Among the many parts that are commonly upgraded on off-road trucks, including heavy-duty tires and aftermarket bumpers, you’ve surely heard a lot of conversations about suspensions. There are quite a few different types to consider, depending on what you like to do with your truck.
Before you go out and spend any money, make sure you understand why you should modify your suspension in the first place. When done well, suspension upgrades are vital to the performance and durability of your off-road truck.
The most obvious reason to upgrade your stock suspension to an aftermarket one is the increased durability. Off-road suspensions are designed with larger, thicker, and heavier-duty parts that can withstand the type of abuse you will put them through. A strong suspension that can endure rock climbing and rough trails allows your off-road truck to perform better and protects your truck from excess wear and tear that can happen when the suspension isn’t tough enough.
Ground and Body Clearance
The rougher you are with your truck, the bigger the tires and more ground clearance you need. It is a common misconception that you can get that clearance with a body lift kit. Sure, a body lift kit will solve one problem that can result when you add bigger wheels and tires - fender interference; however, it doesn’t do anything for ground clearance.
An actual suspension lift gets the transfer case and everything else higher off the ground since it involves your shocks and springs, not just how high the body is mounted on the frame. If you want the best of both worlds, the ability to use bigger tires and get better ground clearance, a true suspension lift should solve both of these problems by lifting everything, including the body.
Approach and Departure Angles
Another advantage of adding a suspension lift kit is that doing so improves your approach and departure angles, which makes high-centering less likely. The higher your front bumpers, rear bumpers, and undercarriage are off the ground, the steeper the angles you can safely climb and descend.
Greater Wheel Articulation
In addition to fender and ground clearance, a heavy-duty off-road suspension can also give you greater wheel articulation for rock climbing and driving over extremely rough terrain. The greater the wheel articulation, the better your traction since you will have an increased ability to keep all wheels on a traction surface even when driving over large obstacles.
A stronger, sturdier suspension can also bear a heavier load than any stock suspension. This might be important if you carry a lot of gear in your truck or you like packing up and heading out into the wilderness for the weekend. You’ll avoid bottoming out your stock suspension and reduce the chance of damaging your truck, including its steel bumpers, while bouncing down the trail. The ride for you may not be as nice, but who goes off-roading for a nice and smooth ride anyway?
In a nutshell, your off-road suspension is a critical component that can make your truck off-road ready in many ways. Along with adding some aftermarket bumpers, It can improve your truck's performance, make it more durable, and protect it from certain damage that can happen with a suspension that can't put up with the abuse.
When you are shelling out cash on parts like suspension systems, steel bumpers, and big tires, remember why you are doing it and the benefits you can gain. You’ll have an easier time deciding what suspension to invest in for your needs!