All heavy vehicle operators and drivers know the value of a smooth ride. Heavy-duty vehicles are designed to transport heavy cargo over varied road conditions. However, truck operators cannot determine the conditions of the roads they use. As such, the smoothness of your ride depends on the quality of your suspension system. A reliable suspension system absorbs vibrations caused by uneven terrain or varied driving maneuvers.
By limiting the transmission of vibrations, the suspension system reduces fatigue damage and increases the lifespan of your truck components. Suspension systems are valuable whether you are transporting goods along the smooth Australian highways or delivering construction materials off-road.
Truck suspension systems consist of a wide variety of components. In this article, we will take a closer look into the functions and differences between suspension springs and shock absorbers for trucks.
How Suspension Springs Work
Suspension springs work like cushions to reduce the impact of irregular terrain on your truck and its components. They support the weight of your truck so that your axles don’t buckle or break in bumpy terrain. The two most common types of suspension springs for trucks and buses deployed on Australian roads are leaf and coil springs.
Leaf Springs are the oldest types of suspension systems for vehicles. They are made of a set of narrow metal plates of varying lengths laid on top of each other in layers. Leaf springs are the preferred type of spring suspensions for handling heavy loads. They are also quite affordable and easy to maintain.
Coil Springs are made of round torsion bars that are wound into a helix shape. This offers compression resistance preventing heavy impact between the road and your truck. Coil springs offer more flexibility than leaf springs. Yet, since they are not very effective with heavy loads, the coil springs are more common in light-duty vehicles than heavy trucks.
How Shock Absorbers Work
Shock absorbers consist of powerful hydraulic arms that are attached to your wheel axles and chassis. They absorb the impact of bumps and holes in the road. They also control and reduce the oscillations of coil and leaf springs.
Shock absorbers look like two hollow pipes that fit snuggly into each other like a telescope. One pipe retracts into the other when loaded. The smaller pipe contains the shock absorber piston. When the pressure is unloaded, the shock absorber extends its piston arm. The three main types of shock absorbers used today include;
- Telescopic Shock absorbers
- Strut Shock Absorbers
- Spring Seat Shock Absorbers
There is typically one shock absorber for every wheel on your truck. Your truck may have a set of angled shock absorbers depending on its design. In addition to absorbing the impact of sudden changes in the terrain, shock absorbers ensure that your wheels are always in contact with the road. This gives you more control over your truck when braking, steering and performing critical maneuvers.
Springs and shock absorbers work together to improve the quality and control of your ride in rugged as well as smooth terrain. Shock absorbers are excellent for handling small bumps while the springs take care of the heavier loads.
They reduce the strain on the delicate components of your truck and extend the life of several aftermarket parts for European and American trucks. This effectively lowers your operation and maintenance costs. They also increase the performance and lifespan of your tyres. A reliable suspension system ensures that your drivers are comfortable and your cargo is delivered safely.