Your semi-truck shocks play a vital role in your suspension system. They keep your truck driving properly and safely. Without them, you’ll struggle to drive smoothly – something that’s essential for any kind of trucking business. Of course, any issues with your shocks can result in even greater problems developing in other areas of your vehicle.
Bad shocks are a fairly common issue with semi-trucks, so it’s important to be able to identify these issues straight away. To help you out, here are some of the main signs and causes of bad shocks on semi-trucks.
How To Tell if Your Semi-Truck Shocks Need Some Love
Bad Driving Quality
Wondering how to tell if your semi-truck shocks are bad? The first, and most tell-tale sign, is if your truck’s driving quality has decreased.
When shocks wear, the semi-truck will be a lot bumpier to drive and more difficult to control. You might scrape a speed bump, experience excessive bouncing while driving, or have difficulties with the steering stabilizer. The steering wheel might move a lot more, giving you a hard time keeping the vehicle stable.
Whatever the case, semi-truck shock absorbers are essential for managing the vehicle’s weight. If your semi-truck is offering a bad driving experience, you need to replace the shocks.
Uneven Tire Wear
Having uneven or unusual tire wear is often a clear indicator of worn shocks.
While your tires will wear down over time, when you have bad shocks you’ll notice a much faster, and more drastic, wear and tear on your tires.
With properly functioning shocks, your tires will wear down gradually on both sides. But with bad shock absorbers, one side will wear down far quicker. In some cases, uneven and accelerated tire wear can be pronounced enough to cause swerving. You might also notice vibration or humming when driving your semi-truck, which happens from shock absorber tire wear.
Shock absorbers are filled with oil, which is essential for their dampening ability. The oil is held in the shock absorber with a seal.
If you notice a lot of oil covering and leaking from your shock absorbers, this is a sign that you have fluid leaking around the seal. If the leak persists, the shocks will start acting up and might stop working completely.
While it’s normal to have very slight oil leakage around your shock absorbers, the oil leak will become a lot more prominent in semi-trucks with bad shocks. If you feel like your semi-truck is driving differently and is having a harder time handling, then be sure to check for leaking fluid.
Physical Damage to the Suspension System
Many factors can damage your semi-truck’s suspension system: dents, cracks, or corrosion to name a few.
If you suspect you might have worn out shocks, then take a close look at your suspension system and pay attention to each component. You might notice visible damage or wear and tear on the system, which would call for replacement shock absorbers.
One common issue is corrosion or damage to the bushings, which are located at each end of the shock absorber. When they wear out, the shocks won’t be cushioned from the suspension, which can result in a lot of noise and noticeable suspension movement.
If you have loose or worn shocks, then they’ll probably start to make loud rattling or knocking sounds. This could be because the bushings are worn or damaged, because the shock is loose and rattling, or because the shock has lost its oil.
Whatever the case, damage to these components of your shocks will need immediate attention. If left for too long, they might cause more serious issues in your suspension system.
If you hear noises coming from your shocks, be sure to also check your semi-truck tie bar, ball joints, or sway bar, These are all parts of your truck’s OEM shock absorbers that could get damaged and need replacing.
When your shocks and struts wear, the cabin of your semi truck might feel like it suddenly shifts backward when you accelerate. This is one of the earliest symptoms of worn shocks, and it could be a clear indicator to check your suspension system.
When this kind of rear-end squat during acceleration is not especially dangerous in terms of handling, it can lead to further issues if you don’t get your shocks and struts fixed as soon as possible.
Getting a Repair Loan for Your Semi-Truck
When semi-trucks need surprise repairs, things can get expensive very quickly. But if you don’t do the repairs, then your truck may suffer even more severe damage as time progresses.
This is why having access to easy semi-truck repair loans is so useful. With a commercial vehicle repair loan service like Mission Financial Services, getting your semi-truck fixed becomes a lot more accessible.
Professional truck drivers can easily apply for repair loans, and you can get accepted for these loans even if you have a poor credit history. This can be an absolute lifesaver for truck drivers that face a sudden need for repairs!
This is especially important if your semi-truck shocks are bad. Worn shocks are relatively simple to repair, and won’t necessarily hold your business back much. But if you leave them to get worse, they could trigger all kinds of other issues in your semi-truck. This could result in a serious, and far more expensive, repair job.
So, how to tell if your semi-truck shocks are bad? There are many different signs to look out for.
One of the most important parts of owning a semi-truck is understanding how the different parts of the truck work and knowing how to troubleshoot issues. This can help you keep the truck in the best possible condition, which is important if you don’t want to spend a fortune on semi-truck repairs.
However, if you do need to take out a semi-truck repair loan, there’s always a convenient option available with Mission Financial Services.