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TBB June 2007
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TMC steer their own path
Over the past 12 months, TMC Australia has been concentrating on servicing the special purpose trailer axle market and air bag suspension systems. At the recent Brisbane Truck Show, TMC unveiled products to service this market, including low ride suspensions, special purpose and self-steer axles. 

Due to capacity constraints, TMC have decided not to compete aggressively in the volume trailer axle market, instead the company say they have moved up a notch to concentrate on special purpose trailer axles and air bag suspension systems.
“One of these products that has come to the fore in recent times has been the self steer axles, which we have had on the market since mid 2003 with great success,” says TMC Managing Director, Brendan Dullard.
TMC self-steer axles can be mounted to either a mechanical or airbag suspension as part of a tri-axle or quad axle running gear. When airbag mounted, it normally comes with TMC’s “easy fit” LMV suspension, including reinforced shocker mounting system and ride height to suit the trailer application. 
“In multi-axle set-ups many clients specify a front lift axle, which includes TMC’s fully automatic control system with auto up/auto down functionality. For quad axle floats equipped with LMV low-ride airbag suspension, two fixed and two self-steer axles has become the most popular configuration,” he said.
TMC’s standard 9 tonne rated self-steer axle can be fitted with either drum or disc brakes and with optional hub wheel fixing types to suit 22.5”, 19.5” or 17.5” wheels. TMC’s self-steer axle incorporates an 11-degree steer angle and a pneumatic reverse lock.
“There is a fair bit of customisation done by TMC to make sure the axles fit in with the trailer builder’s chassis. Because TMC does not have a parent company in Europe or North America, we do not have to seek approval from an overseas engineering department to make minor modifications to the product. This is definitely TMC’s advantage over our competitors and we can modify any design to suit the customer, on a timely basis,” he said.
Since TMC released their self-steer axle back in 2003, the company say it has been operating successfully in many units around the country. In fact, it has been so reliable that a number of trailer builders have come to rely on the system.
“O’Phee Trailers have been fitting TMC’s self-steer axles to their tri-axle and quad axle skel trailers for the past four years with much success,” explains O’Phee Trailers Managing Director, Mick O’Phee.
“We selected the TMC product because it is available to us in a timely manner and they are able to come up with a design that suits our needs, without having to go through a long engineering decision making process. We have many units using the TMC product in the market now and we are very happy with the performance so far.”
Also impressed by the TMC product is Denis Di Pasquale, Managing Director of Tuff Trailers. “We have been fitting this product to our tri-axle and quad axle floats on an ongoing basis for years now. We build trailers that have low ride heights and don’t have a lot of room underneath, so TMC have custom built a low ride airbag suspension module that incorporates the self steer axle, to suit our specific design.”
“We enjoy the relationship we have with TMC as they are able to supply what we need, when we need it and we have every intention of continuing with that relationship for many years to come,” says Denis.
TMC say they offer a cost effective air suspension and axle package, supplied as a modular assembly for ease of fitment by the trailer manufacturer. The package aims to return increased profit to the operator through extra payload and lower maintenance costs.
Besides a full range of standard modules, TMC say they can offer any axle track length required and can customise the suspension or frame attachment as necessary.