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Prime Mover Magazine


SAF-Holland produces aluminium fifth wheel for Nikola trucks

The FWAL-E aluminium fifth wheel from SAF-Holland is part of US startup Nikola Motor Company’s future-oriented vehicle concepts.

The high-quality, exceptionally lightweight component is installed on the prototypes of hydrogen-powered trucks Nikola One and Nikola Two. It was also recently showcased at a Nikola Motor Company customer event.

“We are particularly proud of the fact that we are in a leading position among European truck manufacturers, who have been using us for a long time, but also that we are at the forefront of pioneering new developments with our SAF-Holland fifth wheels," said SAF-Holland Head of Truck Business Europe, Dr Rainer-Rudolf Gärtner.

"The FWAL-E is the world’s only aluminium fifth wheel and is once again testament to our technological leadership,” he said.

Lightweight and grease-free, the FWAL-E fifth wheel is up to 55kg lighter than other couplings. The Weightsaver mounting system can reduce the weight by another 35kg. The grease-free NoLube technology with low-wear, replaceable slide plates and bearing inserts is reported to be economical and environmentally friendly. FWAL-E is designed for imposed loads of up to 20 tonnes and is available in three heights: 167mm, 197mm and 219mm.

Nikola Motor is currently attracting the attention of the transportation industry thanks to its electrically-powered hybrid trucks: From 2020, fuel cell trucks Nikola One and Nikola Two are set to make a positive impression on the North American market with an output of 1,000HP and a range of more than 1,600km, economical consumption and advanced safety features. The company is also developing the hydrogen-powered Nikola Tre. It is expected to be seen on European roads from 2022, with a range of 500km to 1,200km.

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