Many products can help concrete producers with logistics. There are software packages, GPS monitoring systems, and other digital items for improving efficiency. But one area that deserves the same attention is the ready-mix truck itself. A good suspension is about more than just a smooth ride. It can have a significant effect on a plant's profitability.

While you can't discount the benefits of a smooth ride, a good suspension can also pay dividends with improved safety. It increases stability when up to speed, combats swaying while on the road, improves traction, and reduces axle-hopping when braking.

While a good suspension saves money by reducing accidents, it also increases productivity. It can decrease maintenance costs and help a producer get the most out of the tires, reducing replacement costs. Lift axles also increase a truck's load capacity.

Lift axle won't put stress on frame

The Flexmaster lift axle increases payloads, absorbs road shock, and allows for greater load-sharing capabilities. It allows for 12 inches of side-to-side oscillation without putting stress on the frame rails. The suspension system is virtually maintenance-free, providing minimum hassle for the operator. It installs easily on single, tandem, and multiple-axle combos. Van Raden Industries. 800-522-0099.

Lightweight self-steer axle

The new DuraLift II 20K liftable suspension incorporates a patented design with interchangeable and adjustable frame brackets. This self-steering axle weighs only 1300 pounds, providing 20,000 pounds of added capacity. It is available in three ride height kits and with an optional integrated air system. Link Mfg. 800-222-6283.

Rubber suspension reduces weight

The Haulmaax heavy-duty rubber suspension reduces weight without compromising strength or durability. It uses innovative design, high-strength materials, and advanced manufacturing methods to deliver a unique spring system that significantly reduces wheel hop. It also features 17 inches of diagonal wheel articulation. Hendrickson Truck Suspension Systems. 866-743-3247.

Low-maintenance suspension

The Air Link heavy-duty suspension provides high roll stability, reduced maintenance, and a smooth ride for either steering or drive axles. It also cuts operating costs, lessens damage to the chassis, diminishes vibrations, and lengthens tire life. With only two moving parts, it requires no greasing or servicing. Other features include height control valves and four air springs for a smoother ride and more payload. Raydan Mfg. 888-472-9326.

Self-steering axle

The Tru-Track Alumilite is a self-steering axle and suspension system that weighs only 819 pounds and provides for 13,500 pounds of added load capacity. The system allows for easily changeable ride heights from 6 to 16 inches. Other features include parallelogram design, preloaded locking fasteners, preset casters, and extended-life bushings. Watson & Chalin Mfg. Inc. 800-445-0736.

Steerable lift axle

The 13,200-pound steerable lift axle is compatible with selected Kenworth Class 8 vocational trucks for dump, mixer, heavy haul, and other applications. The axle provides extended life bushings to make the product more durable. A quick-change ride height system ranges from 7 to 18 inches. Kenworth Truck Co. 425-828-5061.

Suspension gives smoother ride

The Chalmers 800 rubber-spring tandem truck suspension provides a safer, smoother ride for more profitable operations. With no leaf springs or airbags, it features full freedom of articulation. It eliminates hopping during braking and cuts down on side-sway, while increasing cornering ability and improving traction and tire mileage. Chalmers Suspensions International Inc. 905-362-6400.