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How to Extend the Life of Your Suspension System

Ensure your truck remains in peak condition by prioritising the longevity of your suspension system. Preserving this crucial element is paramount for enhancing your vehicle’s performance, safety and durability. To ensure longevity and avoid costly suspension repairs, adhere to proper maintenance practices and understand the importance of opting for quality aftermarket parts for each component in the suspension system.

In this article, we will discuss how to prolong the life of your suspension system, focusing on industry leaders like Hendrickson suspension systems.


1. Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Regular inspection and maintenance are among the most effective ways to extend your suspension system life. Develop a routine schedule to check for signs of wear, damage, or improper installation. A complete inspection should involve checking the following:

  • Springs and hangers
  • Axle alignment
  • Adjustable torque rods
  • Bushings
  • Shock absorbers
  • Leaf springs and air springs

During the inspection, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure proper installation, alignment and adjusting of components.

Hendrickson’s Suspension System Inspection:

Most large Isuzu and Iveco Acco trucks feature a Hendrickson suspension system, so for these trucks, you can follow Hendrickson’s recommended inspection schedule. For example, they suggest checking pivot connections every three months or 65,000 kms. Torque rods, bushings, and suspension hangers also require regular inspection.


2. Lubricate Components

Regularly lubricating your truck suspension system’s components is essential for reducing friction, wear, and tear. Apply grease or a suitable lubricant to areas such as:

  • Pivot bolt connections
  • Slack adjusters and spring pins
  • Spring eye bushings
  • Equaliser beams (if equipped)
  • Kingpins and bushings (steerable and/or lift axle)

For those using Hendrickson suspension systems, lubricate the pivot connection using premium-quality grease that meets industry standard requirements.


3. Axle Alignment and Balance

Proper axle alignment and balance significantly extends your suspension system life and improves overall performance. Misaligned axles cause premature wear and tear on tires, suspension, and truck drivetrain components. To maintain proper axle alignment:

  • Check for equal spacing between the axles and the same ride height.
  • Ensure your trailer axle’s alignment is as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Adjust the vehicle’s toe settings to prevent uneven tire wear.

Suspension balance is crucial for maintaining control while driving, especially around corners. Balance your suspension by periodically checking for damaged or worn springs, staying within your vehicle’s payload capacity, and ensuring proper tire inflation.


4. Replace Worn Components

Over time, suspension system components will wear and need replacement. Be vigilant in your inspection and maintenance routine, and replace truck suspension parts that show excessive wear, bending, cracks or deformation.

It is best to opt for quality truck parts during replacement. Hendrickson offers various aftermarket parts for Volvo, Kenworth, Freightliner and Mack trucks that can significantly extend the life of suspension components.


5. Avoid Overloading

Overloading your truck causes significant strain on your vehicle suspension system and affects braking, steering, and overall stability. To prevent this:

  • Stay within your truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR).
  • Distribute weight evenly across the axles to avoid stress on specific components.
  • Avoid making sudden stops or taking sharp turns while operating at maximum capacity, as this adds extra stress to the suspension.


6. Drive with Care

Maintaining a smooth driving habit will help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your suspension system components. To preserve your suspension:

  • Avoid extreme off-roading or driving through deep potholes.
  • Approach speed bumps at a slower speed and the right angle.
  • Slow down when navigating tight corners.
  • Follow speed limits and other road regulations.

Conclusion

Following these steps will ensure the longevity of your suspension system and enhance your truck performance, safety, and efficiency. For those using aftermarket parts from industry-leading brands like Hendrickson, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations to guarantee optimal performance.

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