What Is a Three-Way Tipper Dump Truck?


Dump truck design has come a long way since this vehicle was initially developed in the first quarter of the 20th Century. There are a myriad of these vehicles available at dump truck sales with designs to suit various applications. There is one notable design that took this basic vehicle to an entirely new level and it is known as the three-way tipper; it is a unique design innovation that revolutionizes how this equipment is used.


Standard – The standard version consists of a steel box bed mounted at the rear of the cab that is held down by hinges at the rear end of the vehicle’s chassis. The hinges allow the dump bed to be lifted vertically. A single massive hydraulic ram also connects the chassis and the bottom of the bed and provides the force necessary to lift it at a steep angle in order to empty the contents.

While the standard version of this vehicle is effective for unloading anything that has been collected in its bed, it has a few limitations. The dump bed can only unload through its rear end. This means that in most cases, operators will have to back up and maneuver to get the equipment in the right position to unload in the correct spot. Maneuvering the truck takes time and costs money for the extra fuel involved. It can also be a problem when the location for unloading does not have enough space for maneuvering.

Three-Way Tipper – While standard dump trucks can only empty their contents at the rear of the vehicle, the three-way tipper is capable of unloading on three sides. The two are similar in terms of the base frame design, as well as the bed, and they both utilize the same reinforced frame for stability along with a metal box for hauling material.

The feature of the three-way tipper that makes it so unique lies underneath the dump bed. The new design utilizes four hydraulic rams each equipped with a cross joint to permit movement. Raising two of the hydraulic rams situated on the right side of the chassis causes the bed to tilt to its left. In the same manner, if the hydraulic rams on the left side are raised, it will cause the bed to tilt to the right. For it to perform the same function as a standard dump truck, the operator can raise both hydraulic rams situated behind the cab to tilt the bed to its rear.

Advantages of the Three-Way Tipper Design

  • Faster Unloading – With the three-way tipper, operators can reduce their unloading time because it eliminates the need to back up, maneuver and position the equipment just to get the contents to land in the right spot.
  • Conserves Fuel – Maneuvering the equipment for unloading burns fuel. Because maneuvering is usually not necessary with the new design, it helps conserve fuel.
  • Less Space Needed to Unload – Unloading in a tight space is one thing that drivers have problems handling. Backing up and maneuvering in a tight space can be dangerous. With the new design, operators may not necessarily have to back up every time, so there less risk of hitting anything that may be behind the truck.

The three-way tipper is a break from the conventional design of trucks normally sold at dump truck sales. With this new concept comes higher functionality and efficiency. It’s no wonder that with all of these productive new features, more interest is being shown in the three-way tipper dump truck!


Source by Christopher M. Hunter

It’s Time For Mandatory Retirement at 65 For Truck Drivers


A 70-year-old truck driver was travelling west on I-196 near Grandville, MI, driving a semi-truck carrying pies when his truck crossed the centerline and collided with a 20078 Chevy Tahoe. The truck careened over the edge of an overpass and both vehicles caught fire.

Motorists who stopped at the scene and Grandville police officers helped pull Robert Gortner, 82, from the Tahoe. But his wife, a passenger, was trapped in the vehicle and Robert Osborne, 70, was trapped in his truck. Edna Gortner, 83, of Grand Rapids and Osborn of Macelona both were killed. An elderly passenger in the Tahoe was killed along with the truck driver. That was in September 2009.

About a year earlier in July 2008 a 71-year-old truck driver on I-75 in Michigan slammed into vehicles in the southbound lanes, causing the death of 19-year-old Kara Joan Larivee of Rochester Hills. The 71-year-old driver, already driving at a high rate of speed, failed to react quickly enough to the fact that traffic had come to a standstill because of merging traffic.

The common denominators of both tragedies is that neither accident should have occurred, no one should have been killed, and both truck drivers were 70 or older.

As a personal liability attorney who has grieved with clients over the needless deaths resulting from car-truck accidents, I have argued in the past that truck related deaths can be reduced by paying more attention to highway safety and driver fatigue. In recent months I have become convinced the effort should now involve a three-prong approach – safer roads, less driver fatigue, and a mandatory retirement age for truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that as many as 4,000 Americans a year are killed in collisions with trucks that have incurred thousands of safety violations, such as defective brakes, bad tires or loads dangerously beyond weight limits. Many of the truck drivers involved had little or no training, many were 65 or older, and many others had a history of alcohol and drug abuse.

