Leading Australian distributor of the world’s top selling air springs for truck suspensions, Air Springs Supply warns that local transport operators and businesses dependent on trucks are being short-changed by look-alike products that don’t offer the same quality, performance and reliability.
Air Springs Supply has more than 30 years of experience as Australia's leading supplier of Firestone air springs and associated pneumatic technology for the transport sector, including heavy duty Firestone Airride rolling sleeve and convoluted airbags as well as Ride-Rite and Coil- Rite supplementary air suspension kits for lighter trucks, utes, vans and 4WDs. Firestone is a world-leading brand for heavy vehicle suspensions.
Air Springs Supply Sales Manager Mr Russell Chown explains that substitute airbags can be closely modelled on the appearance of the Firestone original, but their poorer quality design, engineering and construction can adversely affect reliability, serviceability and risk management, which are crucial to transport operators. A vehicle’s suspension is every bit as important to reliability, safety and risk management across major industries using trucks, including automotive and transport, mining and resources, manufacturing and logistics as well as fleet management and safety.
When sensible operators wouldn’t think of running their costly vehicles on inferior look-alike tyres, they shouldn’t even consider fitting inferior look-alike suspension products when the Firestone original air spring is used as OEM technology by leading truck makers, Mr Chown observes.
Tell-tale defects of look-alike springs:
Firestone air springs with trivalent chromium coating have been tested to survive a 200-hour salt spray testing, more than twice the normal 96 hours. A simultaneous test conducted on a rusty airbag failed after the standard 96-hour test.
The stud braze technique used on Firestone air springs provides a continuous seal while non-genuine parts may show irregular welds and potential leak points. Firestone’s brazed fitting creates a more reliable seal, while welded fittings create weak spots that can affect the integrity of the seal around the fitting joint, causing leaks.
Firestone’s highly engineered rib design provides a robust piston while an inferior piston design may lead to premature failure. Firestone performs extensive load testing to ensure piston durability before its products are fitted to trucks.
Piston stud strength
Firestone air spring piston studs are designed for strong axial support, featuring a solid one-piece design for optimal axial and lateral strength. Non-genuine piston studs featuring a two-piece welded design may have a lower quality design giving less support and presenting a greater possibility of bending due to lower axial rigidity, and could break off after extended use.
Superior rubber and cord
Making a significant difference in air springs performance, Firestone’s distinctive fabric cord features a strongly engineered inner layer, first ply, second ply and outer cover. Firestone’s proprietary rubber compound utilises high grade materials and one of the best compounding technologies in the industry.
According to Mr Chown, Firestone air springs meet and exceed the rigorous testing standards, not leaving the factory without first passing the 190psi (13 bar) proof testing.
Air Springs Supply recently enhanced its commitment to national and global standards of quality assurance by gaining ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management Systems – Requirements certification.