Leveling Out A Heavy Load – Air Bag Suspensions
Heavy duty suspension systems are a key component of being able to tow large trailers or haul massive amounts of cargo safely and with full control. Springs which are designed to facilitate this kind of driving while fully loaded are able to maintain their height under the mass of whatever is being moved. This keeps a truck level and helps the entire suspension system perform at its best without sacrificing any control while cornering or braking. Unfortunately, in order to exhibit this characteristic, heavy springs must be extremely stiff, which makes the vehicle subject to a harsher, bouncier ride when not under load.
From left to right, a visual explanation of the benefits of an air-lift suspension system.
Air springs have been used in place of coil and leaf springs for decades as a way to control ride height and vehicle comfort dynamically. Air springs are essentially bags filled with air which are inflated or deflated by a compressor, depending on the desired setting. Air springs provide all of the performance benefits of coil springs with the added bonus of being able to keep a vehicle level no matter how much of a load it is carrying. Many air suspension systems include a feature which automatically levels the vehicle, or which controls ride height based on the speed at which the vehicle is traveling.
Many people think that adding air suspension to their pickup truck would be an expensive endeavor, requiring them to remove their current shocks and springs and do a full conversion. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. In fact, the Air Lift company makes several different inexpensive kits which allow air bags to be added alongside the stock suspension in order to provide extra lift only when needed.
There are a few different options available from Air Lift. Their basic system is designed to be mounted inside a vehicle
Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories