TRW Automotive Aftermarket’s heavy commercial vehicle (HCV), steering & suspension (S&S) products have received top marks for durability, strength and performance. This news highlights the importance of fitting OE quality parts to commercial vehicles; to both minimise vehicle repair downtime and ensure continuity of investment in Europe’s CV industry.
TRW’s HCV products are taken to market under the ‘TRW Proequip’ brand. The following parts: radius rod; tie rod; V-Link and XCAP ball joint were stringently tested against the same components of six major competitors at the renowned independent test centre Fraunhofer Institut for Structural Durability and System Reliability, LBF, Darmstadt, Germany. The tests showed that TRW’s programme lasts longer than any other competitive product under high pressure
TRW’s Dennis Christ, channel marketing manager HCV, explained: “These test results prove that steering & suspension parts from ‘TRW Proequip’ live up to the promise of offering ‘real safety without compromise’.”
TRW’s XCAP ball joint survived the complete benchmark test without any damage; 30 percent longer than the nearest competitor. The tests of all others were stopped due to a combination of: wear of the bearing-seat; a knocking noise and increased amplitude; broken ball pin or failed nuts.
TRW’s innovative design of tie-rod end, XCAP, was introduced in 2010. Smaller, stronger and more durable than its predecessor, this patented component is available exclusively to TRW and its chosen vehicle manufacturers.
In a test to determine the lifetime durability of a radius rod, TRW’s part lasted on average 47 percent longer than the competitors’ average and 77 percent longer than the worst performing part. In addition, the bearing bolts on TRW’s tie rod and v-link parts lasted up to five times longer than the components of competitors.
Europe is a global leader in the CV industry and in May 2014, new vehicle registrations increased by 10.8 percent to 151,484 units (i). The truck segment slightly declined, while registrations of vans, as well as of buses and coaches increased. All significant markets apart from France recorded double-digit growth.
Dennis continued: “Commercial vehicles are a flexible and efficient mode of transport. We all have a part to play in ensuring that this trade channel remains successful for operators inside Europe. One way of doing this is to encourage the use of strong, durable and fully tested OE parts from reputable suppliers to minimise vehicle repair downtime.
“CV operator costs are increasing year on year and margins are being squeezed on every level and fleet operators really cannot afford to have their vehicles off the road for any length of time due to repair.”
In its Vehicle Maintenance information sheet, ACEA notes that some breakdown recovery services may charge extra for recovery of vehicles broken down due to poor maintenance. It also recommends that commercial vehicles must be repaired with original spare parts or parts of matching quality.
“Time is money, and quality really does count when it comes to aftermarket parts that get the abuse that HCV parts do. Fitting cheaper, lesser quality parts is false economy. They may not last as long or provide the level of safety; plus they are likely to fail more often which requires the vehicle to be off the road while they are exchanged or repaired – losing more money,” Dennis concluded.