Roadmaster Introduces its Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) system, which is designed to improve safety, load handling, stability, and ride quality on rear leaf-spring-equipped vehicles. In addition, the company said these improvements also reduce fuel- and tire-related costs.
The RAS improves safety by actively working as an anti-roll bar and an anti- sway bar. It accomplishes this by using variably rated coil tension springs, which are independent from each other. As a vehicle enters a right turn, the vehicle leans to the left. When this occurs, the RAS on the left side of the vehicle reacts actively and mechanically, exerting more force as the spring is stretched on the side of the vehicle taking more load. The side of the vehicle exerting less force on the RAS (in this case it would be the right side of the vehicle) receives less force from the RAS. Roadmaster had thorough independent testing done at Ohio's Transportation Research Institute. A video compilation of these findings can be found here.
The RAS is an active mechanical suspension, and the variable-rated tension coil spring reacts in an exponential fashion. When installed and set to tension, a 1 millimeter gap between the coils of the springs releases about 700 ft./lbs. of force. A 2 millimeter gap between coils releases nearly 2,000 ft./lbs. of force. This continues as more load or force is applied to the RAS, from whatever means the force is applied. The absorption characteristics of the springs in Roadmaster’s kit enable the RAS to physically absorb the load being placed on the system, whether from added weight load, a quick maneuver, overpass crosswinds, or any other road-related factors.