Truck Suspension — How Closer Inspection May Prevent Bigger Problems

Posted on: 29 October 2021

To maintain full productivity, a truck fleet owner must keep up with maintenance. While this statement may seem obvious, it's surprising how some operators ignore smaller, tell-tale signs that will eventually lead to a larger failure. When it comes to truck suspension, everything is connected, and an issue in one place will undoubtedly cause stress in another. Therefore, what are some of the key areas to think about if you want to avoid those more hefty repair bills and, crucially, the dreaded roadside breakdown?

Avoiding the Bigger Costs

Shock absorbers are some of the costlier items when it comes to vehicle suspension. They are some of the key parts that require regular maintenance, and it is important to check for leaking hydraulic fluid or worn bushings. If a unit is under a great deal of stress and your vehicle tends to do quite a lot of off-road work, it may hyperextend. This can cause a gradual deterioration and may call for replacement.

Yet often, problems with shock absorbers can be traced back to another area. Other components may be faulty or improperly adjusted, and this means that the shock absorber may try to compensate instead of doing its expected job. Eventually, the situation will build up to such a point that the shock absorber will prematurely fail.

Knock-On Effects

It's not unheard of for a suspension levelling arm to be adjusted incorrectly to try and compensate for improper adjustments elsewhere. When this happens, it can lead to connecting issues and damaged u-joints. When the u-bolts come under strain, they may begin to stretch. The bushings may also wear out, and the problem may eventually compound itself. As those connecting bolts stretch, the entire axle begins to move out of line, which may compromise the airbags. While a certain amount of bolt stretching may be expected as the vehicle beds in and racks up the kilometres, the adjustment must still be checked regularly, and this should help identify problems elsewhere.

The Best Approach

Remember, it is not always easy to spot incorrect adjustments or excessive wear during a cursory, external inspection. In this case, it is necessary to have a close and detailed look during scheduled service and hopefully avoid those problems before they manifest. Some extra attention on a regular basis will pay dividends in the long run, avoid downtime and keep those annual maintenance bills in check.

Visit a truck suspension repair technician to inspect your suspension.