Because Michigan does not allow for punitive damages against truck drivers in effect all truckers have immunity against being held accountable. For that reason truckers causing tragic accidents will continue driving even though untrained, continue to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and continue to drive when age slows their reflexes and judgment.

Truck accidents occur because of fatigue, highway design faults, defective equipment, and driver error. Some causes are predictable; others are not. The result is always predictable, though — the shear volume of a truck traveling 40 m.p.h. or faster will always create havoc.

The biggest killer on our highways is fatigue. Federal transportation officials must come up with stricter guidelines to make sure that logbooks are properly kept and that commercial carriers ensure their drivers get the rest they need between trips.

State highway departments throughout the U.S must adopt an aggressive program to widen two-lane highways throughout areas to make high-speed travel safer for all. Law enforcement officials must police our highways to enforce speed limits rather than tolerating drivers traveling 80 m.p.h. or higher.

I became an advocate for reforms to reduce the number of car-truck collisions after representing the family of a 5-year-old boy who was killed when a semi-tractor truck struck from behind a vehicle being driven by his mother.

The minimum reforms I championed then were: paving construction to widen our two-lane highways or at least provide for more left-turn flare lanes increased speed enforcement on two-lane highways stricter enforcement of truck driver’s driving time limits can prevent deaths.

I now add to my call for reform the need to lower the maximum driving age for all truckers to 65. Because we cannot predict with any certainty the age when a driver’s physical and mental reactions begin to slow, then 65 becomes the best standard because at that age the driver can draw Social Security and Medicare in addition to any retirement benefits or 401k investments.

Age 65 also is the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots thanks to a bill signed in February 2007 raising the mandatory retirement age to 65. Going back to the 1960s airline pilots were forced to retire at age 60 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Think about that. A pilot flies his plane in open air, without any other planes within visible sight, is aided by a co-pilot a seat away and by a controller on the ground, and often flies on auto-pilot. Yet even with this redundancy and backup help the FAA for more than half a decade said it was unsafe for a pilot over 60 to continue on the job. Now it’s considered unsafe at age 65.

So why in the world do we allow truckers to continue driving at age 65, 70, 75 even 80? Truck drivers at high speeds every day must make split-second decisions that require extra-ordinary quick reaction times. Common sense, if not physical exams, eye and hearing tests, and stress tests, tells us that a driver age 65-70 is not physically and mentally equipped for this challenge.

If a truck driver makes a mistake it is very hard to correct because of the mass and size of a truck. Most truck drivers are good drivers who drive defensively and are qualified and trained to be good drivers. But only a single driver error in a lifetime of driving can have tragic results. And as that driver nears the end of a career of driving the odds increase dramatically that a fatal mistake will occur.

I cannot rest at peace because I know with certainty that before the year ends someone else will needlessly die somewhere on a highway. I am certain of this because federal officials, state and county governments, and law enforcement won’t take any actions beyond the civil and criminal judgments recorded. None of us should be at peace until certain actions are taken. And these actions are: widening our two-lane highways; adding left-turn flare lanes as needed; stricter enforcement to ensure log books reflect actual driving time and rest time; and establishing a mandatory retirement for truck drivers at age 65.

Join me in this campaign by writing letters to the Federal Transportation Agency, to the governor of your state, and to newspaper and television editors. Increased public awareness will result in the changes that are needed to save thousands of lives. What we say does matter and will count for change.



Source by Terry Cochran

Truck Drivers Health And High Blood Pressure Concerns


High Blood Pressure is a major factor which affects truck drivers health. It can cost them their jobs or prevent them from being hired as truck drivers. It affects the heart, blood vessels, brain, kidneys and eyes. It can cause a heart attack, congestive heart failure or kidney failure. It can prevent a commercial truck driver from obtaining the required medical certification. Drivers must have a Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Exam and Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) certification. This exam must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner. Drivers cannot work as commercial drivers without this required DOT medical card. DOT medical cards are good for two years unless the driver has a medical condition which requires regular monitoring. High blood pressure is often called hypertension which is the medical term for high blood pressure.

