Maintaining your truck’s suspension and alignment is one of the single best ways to produce a smoother, safer, more comfortable ride. Whether you are a safety-conscious fleet manager or a cost-sensitive business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your truck’s suspension and alignment are regularly maintained. The good news is that five-star truck suspension maintenance is available right here in the Lakeland to help you get back on the road as quickly as possible. Below is a look at the key role that suspension maintenance plays in your truck’s performance.
Why is it so important to maintain your truck’s suspension and wheel alignment?
“Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle. Not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure…” – Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
The importance of your truck’s suspension and alignment cannot be underestimated. In fact, the functionality of these two elements of your truck are so important that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recently launched an initiative to urge truck drivers in North America to have them inspected for proper functioning. Your suspension system is directly linked to the stability of your vehicle and your ability to maintain control of your truck while on the road.
What can happen if you fail to maintain your truck’s suspension?
Without the proper maintenance, your truck’s suspension system will eventually deteriorate after months or years of wear and tear. Some signs of deterioration will be quite noticeable while others are more subtle. Here are some signs that your truck suspension is in need of attention:
1) Your shock absorbers may begin to leak
Your shock absorbers help your truck glide smoothly over uneven roadways, potholes, and railroad tracks. If you fail to maintain your suspension, wear and tear on your shock absorbers can cause hydraulic fluid to leak. The end result is a bumpy, uncomfortable ride.
2) Your strut assembly can deteriorate
A strut is one of the most vital components of your truck’s suspension system. Failure to inspect and maintain your truck’s suspension can cause your struts to erode. This can ultimately lead to handling difficulties and an uncomfortable ride. Here are some specific indicators that your struts are deteriorating:
- Your truck begins to exhibit difficulty handling corners
- You notice the front of your truck dipping or diving when you apply the brakes
- Your truck bounces when you hit large potholes or uneven roadways
- You notice odd noises that occur as a strut gives out and causes metal to metal contact
- Your truck seems to increasingly “lean into” turns
3) Your springs can sustain damage
Springs play an important role in your truck’s suspension because they support the weight of your vehicle. If you fail to maintain your suspension, your springs can weaken to the point that they may break. If you hear clunking sounds when you drive over bumps or if you notice that one corner of your truck is sagging or is lower to the ground than the others, then you may have a damaged spring.
4) Your ball joints can creak or break
Your ball joints play a key role in your truck’s suspension by absorbing some of the shock produced when your truck moves up and down. If you fail to have your truck’s suspension checked, your ball joints can erode and produce a creaking sound when you are turning. If you continue to ignore this problem, one or more of your ball joints may break and cause components of your suspension system to drag on the road.
How is poor suspension maintenance linked to wheel alignment problems?
Your wheels are mounted to your truck’s suspension system, so failure to maintain your truck’s suspension can lead to problems with your wheel alignment. And unfortunately, drivers who neglect their truck suspension are more likely than average to neglect their truck wheel alignment. In addition to damage caused by neglect, your wheel alignment can be disrupted when you drive over curbs or potholes.
When you fail to seek regular maintenance, your suspension and wheel components can shift and bend, preventing your truck from driving straight. Additionally, long periods of neglect can cause extensive damage to your truck, resulting in costly repair services.
What should you do today if you own or drive a semi-truck in need of maintenance?
The good news is that it is easy to take the first step on the path to proper suspension and alignment maintenance. If you notice any of the signs outlined above, the single best thing to do is schedule an appointment with an experienced semi-truck service company. The wheel alignment process can sometimes be completed in as little as an hour and an inspection of your truck’s suspension system can be completed simultaneously.
We invite you to contact us at Overdrive Heavy Duty Ltd. to discover why we are the Lakeland’s most trusted provider of suspension and alignment services. For nearly 15 years, we have helped truck drivers maintain their truck’s suspension and alignment. Our 23,500 square foot state of the art facility has 14 bays and a customized alignment pit to accommodate your needs. Our professional heavy duty truck suspension maintenance service is second to none and features the following:
- Comprehensive inspection and diagnostic services
- Swift servicing and repair of any components that require attention
- High quality parts from industry leaders such as Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack, and more
- Affordable pricing and no hidden costs
Most importantly, as Canada’s leading semi-truck service company, we also have an extensive range of suspension and alignment components within arm’s reach. This enables us to tend to your individual needs efficiently and have you and your truck back on the road faster. We look forward to serving as your single source for all of your truck’s service needs!