Leaf spring suspensions are simple, rugged, and affordable. They offer good ride quality and a high degree of flexibility.
Leaf springs are the most uncomplicated and least expensive suspension system for 4×4 vehicles. While new sports utility vehicles and modern Jeeps operate mainly with coil springs, McPherson struts, or torque suspension set-ups, one question might be whispering in your mind, why do trucks still use leaf springs?
Well, there are several reasons why leaf springs are still used in trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. For instance their superior support, handling, and extreme load-bearing capacity.
Is this all? No, leaf springs have a handful of advantages that make them one of the prime choices for trucks. In this article, we’ll cover all of them. So, stick to us till the end.
What are leaf Springs?
Before you comprehend the reasons why a design that future generations may recognize is still put to use today, it’s essential that you first have an understanding of how leaf springs work.
Leaf springs use layers of steel of varying thicknesses to make up a basic form of suspension. They’re often tapered and shaped into an ellipse shell by the use of an elastic spring that is springy but is designed to bend without returning to its original position when pressure is applied to both ends.
The metals are cut into narrow pieces and afterward connectable using two bolts and a solid hub through the middle of the pieces. They are after that attached to the axle of the vehicle using two U-bolts, attaching the suspension system to it.
In automobile suspension design, the adaptability of the leaf spring steel allows for a higher adjustment control than a spring setup when moving in a car, and a leaf spring setup is widely considered a practical option for automobile suspensions.
What Does A Leaf Spring Do On Trucks?
The natural shape of the leaf spring allows it to efficiently absorb the effects of a blow. Because of its location on the axle, the leaf spring is used to locate the rear axle of the vehicle and its lateral stability. The leaf spring suspension system guides the vehicle’s wheels into the proper position on the road.
The demand for this part is necessary to advance with the times, so it has become an essential part of a majority of vehicles, due to improvements in design and manufacturing requirements, as well as greater materials for various automakers and their energy-efficient trucks. Other manufacturers have made vans, SUVs, and trucks also using leaf springs for more options.
Why Do Trucks Still Use Leaf Springs?
Leaf springs feature a sheer quantity of metal that is layered together. This durable interlocking structure of leaf springs can offer a lot of support for the main axles and the wheels, as well as the car’s chassis. Alongside, it makes them able to tolerate tremendous weight being applied.
It’s additionally easier to add extra springs (for greater structural strength and load-carrying capacity) if you would like to, as one spring might break, but the others will still support you as you reach the repair shop.
Leaf springs also reduce axle pressure, which is caused by added weight. At the same time, they stabilize the vehicle, absorbing the shock that results from driving over potholes, bumps, and rough roads, which might be tough to handle for other suspension systems. Let’s explore some distinct advantages of leaf springs below:
The leaf springs modification function helps in fixing the axle. This design has proven sensible when it comes to installation, repair, and upgrading. You can instantly replace, remove, or add a particular leaf.
You can even upgrade leaf springs to improve ride height, improve performance, improve handling, and control, or boost stability. Seems too convenient, right?
Powerful Hauling Ability
People use pickup trucks to haul large and heavy things. They are commonly used for transportation to campers, large home furniture in bulk, trailers, boats, and lots of other oversized items. As you are undertaking these big and heavy tasks, your suspension system is constantly put under a lot of pressure.
Throughout your towing or hauling career, your vehicle will rely on a robust and tough suspension system to endure the heavy conditions it encounters as you travel up and down hills, as well as climb and descend significant inclines.
Leaf springs perform all this with a minimum of damage, but they may contain up to twice the support of the conventional coil spring. With equally distributed weight distribution, these springs further enable a vehicle to hold up more weight in the payload area.
One of the most significant reasons why leaf springs are used in trucks is their cost-effectiveness. At a fairly reasonable price, their simple setup provides a cost-effective alternative for vehicle development, and they likewise provide additional balance to a vehicle as a result of their unusually rugged design.
To give the manufacturer more savings compared to new foes, a relatively low price is also a resultant effect of lowering the expenses required to reinstate the spring suspension in the vehicle.
The average repair cost for a leaf spring suspension is more affordable than refurbishing another composer, or coil spring, system. This is because, in most cases, the first one or two metal sheets will be damaged, while others remain fresh.
We’ve already mentioned that the prominent characteristic is the design of the leaf springs, which is primarily the layering of numerous metal sheets throughout each other. This sturdy design is seen to increase the system’s efficiency. The rear of your car is susceptible to heavier loads because of it.
Passengers, as well as drivers in a vehicle both, have to cope with reliability issues. Whether it is on a long road trip moving your residence or hauling weighty construction equipment, no one desires to get stuck in an unfortunate circumstance on the side of the road due to a debilitating component breakdown as you’re holding a large important item.
Why are coil springs not used in trucks?
Coil springs are less common in trucks due to their lower load-bearing capacity compared to leaf springs. Trucks require robust suspension for heavy loads, and leaf springs offer superior durability and stability for such applications, making them more suitable for heavy-duty vehicles.
What are the disadvantages of leaf springs?
Disadvantages of leaf springs include a harsher ride compared to modern suspension systems, less precise handling, larger space requirements, and susceptibility to corrosion and wear. They also offer limited adjustability and can contribute to more noise and vibration.
Do I need leaf springs on my truck?
If your truck is designed with leaf springs, they are necessary for its proper function, especially for load-bearing and stability. If considering an alternative suspension, consult a professional, as modifications can impact handling, safety, and legality depending on the vehicle’s design and use.
Do modern trucks use leaf springs?
Yes, many modern trucks still use leaf springs, particularly in the rear suspension for heavy-duty and commercial vehicles. They are favored for their durability, high load-bearing capacity, and simplicity, making them suitable for the demanding conditions of truck usage.
For one thing, the tenth of a million reasons for driving a pickup truck pertains to the degree of utility they offer. Whether it’s off-roading or shipping a heavy load, pickup trucks don’t mind the terrain or the weight.
Consumers usually pick a dependable, reasonably priced, and efficient product. Leaf springs enable manufacturers to come up with a solution that meets and even surpasses these needs. So, you may get the answer to your question, why do trucks still use leaf springs?