Choosing the Right Suspension for Your Flatbed Trailer: Essentials to Consider

The suspension system of a vehicle especially a truck that uses a flatbed trailer to transport heavy loads determines the ease of the journey. It is very important to determine which type of suspension shall be installed on the flatbed trailer due to the stability of a vehicle, the security of the load, and the quality of the ride. Below are the factors that should be checked and compared when choosing the suitable suspension system for your flatbed trailer.

Understanding Suspension Types

Below are some of the types of suspension systems that are used for flatbed trailers; The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed below. Some of the broadly categorized types are leaf spring suspension, torsion suspension, and air ride suspension.

Leaf Spring Suspension

Leaf spring suspension is one of the oldest types of suspension system used popularly because of its sturdiness and it can haul a lot of weight. This includes several layers of metal springs that are arranged one on top of the other, and any mechanical suspension system. Since the leaf spring suspension is quite basic in design, they do not require much maintenance and can be relatively cheaper compared to the other types of suspension systems.

Torsion Suspension

Torsion suspensions give a more comfortable ride compared to the leaf springs in that they are considered to be better. They incorporate the use of a steel torsion bar which is used to flatten out the shocks thereby giving a better shock absorber. Torsion suspensions are suitable when the load is relatively low, and the handling is easier as compared to other types of suspensions. Still, they can bend or deflect rather than compress and might not offer the longevity of usage that leaf springs do for very massive loads.

Air Ride Suspension

A synonym of air ride suspensions is ‘premium’ since they proved to give the maximum amount of comfort to users. Thus, they have shock absorbers in the form of bagging which are inflated with air, and this makes them comfortable and stable. Air ride suspensions are very efficient and useful where the load being carried is delicate in that it cannot withstand much shock or vibration. But they are costly and often demand routine service.

Carrying Capacity and Load Bearing

Concerning the selection of the suspension system, one has to pay attention to the loads to be hauled and the distribution of weight on the flatbed trailer. This has to appropriately accommodate the highest weights of the loads that you intend to haul. Several provisions should be taken to ensure equal distribution of load within the trailer to avoid uneven stress on the components of the suspension system.

Road Conditions and Usage

The kind of roads and terrains that you will be frequently towing your trailer on should determine the suspension that you go for. When dealing with off-road requirements much firmer suspension mechanisms such as the leaf spring or air ride may be required. If it is a bit easier roads and if loads are lesser, then there are torsion suspensions available.

Maintenance and Durability

Maintenance should be done periodically to ensure the suspension system of the trailer serves you for a long time. Depending on the type of suspension involved, one will find that some types will need more attention than others. Ordinarily, the leaf spring suspensions do not require much consideration because they are barely utilizable but should be glanced at occasionally for potential wear or tear. Torsion and air ride suspensions are comfortable to ride in; however, they might need regular servicing and diagnosis more frequently as compared to some other kinds of suspensions.

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