Basic knowledge of any truck suspensions
Whichever car we are talking about, it needs a good quality suspension. It is an essential component which, firstly, supports the weight of the vehicle and allows it to move on the road and, secondly, helps to have a ride in a smoother manner, without abrupt jumps.
A suspension of a truck has some peculiarities every driver needs to be familiar with. It will guarantee longer life of the component and the truck itself as well as make the trip safer and more convenient.
From old to modern
No doubt, that modern truck suspensions are much safer and more efficient than an old one. But knowing their history can help better understand the process and specificity of its work.
Two aspects haven't been changed through decades: the shackle design and the leaf spring of the suspension. What did change is that, until the invention of the independent front suspension in the 60th, the leaf springs were placed at front and rear which was not very comfortable. With IFS drivers can pass turns with more flexibility and in a safer way.
- Every trucking suspension is quite a difficult system, but briefly it consists of the springs, shocks and struts.The springs fulfil a great number of functions: supporting, controlling the work of suspension depending on the direction (up and down), suspending the frame in case of acceleration, turning, braking etc. In this regard there are a few types of the springs used, like coils, leaf springs, air springs (airbags). The main requirements for them is to be compatible with each other.
- The shocks are providing control over the oscillations when a truck meets different potholes. If the suspension on a truck has too firm or too weak shocks, it will cause bucking of the vehicle which hardly can lead to an enjoyable trip. Shocks are decreasing any vibrations of the bumpy roads.
- In some way, the trucking suspension struts are similar to the shocks and also play a role in the damping. Additionally, the struts are irreplaceable in regards to the supporting function, keeping the whole system stable and aligned.
Beside these main components a truck suspension includes also control Arms (supporting its stability), spindles (helping to lift or lower the truck), sway bars (allowing to cure the roll angles) and others.
Some of the components can be installed additionally to enhance the horsepower of the engines, for example. Here it is important to remember that any extra component can change the balance of the system and must be adjusted by the professional master. Examples of such improvements can involve switching to bigger wheels, upgrading the shocks, adding a torsion bar (if the truck is not equipped with it), tune up the whole suspension and others. By the way, the option of tuning up the suspension needs to be considered even in case of a new vehicle. Like with the cell phones, initially the system here may have only a modest version you can improve.
Considering a truck with suspension as a complex system, we may achieve a more effective and productive ride.