Can Suspension Damage Be Fixed On My Heavy-Duty Truck?

The suspension system on your heavy-duty truck is, without a doubt, one of the most important systems overall. It helps ensure a smooth and safe ride for both the cargo and the operator and also makes maneuvering the truck much more effective and reliable. 

We’re going to take a look at the suspension system in more detail, while we answer the question of whether suspension damage can be fixed on your heavy-duty truck. In the end, we’ll also point you toward a trusted local resource that can help keep your truck performing optimally.


The Importance of a Healthy Suspension System

A healthy suspension system is vital for the efficient and reliable operation of any heavy-duty truck. The primary function of suspension is to absorb the impact of bumps, potholes, and other common road irregularities, giving the driver and their cargo a smoother, safer, and more stable right. Common benefits of a well-maintained suspension system on a heavy-duty truck include:

  • Boosted driving comfort
  • Maintaining optimal tire contact and traction on the road surface
  • Keeping proper alignment for longer, reducing uneven wear on the tires
  • Increased vehicular stability, particularly when cornering, braking, or driving at high speeds
  • Helping to protect other truck components and systems from impact or vibration damage, and excessive wear and tear

The biggest thing to remember is that neglecting or ignoring developing suspension issues can lead to elevated repair costs and an overall shorter life expectancy for your truck. This means no matter where you drive or how long, it’s crucial to address suspension issues as soon as they are found.


Common Causes of Suspension Damage

There are many potential causes and sources of suspension damage in heavy-duty trucks. Some of the most common causes of suspension damage include:

  1. Rough Roads – Potholes and uneven road surfaces are common sources of added suspension stress. Hitting potholes or rough roads at higher speeds can inflict serious damage on suspension components, even causing shock or strut failure. Additionally, corrosion and exposure to the road salt used in many areas can cause suspension components to rust and fail.
  2. Overloading – Another reason that suspension is often damaged is that the truck is overloaded. Many companies push for heavier loads and longer drives. Just remember that exceeding the manufacturer’s guidelines for cargo weight means your truck will face increased wear and tear on its suspension.
  3. Accidents – Collisions, even minor ones, are additional reasons that many drivers find suspension damage. Accidents can lead to direct damage to suspension components and cause misalignment. Misalignment puts even more stress on the entire system.
  4. Wear and Tear – Finally, normal wear and tear will always be one of the most common causes of truck suspension issues. Over long periods, bushings, ball joints, and other tie rod ends can wear out until they no longer function as intended.


Signs of Suspension Damage

To be able to address issues as soon as they pop up, you’ll need to be able to recognize the early warning signs of damage. Some early indications of suspension issues include:

  1. Steering Issues – If the steering on your truck suddenly feels loose or unresponsive, or has significant amounts of extra play, there may be suspension damage. Damaged suspension can also directly affect the steering and handling of the truck, making it hard to control.
  2. Pulling To The Side – If you are feeling your truck pull you to one side or another, it can represent a substantial problem with the alignment or suspension components. This can be caused by uneven tire wear, component damage, or imbalance in the suspension system.
  3. Body Roll & Sway – Body roll and sway are things to worry about when cornering or changing lanes and too much of either can be caused by worn suspension components. Feeling the truck lean or tilt can be the result of worn springs, for example.
  4. Visible Component Damage – Making regular visual inspections of your suspension components can help you identify changes in their condition quickly. Look for signs of damage, like bent control arms, broken leaves or springs, or other obvious damage.
  5. Vibrations & Shaking – Shaking or vibrating at certain driving speeds, or during acceleration or deceleration, can indicate one or more damaged suspension components. This can include bushings, wheel balance issues, or even damage to the driveshaft or transmission.
  6. Difficulty Maintaining Air Suspension Pressure – Trucks that have air suspension may notice difficulty in keeping their air suspension systems pressurized.


Suspension Repair Options

If your heavy-duty truck has suspension damage, getting to a professional technician to have it repaired is essential to getting back on the road. The repair options that you’ll have will be directly dependent on the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, when shocks or struts are worn or damaged, those components can be replaced. For broken or worn-out leaf springs, the entire spring pack will likely need to be replaced, while a broken spring on a shock absorber can likely be replaced by itself. 

To find out the best options for your specific repair needs, reach out to a trusted local truck mechanic and let them know the symptoms you’re experiencing.


fleet service image with semi trucksPreventing Suspension Damage

While you won’t be able to prevent all damage or wear and tear, there are some actionable steps you can take to prolong the life of your truck’s suspension components. Here are some tips for getting longevity out of your suspension investment:

  • Stick to the weight capacity guidelines set by the manufacturer
  • Make sure you regularly inspect your suspension components for wear and damage
  • Create a preventive maintenance schedule that includes component lubrication and checking for fluid leaks
  • Drive with care, and do what you can to avoid impacting potholes or traversing rough roads
  • Address any signs of damage to the suspension quickly to avoid exacerbating any damage


Trust Blaine Brothers To Keep Your Rig Riding Smooth

Suspension damage on a heavy-duty truck can be fixed, but it usually requires the help of experienced, professional semi-truck technicians. Knowing how to recognize the signs of suspension damage when they first appear, and getting repairs promptly is critical for keeping your truck safe and reliable. By partnering with Blaine Brothers for the maintenance and repairs of your heavy-duty truck, you’ll be leveraging industry-leading expertise as well as local reliability. Reach out today for more information, or to make an appointment for your heavy-duty truck in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

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Minneapolis, MN 55449

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