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Old 12-08-2009, 05:26 AM   #21
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if they had announced a "closing our plant sale" i'd bet that they would have had a surge in business. it might even have carried them through this slow period.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:12 AM   #22
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Where is InLand Andy on this.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:39 AM   #23
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I would not believe everything you read. GKN /Henshen has been and is a huge supplier of torsion products for CAT,JD Massey Ferguson,IH/Case These are their biggest customers,when I picked up my new axles last yr most everything I saw was for those customers. The agri industry is big in Iowa,and a move there makes sense to me.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:45 AM   #24
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On the other hand

Its not like they are the only ones who can make an axle. I had a set made custom by Axis a few years back, they work great. It might even be a healthy thing in the long run, you never know.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:12 PM   #25
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Today's release from JC has a slightly different twist:
UPDATE: GKN releases statement concerning layoffs > RV Daily Report
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:18 PM   #26
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The fact that Andy will not return my call on a Axle order.... well thats all I have to say about that...
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #27
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According to several top management sources in Jackson Center, That I have had conversations with, both at Henschen and Airstream, the party is not over until the fat lady sings, according to them.

Andy
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #28
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Airstream is using Dexter axels now I think. They are good axels and Dexter has been around a long time. Less expensive too.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #29
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Looks like some alternative plan may be brewing for Henschen/GKN. They have released an update to their announcement to this effect.

UPDATE: GKN releases statement concerning layoffs > RV Daily Report
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #30
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Henschen

Looks like the fat lady, may have gone to the wrong airport, to catch her train.

Andy
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:34 PM   #31
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Sounds like a screw-up to me.

If you plan to get out of the torsion axle business you should shop it around to a buyer before you announce you're gonna close it down.

And they want their customers to wait around, in case the buyer wants to take them out to dinner and a movie?

It's more likely Dexter will buy it, run it for six months and then shut it down once they've worked over the customer list.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:45 PM   #32
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Sounds like a screw-up to me.

If you plan to get out of the torsion axle business you should shop it around to a buyer before you announce you're gonna close it down.
People in other countries, don't always do it the American way. They have their ways, and we have ours.

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It's more likely Dexter will buy it, run it for six months and then shut it down once they've worked over the customer list.
Not.

Andy
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #33
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I would rather have DEXTERs. The parts are more redily available, and when priceing an axle, can generally get Dexters installed for the same price as Henschens, un installed. Most enclosed trailers out side of Airstream use these axles for that reason. Dexter is a well made axle that has been time tested and proven, anyone who argues that is simply not in the know
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:20 AM   #34
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I would rather have DEXTERs. The parts are more redily available, and when priceing an axle, can generally get Dexters installed for the same price as Henschens, un installed. Mast enclosed trailers out side of AIrstream use these axles for that reason. Dexter is a well made axle that has been time tested and proven, anyone who argues that is simply not in the know
There is no difference in parts availablity for Dexter's or Henschen. Most any RV store has them.

Brakes are brakes, bearings are bearings, hub and drums are hub and drums, and grease seals are grease seals.

Henschen is equally well tested, on Airstream trailers, and on thousands of agricultural/farm implements.

Andy
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:29 PM   #35
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USA or anywhere else big corporation profit rules. Recently the automakers and the RV industry had to shut down whole product lines because of a lack of sales and profitability. The physical assets and the tooling for Henschen in Jackson Center have value. I'm sure they will be sold or liquidated for whatever there worth. Hopefully someone will buy the torsion axle stuff and continue to make or remanufacture existing axles. Until Thor bought Airstream and then acquired Henschen before JKN bought them you could send your old axles to Henschen and have them remanufactured at a very reasonable cost. The spindles, axle tube etc. do not wear out unless they are neglected. What wears is the rubber inserts around the torsion bar. I'm lucky I guess, just had new axles installed about 6 months ago.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:58 PM   #36
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USA or anywhere else big corporation profit rules. Recently the automakers and the RV industry had to shut down whole product lines because of a lack of sales and profitability. The physical assets and the tooling for Henschen in Jackson Center have value. I'm sure they will be sold or liquidated for whatever there worth. Hopefully someone will buy the torsion axle stuff and continue to make or remanufacture existing axles. Until Thor bought Airstream and then acquired Henschen before JKN bought them you could send your old axles to Henschen and have them remanufactured at a very reasonable cost. The spindles, axle tube etc. do not wear out unless they are neglected. What wears is the rubber inserts around the torsion bar. I'm lucky I guess, just had new axles installed about 6 months ago.
The axle rebuiding program, by Henschen, was shut down a number of years ago.

Why??

The huge liability associated with rebuilding an axle, that had rust within the square tube. Many of those sent in for rebuilding had to be rejected for that reason.

Then the question came up of "are you just telling me that, or is it that bad". Arguements took place, all of were unnecessary.

Then there was the money wasted on the freight to Jackson Center.

All in all, it was deemed by top management, to discontinue the rebuild program, especially since attorneys are so active when it comes to liability, for their own usually, personal financial gains.

Please note, that Dexter does not rebuild either.

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:29 PM   #37
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There is no difference in parts availablity for Dexter's or Henschen. Most any RV store has them.

Brakes are brakes, bearings are bearings, hub and drums are hub and drums, and grease seals are grease seals.

Henschen is equally well tested, on Airstream trailers, and on thousands of agricultural/farm implements.

Andy
So they are a duplicate, or a knock off is what your saying. Thats good to know
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:06 PM   #38
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So they are a duplicate, or a knock off is what your saying. Thats good to know
They are not a knock off.

Some travel trailers parts are availble most anywhere.

There are a number of hub and drum, electric brake, and bearing manufacturers.

A knock off, is a cheap copy of a better product, for the sake of profit, with quality and specs, in the far background.

Dexter and Henschen, are not in that category. They both build quality products, and strive to build a "perfect" product. Things being things, that rarely goes astray, with either of them.

Andy
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:13 AM   #39
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Bottom line reason for closing Henschen or the decision to stop rebuilding axles in the past was and is profitability. This is not a bad decision if you are in business to make money. It is not a good decision for your customers as it makes it difficult to repair or replace a worn out product.

The decision to stop rebuilding was corrosion of the axle tube which could weaken it and promote failure in the future if it was reused. Plus the cost and method of shipping the old axle to the plant and then reshipping it after repair. There are many replacement items used in the automotive repair industry that are remanufactured and actually superior to OEM parts. MOOG Corp. for one remanuctures steering racks and other suspension components that actually have a better warranty and service life than OEM parts.

The most expensive parts of a Henschen axle are the specially machined spindles welded to the torsion arm and bar. These parts unless they were badly abused or bent will basically never wear out. The old square torsion tube and mounting brackets could basically be removed and thrown away. Then the bare spindles could be shipped to a remanufacturer to be married to a new tube, rubber cushion strips and brackets made to fit the specs for that trailer and then shipped as a completed assembly back to the customer. That would remove the liability issue from the rusted tubes and should provide a quality product at a reasonalble price for the customer.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:27 PM   #40
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Any updates since this last post??
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