In today’s trucking industry, we know our customers have many choices. In order for us to earn and retain your business, we have to be better at what we do than our competition.

In the early ’50s tag axles were gaining in popularity, but it soon became apparent that they lacked in traction. In an effort to address this problem, a company was started in 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa, producing large pulleys to be installed between the dual tires of the drive axle and tag axle. By connecting these pulleys with a large V-belt, the drive axle powered the tag axle. 2222

Since the tag axle was powered by silent V-belts instead of noisy gears, the company was called Silent Drive. By the early 70’s, Silent Drive’s suspension lifts were edging out V-belt drives in the marketplace, creating an opportunity to expand product lines, and soon required more space in the factory. In 1974, a new plant was built in Orange City, Iowa, and all operations were moved to this new location.

Since that time, Silent Drive has been the innovative leader in the suspension industry. We were the first to use automatic leaf spring-lifts in the suspension. Additionally, the professionals at Silent Drive pioneered the concept of unitizing the suspension to an axle for a complete, ready-to-install system.

222The underarm air spring lift concept was developed by the Silent Drive engineering team, and has been adopted by nearly every suspension manufacturer in the nation. Commitment to quality and innovation keeps Silent Drive one step ahead of their competition.

Silent Drive has grown from a regional manufacturer, supplying products primarily for the agricultural market, to an industry leader, manufacturing air suspensions for liftable tags and pushers, drive axle suspensions, as well as primary and auxiliary lift axles on trailers. Using state of the art technology like Pro-E and Finite Element Analysis for design and testing also allows us to provide custom built systems tailored to specific needs or applications.

Expect the most complete product line, capacities from 8,000 to 30,000 pounds, axle lifts from 6 to 18 inches, patented Uroflex pull arm bushings, and excellent customer service from the industry leader. Our reputation for a quality product at a fair price has carried our business across the United States and into Canada. Our experience, adaptability, innovative leadership, and commitment to quality keeps us a step ahead of the competition.

Silent Drive by Dexter is owned by DexKo Global, formed at the end of 2015 by combining Dexter and AL-KO VT. This combination created a global leader in highly engineered trailer running gear components and systems, with over 130 years of trailer and caravan componentry experience.

DexKo Global is managed out of Novi, Michigan by a strategic staff of executives focused on leveraging the resources of the combined companies. With enhanced scale, operating leverage, capital efficiencies and diversity, DexKo will deliver:

  • Market leadership in product development and innovation
  • Improved customer service through the sharing of technology and best practices
  • Increased manufacturing flexibility
  • Great efficiency through global sourcing

DexKo’s ongoing focus is profitable growth across its entire footprint through outstanding customer service, product quality and innovation, operational efficiencies and accretive acquisitions. We’ll maintain the unparalleled customer service and product quality that the market has come to trust in both Dexter and AL-KO VT.



Suspensions are our only business. We’ve been in business for decades, and we have seen, been involved in, and adapted to many trends in the industry. Many of the employees at Silent Drive have been here since those early years. This suggests not only continuity, but also commitment to the trucking industry, and assures our customers of the latest and highest quality suspensions available.


We realize that most companies try to respond to customer needs. The difference between Silent Drive and our competition is our desire to respond faster. Regardless of whether it is an engineering request for a new or altered suspension, a service or sales call into the field, or a rush order — Silent Drive prides themselves on going above and beyond our customers’ expectations.


Silent Drive offers internal capabilities to design and manufacture custom suspensions to meet customer needs. Since suspensions are our only business, we have the ability to adapt, modify, and/or design around customer and market needs. Our experienced engineering, sales, and service personnel are all readily available to handle any questions or concerns you may have.


Silent Drive was established in 1972 by past president, Wilbur De Jong. His thirty plus years of experience in the lift axle and suspension industry comes from working directly with the manufacturers and truck body builders. Silent Drive continues to be a family owned and operated business and holds a strong commitment to quality and customer service which is unsurpassed in the industry.