We often hear from people with air suspension springs that when not loaded, they experience a pretty harsh ride. Without a load, they tend to feel every bump and pothole in the road, with the truck rattling at every dip.
To fully understand why this happens, we need to look at how the truck suspension is designed.
In a truck, the leaf springs are the main suspension components keeping your wheels moving smoothly over bumps and potholes without transferring the jarring motion to the body. By spreading the load more widely over the vehicle's chassis, these springs make for a much smoother ride and provide more comfort for your passengers. Your drive would be extremely uncomfortable without leaf springs and the rest of your vehicle’s suspension.
What Does Towing / Hauling have to do with Truck Leaf Springs?
Rear suspensions subjected to the daily grind of carrying heavy loads or towing equipment trailers eventually begin to soften as the added weight takes its toll on the stock springs. When a truck is fully loaded, the weight can shift to the back, causing the headlights to aim upwards while bottoming out the rear suspension. This ultimately results in lighter steering and unpredictable braking. Additionally, a truck under consistently heavy loads also becomes unbalanced and creates unfavorable angles for drive train components. Your tires will start to show wear much faster, and may begin to form uneven patterns of baldness. At the very least, the vehicle will need to work much harder just to function, with the strain of the weight adding up to higher repair bills and maintenance costs.
The addition of a helper air spring, airbag, or air suspension spring to the system can make a ‘day and night’ difference in your towing experience, alleviating the aforementioned towing ails by adding additional support on demand. The result is better overall control of the vehicle and a safer, smoother ride.
You are convinced you need air suspension springs and you get them installed on your truck. You are extremely happy with the quality of the ride and the control it give you on all the days that you tow or haul, but on other days you decide you want to drive to work in that truck of your. How does that ride feel?
Driving without a load while having air springs has a downside to it, and that is the increased spring force which makes empty operation harsh and uncomfortable.
Accumulator tanks help reduce the impulse air springs create. This brings ride quality while unloaded to as close to stock as possible, while allowing you to increase your ability to handle load on demand.