Commercial truck drivers are required to have satisfactory blood pressure levels before they can obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Additionally, they must have it checked again prior to the expiration of their medical card if they want to renew their license. Blood pressure is considered to be high if it is 140/90. Ideally a truck drivers levels should be 140/90 or less. A driver with levels higher than 149/90 will be granted a temporary medical certification for up to one year. If levels are greater than 180/110 the driver cannot drive until the levels are below 140/90. The medical examiner will be required to certify that the driver is medically able to drive.

Hypertension is often thought to be stress related. Actually, it is a symptom of a physiological imbalance in the body often caused by a biological condition. One common biological cause is a deficiency of potassium. Potassium is a crucial mineral needed by our bodies which is absolutely necessary to the healthy function of nerves, cells and membranes. Potassium is also necessary to restore healthy blood pressure balance in the body. Additionally, potassium has the ability to pump sodium out of the body’s cells and reduce body fluid. When we become deficient in potassium we may get symptoms which will eventually be diagnosed as high blood pressure.

Oftentimes, many truck drivers health suffers due to their reliance on the consumption of the typical food available at most truck stops. Furthermore, many truckers ignore the consequences of their bad food choices. Fortunately, most truck stops offer healthy food options. Simple dietary changes in a truckers diet can make a great difference in their overall health including their blood pressure. Choosing potassium rich foods would be a great addition to a truckers diet.

A higher intake of potassium may help prevent high blood pressure and strokes. Our bodies require twice as much potassium and salt. The Committee on Recommended daily Allowances sets the estimated safe and adequate amount of dietary potassium at levels between 1.9 grams to 5.6 grams. It is easy to increase the amount of potassium in the body with food. Fruit and vegetables contain large levels of potassium. One banana, a cup of spinach or a baked potato eaten daily contains enough potassium for most people. Other good sources of potassium are citrus fruits, raisins, dried apricots, dried dates, dried figs, avocados, acorn squash, cabbage, broccoli, kidney beans and cantaloupe. One baked potato contains 838 milligrams of potassium. A licensed dietitian can help you with proper food choices.

Low levels of potassium can be caused by factors other than diet. Medications such as cortisone, high blood pressure medications (which are diuretics) and birth control pills decrease potassium levels. Diuretics are known to deplete the body of potassium. Alcohol is also a diuretic and its consumption can also decrease potassium levels. Exercise can contribute to low potassium levels because of increased sweating. If you are taking blood pressure medication, be sure to check with your physician prior to significantly increasing your intake of fresh fruits or other high potassium foods. It is very important that you regular monitor your levels and follow your physicians advice relating to treatment.


Source by Annalee Chambers

Truck Driver Cover Letter


A driver is a person who drives a particular vehicle. This process is known as driving. Professional driving is not easy at all. It is a highly skilled job. Driving a huge truck is always difficult. To be a good truck driver you should have a valid driving license and good driving skills. A cover letter makes you known to the employer. Writing an effective cover letter is very important in this field.

Now, given below is one of the best sample cover letters for the post of a truck driver:

Your Name

Your Address

Your City, State, Zip Code


Employer Name



City, State, Zip

Dear Mr. / Ms. Last Name,

With reference to your advertisement in one of the local newspapers for the want of a Truck driver, I hereby present my job application for the same. I really feel that I am an apt candidate for this post. So, please do consider me for this significant position. I have a valid truck driver’s license.

I have worked as a truck driver for about seven years. I worked on several transportation projects in my previous transportation agency. I always make sure that all my licenses are updated on time so that I am aware of the present necessities. I also think it is essential to keep adding up to my skills and have sustained with specialized expansion throughout my livelihood. I have recently completed the training for driving in various routes, which has helped me grow as a truck driver.

My record as a driver is absolutely clean. I am a safe and sound driver. I very well understand the needs of my customers and furnish them consequently. I have the ability to drive under all circumstances. I can even drive large trucks.

So, if you think that there is mutual consent then please contact me on the numbers given above. I really look forward to meet you in the near future. I have enclosed my resume along with this cover letter for your review.

I express my gratitude for considering me for this post.



Typed Name


Source by Laura Brasnan

Tips For Shipping A Lifted Truck


Located an affordable lifted truck for sale? Just what are your shipping options?

