The suspension systems on today’s trucks are lighter — and tougher — than ever before. And that’s good news for fleet owners and the industry in terms of reduced fuel use and longer maintenance intervals.
But because new truck suspensions are so dependable, some fleets have been lulled into thinking that they don’t need routine inspection or maintenance. In other words, torque rods, bushings and other suspension components don’t get much attention unless a driver complains about comfort or handling, or if tire patterns on a vehicle show signs of excessive or premature wear.
That’s bad practice, of course. Here are several reasons why.
- Suspension components are a CSA violation if inspectors find signs of wear or damage.
- Worn torque rods can affect a driver’s ability to control a vehicle in corners, and when accelerating and braking. Torque rods that are damaged or loose can also make for an uncomfortable ride for drivers’ backs. So be alert for premature wear on a vehicle’s drive axle or steer axle tires, which is one of the first signs of worn or loose torque rods.
- Deteriorated bushings can permit trailers to sway and cause their tires to rub against suspension frame hangers. If you notice new or unusual rattling sounds from a vehicle, check its torque rods for worn or damaged bushings.
Vehicles that show signs of worn torque rods or bushings should be taken off the road and serviced to protect drivers and prevent tire damage.
What to Look for in Replacement Components
Truck parts are pushed to their limits everyday due to the heavy-duty environment that they’re required to run through. You want a material that you can count on. That’s why Road Choice torque rods are made from a chemically resistant polyurethane. Each part is engineered and tested to achieve a stronger performance with proprietary poly formulations while other part providers use the same type of poly for all parts.
As rubber is exposed to oil, grease, cleaning solvents, rock salt, hydraulic fluids, and diesel fuels it deteriorates - poly does not. Our polyurethane is 2.5 times stronger than it’s rubber-based counterpart. Not only is it stronger, but our poly also has a wider range of tensile strength, tear strength, durometer, elongation range, and rebound properties. Poly allows our torque rods to last longer, perform better, and improve your truck’s suspension by allowing longer intervals in between alignment adjustments.
The expert technicians at your local Road Choice Retailer can work with you to maintain your vehicle’s suspension system through regular inspection and maintenance of torque rods, bushings and other key components. You can find suspension components and individual parts in PartsASIST™.