Knowing what a suspension is and how it works is essential for truck fleet owners. A suspension is a system with many parts working together, including leaf springs, air springs, torque rods, bushings, spring pins, U-bolts and shocks.[read more]If one part of the suspension wears out, the other parts will have to take on the extra load in order for the system to keep performing.
Suspensions carry the load, provide stability, maintain axle alignment, give traction and minimize stress between axles and tandems. Knowing what a suspension does and how it works will ensure your drivers realize when their suspension is not working properly.
Things to look for when maintaining a suspension:
- Check for air leaks and restricted air flow.
- If both sides of the suspension are flat, there might be a leak between the break air system and the suspension system.
- If only flat on one side, there may be a leak between the height control valve and the air spring.
- Check the automatic height control valve and test it to make sure that the air bag inflates and deflates.
- Tire wear indicates how much wear the bushings have taken.
- Shocks should be warm after turning off the engine. If cold, then it is not functioning and needs a replacement. It also needs replacement if it can easily be compressed after removal.
- Check for shock bushing wear.
- Remember that pinching and folding in the airbag is a sign of under-inflation.
The most common and preventable failures are:
- U-Bolts – Ensure U-Bolts are properly aligned and retorque while under load.
- Springs – Check for fatigue cracks and brake balance.
- Torque Rod Neglect – Because this affects spring life, bushings, brackets, bolsters, shocks, air bags and other suspension hardware, check for failure.
- Lubrication Failures – Continually check all lubricant levels.
- Bushing Failures – Replace worn bushings as soon as you see wear.
- Shock Absorber Neglect – This affects spring life, bushings and other suspension hardware not to mention additional strain and vibration on radiators, electrical systems, cabs and tires.
How can ATRO help your suspension?
When problems are found, and replacement parts are necessary, ATRO delivers its unique products which provide longer life, lower cost-per-mile solutions, and improves performance of vehicles under greater stresses.
ATRO’s Suspension products will ensure that your equipment is optimized for anything you can throw at it.
To learn more about suspensions and how to check for signs of wear and tear, download ATRO’s White Paper "Increase Bushing Life and Extend the Life of Suspension Components" today.