When a trailer is hoisted onto a ship or a train, there is usually no pressure in the air springs. If the trailer is lifted by a Piggyback crane or tug master, one or more axles are no longer in contact with the ground. With a standard air suspension system, the air springs draw vacuum and lose their round shape. Subsequently, when the trailer is set down, the air springs are compressed and may not pleat as intended: instead of rolling smoothly over the air spring casing, there is a good chance the air spring rubber will be damaged as a result of the rubber being flattened pinched flat between the top plate and the air spring casing. In the worst-case scenario, the air spring rubber will come into contact with a tyre and wear through within a few hundred metres.
VDL Weweler has developed an ingenious protection system that prevents the air spring from pleating. A guide, which moves with the suspension system, separates the air spring mount from the chassis. So when the axle hangs freely above the ground the air spring will not stretch; instead, the entire air suspension system will automatically disengage from the chassis. Axle travel is restricted by the shock absorber. As the axle returns to its original position, the same guide guarantees that the top plate of the air spring is always properly positioned in the adapter on the chassis. The patented Splitter can be fitted in combination with standard VDL Weweler air springs.