Do you notice your semi truck cab leaning to one side?
Obviously, it is not a normal thing. Your truck is expected to handle heavy loads, so it should be capable of the job more than anything. But at the same time, with many years of abuse and use, wear and tear can most certainly happen.
When you are towing loads that are over-capacity – and for a consistent length of time – then it can most definitely put a strain on your vehicle. It can start to lean and sag to a certain extent, which can cause some issues for you.
Keep reading to find out more about this issue with the semi truck cab and what can be done about it. Let’s get started.
Semi Truck Cab Leaning To One Side
Also known as squatting, this is what happens when a portion of your vehicle sags because of bigger payloads. This sagging is due to an excessive strain and pressure on the rear axle. Thus, the front portion becomes pointing upward and the back part falls constantly. Hence, the truck is not as capable as before when towing your heavy cargo.
The worst part about this issue is that it can cause you to make steering maneuvers more forcefully just so you can keep your vehicle in control.
While it is normal for the leaning to happen to a certain extent, there can be a more serious concern linked with too much sagging. Therefore, your vehicle can become unstable and wobbly. There is also the likelihood of an aerodynamic drag being created, which then exposes the underbody of your vehicle to elements. Hence, engine efficiency is reduced as you take on higher speeds.
While trucks are known to sag, squat or lean at certain points, this is most definitely not a normal thing. This is why you should make it a point to prevent this problem even before it begins.
Some people choose to replace the leaf springs since this helps to minimize sagging while improving the stability of their vehicle. This is also cost-effective, which makes it a practical solution for some people.
Some Concerns You Need To Know
When leaning happens, this is a sign of wear and tear, tire misalignment, as well as possible damages to your braking and steering. The good thing is that you can easily prevent your semi truck cab from leaning to one side by carrying lighter loads or at least not going beyond the maximum load requirement.
Although you may not be witnessing immediate issues to your vehicle when you load more than you should, a constant carrying of heavy loads can damage the integrity of your vehicle quickly. Moreover, serious cases of leaning and sagging can result in further problems such as the following:
1. Rough ride
The ride that used to be smoother will now become bumpy and rough, which can be a very stressful experience for both the driver and the passenger. It is even common for trucks to bottom out more than usual, this is why a delay in the steering may occur. As time passes by, squatting can lead to even dangerous riding situations.
2. Difficulty with braking and steering
Next, you may have some issues with steering your vehicle. When the tires are not aligned as they used to, this may prevent you from having an easier experience each time you steer your vehicle. The same holds true when you are braking, which can be more challenging at this point.
3. Poor headlight focus
When your vehicle sags or leans, the headlights will no longer be as effective as they used to when it comes to the focus. Hence, it will negatively impact your view of what is ahead. Sure, you can still see the vehicles in front, but then you may not quickly see potholes, wildlife and any obstructions present on the road. This can lead to accidents, which makes driving challenging and even dangerous.
4. Poor tire alignment
As the truck is no longer in its stable and balanced condition as how it was before the leaning occurred, tire misalignment can happen. The tires can also be placed under stress, which can lead to premature wearing. Thus, this can reduce your fuel mileage and make its consumption higher than it used to be.
Considering all of these issues that come along when your semi truck cab leans to one side, it is best to be proactive about it. By practicing some preventative techniques, you can prevent sagging while at the same time prolong the lifespan of your vehicle and its key components.
As we have mentioned above, overloading your vehicle and going beyond the maximum load capacity are the main causes of the leaning issue. The sagging can also take a toll on the lifespan and performance of your shock springs and performance.
Hence, you may try putting some air suspension systems, which can replace your rear suspension’s traditional components with more advanced airbags you can control manually or automatically. The airbag is then connected to a system, which generates air pressure. You can also have it inflated as needed. So, when you need to load more items, you can inflate the bag in order to keep the vehicle leveled.
Weight distribution systems also assist your vehicle in maintaining an evenly-distributed load through spring bars. These create an opposition to your load while spreading the weight uniformly between the different axles of your vehicle.
So, if you notice that your truck tends to sway back and forth more frequently, or it is starting to lean or sag, then weight distribution systems should be very helpful in these situations.
And lastly, using towing leaf springs can be beneficial to your truck long term. This is also a cheap means of minimizing the squatting while enhancing the carrying capacity of your vehicle. There are numerous configurations for leaf springs that you can choose from, depending on your needs.
A semi truck cab leaning to one side means it is struggling with keeping up with the weight it is carrying. This is why it is important to have this issue remedied immediately and then perform some preventative techniques so that it does not keep on happening in the future.