Text: Oliver Schönfeld
The load-dependent self-steering axle from BPW makes it easier to manoeuvre HGV drawbar trailers and semitrailers and saves costs. Its patent application in 1986 was the starting signal for a real success story: it has become the standard for multi-axle trailers – thanks to an intelligent and simple idea.
If you can move an office chair or shopping trolley almost effortlessly in all directions, it’s thanks to its special castors: this principle is also found in steering axles with caster for HGV drawbar trailers. BPW supplements the self-steering axle with the innovative “load-dependent steering stabilisation”, also known as LL. It intelligently uses the weight of the vehicle to return to a straight line, which then ensures a high degree of directional stability. This enables BPW to provide optimal manoeuvrability; you can easily manoeuvre the trailer even in narrow spaces in delivery and distribution traffic, while the lower friction between the wheel and the road reduces fuel consumption as well as CO2 emissions. The tyres are protected and rubber abrasion is minimised. BPW was able to register the patent for the design in 1986, laying the foundation for a real success story.
Steering axles existed long before: BPW was already producing predecessor systems in the first half of the 20th century. In the 1950s, tractor steering axles represented a significant product area due to the advancing mechanisation of agriculture. But it was only with the load-dependent self-steering axle that the company invented a new basic principle that made the steering axle suitable for everyday trailer operation – combined with tangible economic and ecological advantages.
Trailer manages every bend
Efficiency gains and ecological advantages
In addition to easier handling and better manoeuvrability, the efficiency gains are convincing. For a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, up to 1,000 litres of fuel and over four tyres per vehicle can be saved. And in addition to the economic benefits, there are also sustainable CO2 savings as an ecological gain. Extensive testing and many years of experience with thousands of self-steering axles produced confirm this time and again.
For a long time, the self-steering axle only showed its advantages when driving forwards. The innovative Active Reverse Control auxiliary steering from BPW also provides steering functionality – and therefore trailer manoeuvrability – during reversing manoeuvres. The vehicle can therefore be manoeuvred quicker and automatically in reverse. Collisions can be avoided.