Is It Worth Upgrading From Spring Suspensions to Air Suspensions?
You have likely heard about the benefits of having an air suspension system over a leaf spring system. But is it worth the trade-off? Below are a few considerations to help you decide.
What Are the Upfront Costs and Required Maintenance?
The biggest trade-off is money. Air suspension systems require a hefty upfront investment, which deters truck owners. Leaf suspensions are more durable and can last the duration of the vehicle. You can find a 30-year-old vehicle that has the original manufacturer's leaf spring suspension. These systems don't require a lot of maintenance.
Alternatively, air suspensions are also durable but require more maintenance. It's also expensive to maintain as the cost of repairs can run up to triple the cost of repairing a leaf suspension system. It's a more complex system; thus, maintenance cost is higher.
In addition, air suspension systems are heavier than leaf suspensions. This will lower your vehicle's height for better aerodynamics. In turn, you'll notice slight improvements in fuel consumption, and your truck will achieve higher corner speeds. Faster speeds translate to better time savings overall.
Which Option Offers Greater Driver Comfort?
You spend hours in the same spot driving your vehicle for miles over all kinds of roads. You'll travel on highways, roads with bumps, potholes, and all kinds of uneven surfaces. Add the noise, vibrations, and harshness associated with long-haul trucking, and you'll be fatigued within no time.
You can fix this by upgrading to an air suspension to help you glide over roads with ease. Air suspensions give you more control and better handling. You can choose between a softer and harder ride depending on the road type. For example, if you're driving on challenging roads, choose the harder ride to enjoy better handling.
If you're a fleet manager, adding air suspension to your trucks could help attract more drivers. A comfortable ride will reduce the driver fatigue typically associated with noise, vibrations, and harshness.
Which Option Offers Greater Versatility?
If you transport heavy cargo such as construction materials, you'll benefit more from leaf suspensions. The only downside is the limited use of such trucks.
Typically, you wouldn't use such trucks to transport fragile cargo such as glass. There is a higher risk of breakage, which is significantly reduced when using air suspension trucks. This means you can use your truck to transport a wide range of cargo, from construction materials to glass. Therefore, your truck is less likely to run empty.
In addition, air suspension reduces load shifting by reducing vibrations. This reduces the damage to your cargo when traveling on rough roads. You can enjoy the same benefits even when traveling on smoother roads as it adds extra cursing.
Should You Upgrade?
Is the increase in cost worth the extra comfort? That's dependent on the type of cargo you handle. If you'll only handle non-fragile goods, then the upgrade isn't necessary.
However, if you want to increase your versatility, it's worth the upgrade. With an air suspension, you can handle a more comprehensive array of cargo — this translates to more business for you. Go for that upgrade if the benefits outweigh the initial cost and maintenance.
Where Can You Get an Air Suspension?
Once you have decided to upgrade to an air suspension, you'll need to find one that suits your operation. Ideally, seek the services of an expert and ask them to guide you based on your needs and budget.
A good start would be the Windermere Sustainable Car Care. We have a team of experts ready to assist you in choosing your air suspension. Contact us today and explain the conditions under which your truck will operate. From there, we'll discuss a few options, and you can choose depending on your budget.