A lot of people utilize the Internet to locate trucks for sale. Immediately after they make their purchase, they usually require help getting the lifted truck to a particular place. Utilizing a vehicle shipping business makes buying a cheap lifted truck just about anywhere across the country doable. If perhaps this is something you plan on undertaking, it is essential to understand what shipping choices are offered when shipping lifted trucks across country.

A basic Google search will turn up numerous vehicle shipping businesses to choose from. A great deal of the companies will currently have advertisements that pop up with the search results. Often you can get a special price or offer from these advertisements. This could possibly help save you some money. You also want to look for a business willing to cater to the special requirements required for shipping a lifted truck. Anticipate the vehicle shipping firms to charge extra fees for these accommodations.

Generally vehicle shipping charges will vary based on the type of vehicle transferred, the mileage the vehicle is being transported and how the client desires the vehicle delivered. As a word of warning, you need to be leery of any vehicle transporting firm that offers incredibly low price. Typically shipping quotes ought to be relatively close for the majority of trustworthy vehicle transporting firms. It typically is the customer support, scheduling, etc. that will end up distancing the firms.

Generally there are two primary methods you can get ones truck transported across the country. You may well have your lifted truck hauled upon a carrier or have it literally driven to the destination.

When somebody drives your truck to the desired destination, you can count on it becoming more costly. The firm will bill you by the mile for this and the expense of gas, insurance coverage and other misc. fees will be added in. There are essentially to options for this based on the firm you use. Delivery service may be door to door or the truck is dropped off and picked up at a terminal. Typically you will get a more affordable price utilizing the terminal option.

Whenever you get the truck hauled on a carrier, you can have also delivered to the place you want or it may be taken to a terminal, too. The terminal drop off will be the more affordable of the two options. With this option, fuel and other fees are included in the total cost. You will receive both your quote and be billed by the mile for this.

Whenever you are seeking to purchase a truck, do not rule out purchasing it from owner that may well be across country if the selling price is right. Just remember you need to add it the transport costs when looking at affordable trucks for sale.


Source by Jason Wilkey

The Importance Of Having A Reach Truck Or Forklift


A lifting truck is very much like a forklift, but there is a small difference. This kind of vehicle is like a small forklift, designed for small aisles. They are usually electric powered and are named reach trucks because the forks extend to reach a load. Having a lifting truck in your warehouse or facility can increase your work efficiency and overall warehouse performance. Apart from this, there are many more other benefits you should consider when purchasing a lifting machine. I recommend you speak to a dealer or manufacturer about the benefits a reach truck can add to your business. One of the many benefits of owning an electric powered lift vehicle is that it costs way less to maintain than other types of forklifts. This is because they do no contain as many moving parts and do not need any type of fuel. They cost less to operate on per hour compared to a diesel or petrol powered forklift.

However, not everyone can afford to buy all the machinery and equipment they would need to run business. Not every business is as successful. Luckily, there are things like truck hiring companies. Truck hiring companies enable smaller businesses that use heavy machinery and equipment like reach trucks. Reach truck hire have become extremely popular and small businesses find this type of service very helpful. Companies that might only use reach trucks every now and then for small, irregular projects also find reach truck hire companies useful.

One distinctive difference between regular forklifts and reach trucks is that reach trucks have the ability to lift pallets in a vertical fashion. This is especially helpful if you have a warehouse that utilizes high storage racks that might be difficult to reach.

Forklifts and lifting trucks are used for a number of different reasons, as we know. They are a critical element to warehouses and distribution centers, so much so that the warehouse efficiency and overall performance of the business would be noticeably decreased if without one. Obviously, like with most vehicles and heavy machinery, a forklift or lift truck driver would need to have a license to be able to operate these machines. Often times, drivers of these machines will have to be guided into the warehouse or factory through guide rails laid out on the floor.

Forklifts, lifting trucks and any other type heavy machinery often come with a nameplate that indicates, amongst others, the weight the machines are able to handle: normally between one and five tons. Larger machines that have up to fifty ton loading capacity are used to load larger objects, like shipping containers. The information located on the nameplate is extremely important and should never be ignored or removed: loads must not exceed these limits, as it can be extremely dangerous. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to remove or tamper with the nameplate without permission from the machine’s manufacturer.

Forklifts and lift trucks are essential equipment in some industries. If your company is too small to be able to afford these machines, forklift and reach truck hire might be the answer.


