2M or 4S2M. Tandem axle trailers and tridem configurations are also better served by the MC option, since each axle is sensed and controlled.

The Bendix TABS-6 Advanced system can work with a variety of trailer electrical requirements, handling between 8 and 32V without a separate power converter.

TABS-6 Advanced can also be used in conjunction with the Bendix Trailer Information Module, an easy-to-use system that offers comprehensive access to key vehicle data. When connected, TABS-6 Advanced provides information on diagnostics, maintenance schedules, and stability events that can be accessed by fleet technicians.

Trailer stability systems can dramatically improve a fleet’s safety, and Bendix testing has shown that the best stability protection is achieved by pairing the TABS-6 Advanced trailer stability system with a tractor equipped with the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system. Together, they address a wider range of potential rollover scenarios and apply more braking power during system interventions. 

“The automatic lift axle control and the expansion of our TABS-6 aftermarket and replacement kits are examples of Bendix’s commitment to continuously improving product performance and after-sale support,” Thomas says. “And by focusing on those, along with other critical areas like safety and value, we aim to encourage fleet and driver investment in the equipment and technologies that will make the roads safer for everyone.”