Source by Greg Mingea

Truck Drivers Are More Susceptible to Sleeping Disorders


Truck drivers have a demanding job that sometimes makes getting good quality sleep hard. Sleep disorders in truck drivers are very common. They have many of the risk factors associated with sleep disorders including driving long distances, alone, and often at night. Long monotonous roads combined with fatigue can be dangerous for the driver and everyone else on the road. The three groups that are at most risk for sleep disorders are drivers, shift workers, and teenagers.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome affect many drivers. Each can cause extreme fatigue and that is not a good combination with driving. Driving while drowsy can be very dangerous. Approximately seventy-one percent of truck accidents are caused by sleep apnea and they are six times more at risk for an accident. They can become tired, began to swerve, and eventually lose control of their vehicle. Driving a large commercial vehicle requires precision. Drivers must be alert at all times and have a quick reaction time if problems occur with the vehicle or on the road.

Sleep apnea is a very common disorder among truckers. This condition occurs when the airway between the nose and lungs becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. A person experiencing this disorder will wake many times gasping for air and this prevents them from getting adequate sleep cycles. They will wake up still very fatigued and will not remember the episodes that occurred. Because of this, sleep apnea is often left untreated and can become a serious health risk for many people.

Restless leg syndrome results from the body not producing enough dopamine which affects reflexes. It can be caused by other medical conditions or be inherited. Things such as daytime tiredness, hypertension, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and substance abuse can be linked with this condition. Someone experiencing restless leg syndrome will have difficulty falling asleep due to a constant urge to move their legs or arms that gets worse at night and during sleep. The uncomfortable feeling can be temporarily relieved by moving around.

Demanding driving schedules and other existing sleep disorders can bring on insomnia. Psychological reasons include anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder makes a person more susceptible to insomnia. Treatment may require medical intervention, behavioral therapy, and psychological therapy. Other disorders need to be treated in order to remove all causes and cure the condition.

If you are a driver who is experiencing sleep problems, it is time to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Fatigue due to a sleep disorder can cause you to drive drowsy, not be as alert, and have a much slower reaction time. These are not good qualities when driving any vehicle. Many trucking accidents are caused by sleep disorders and can be fatal to the driver as well as everyone around them. Even if you are just a little tired during the day, it doesn’t hurt to be evaluated for a sleeping disorder. Early diagnosis will prevent other illnesses and help ensure that you reach your destination and return home safely every time.


Source by Joe LoPiccolo

Volvo Heavy-Duty Trucks: Evolution


Next year Volvo Group is going to celebrate its anniversary. Needless to say, the history of the remarkable company abounds in noteworthy events. It has been many years since Volvo produced its first heavy-duty diesel truck. So, let’s trace the evolution of long-haul offers from the world’s second largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer.

Early 1940’s – The turning point for Volvo engines

1946 was a milestone year in the history of Volvo heavy-duty trucks. Until that time, the company had been concentrating on Hesselman engines (though the diesel motor was already far superior). The reason was that one of the co-founders of Volvo, Gustaf Larson, was a fellow engineering student of Jonas Hesselman, whose creation required lower development costs. But, eventually, the call of the market and the drive for progressive change did its part and Volvo started to implement diesel engines of the pre-combustion type in the new L29 C (‘Civilian’) and the L29 V (‘Road Administration vehicle’).

Volvo Vikings’ era

One of the most remarkable triumphs for Volvo Trucks was gained by the Viking series. The company explains the success of the series by its symbolic character. Firstly, it’s about ‘V’ letter that initiates both the brand and the model name. Secondly, it reflects the genuine ‘Scandinavian’ origin that is so typical for both the ancient Vikings and Volvo vehicles.

The Viking L38 and the upgraded L48 models were significant for the 7-litre direct-injection engine and the choice between 2 or 3 axle versions (frequently featuring all-wheel-drive system).

The Titan’s fame

The Titan is another emphatic name in truck history. Its designers were among the pioneers to make a breakthrough in engine technology. Later on they presented the L39 (followed by L49) with a turbodiesel that boosted the engine output from 150 to 185 bhp. In the following decade the truck also received such outstanding features as the air-operated brake system, the power steering and the Volvo Safety Cab. Up to now, these units have been part and parcel of Volvo trucks.

The story about the Titan range would be incomplete without praising the Titan TIPTOP/F88 that became the first Volvo F-type (forward control/cab-over) truck to have unprecedented success worldwide.

New Era – Truly global Volvo trucks

Despite the overseas attention to some of the F-trucks, American and Australian markets have always given top priority to the N-type (conventional) trucks. For such areas Volvo offered the N10/12 and NL10/12 series. And these offers were met with enthusiasm, especially in Brazil. The wide acceptance was gained due to extremely good adhesion to the ground, which provided impressive cross-country mobility. Besides, in case of the toughest off-road conditions, the N family included all-wheel-drive versions.

The Present – One great family, thousands of versions

The most popular Volvo trucks at the present belong to the FH family. Taking into account the supreme international recognition of Volvo FH12/16, it could be fairly right to understand the abbreviation ‘FH’ as ‘Fantastic History’. However, the genuine meaning is ‘Forward control High entry’ (the numbers after the letters stand for engine capacity in litres).

The FH was preceded by the F-series, prominent for being equipped with either of two new automatic transmission systems: the Powertronic and the Geartronic, designed by Volvo in 80s. This heritage was intensified by such FH innovations as the patented Volvo Engine Brake (VEB), a driver airbag in a truck (for the first used in 1995) and, for sure, the powerful engine with the output from 420 and 540 hp (the FH12) to 750 hp (the FH16).

No wonder, that by this time, FH series already received three ‘Truck of the Year’ awards for the whole time. And there is a strong belief that the best conclusion to this story should be something like “best achievements are still to come”


Source by Eugene Kell

A Beginner’s Guide to 4×4 Suspension Lift Kits


You see them all the time: Light trucks, Sport Utility Vehicles, Jeeps, and more, coasting down the highway, sitting atop towering truck suspension lift kits and sporting a set of tires so big that a person could live in them. If you’re the curious type looking to lift up your own rig, a more important question than “How do I get my ride to do that” is “Why should my ride do that?”

There are several reasons why people might customize their vehicles with suspension lift kits, as well as quite a bit to know before you get started. If you’re a seasoned veteran who has conquered the most vicious terrains and knows your vehicle better than your own mother, there probably isn’t much for you to learn here. On the other hand, if you’re just getting started and want to familiarize yourself with the basics, read on.

Why should I lift my ride?

Glad you asked. Equipping vehicles with a suspension lift kits involves much more than buying the sexiest looking truck lift kit and then dropping your ride off at the local mechanic. Actually, chances are good that if that’s all you plan to do, lifting your ride might not be right for you in the first place. Installing truck suspension lift kits requires some hard work, a bit of technical savvy and consistent upkeep and attention to your vehicle’s components.

The first determination you need to make when considering suspension lift kits is what you want to do with it. There are essentially two main purposes for installing truck lift kits: style or function. Although the two are somewhat interrelated, it’s still important to consider which purpose you most wish to pursue, as it will assist you in making the correct modifications to your vehicle.


Let’s face it: Transforming a vehicle into a style statement has been a popular hobby ever since the advent of tailfins and flame decals. As much as we all might chuckle at a hybrid hatchback sitting on 18″ wheels, or the family sedan with a wing that resembles the Seattle Space Needle more than a spoiler, we also find our own vehicles having fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror, or a bobbling hula dancer statuette on the dash. As far as style is concerned, adding truck lift kits makes more of an impression than anything else you can do to your ride. Heads turn instantly at the sight of a lifted rig with massive tires that appear to be sprouting fangs and an exhaust system that scares stray puppies into hiding.

When it comes to adding suspension lift kits to make a style statement, looking good is the easy part. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook general, everyday performance in the midst of decking out a ride. For this reason, choosing the right suspension lift kit with attention to comfort, reliability, durability, safety, and not to mention price, should be given just as much consideration as those precious inches you want to add.


So you’ve made the jump into tuning your rig for the off-road world, and you’re ready to take the plunge to invest in one of many truck lift kits. But before diving headfirst into a custom truck lift kit and gigantic tires, there are a number of issues to address to ensure a correct setup. The first step is to ask yourself what you will be doing the most, whether it’s slow-speed rock crawling, high-speed desert racing, general purpose 4 wheeling, mud racing, or long distance open country treks. From there, you can narrow down what you need to do in order to customize your vehicle to suit your needs.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re the experienced professional, tuning your rig for optimum off-road performance is an expansive hobby with numerous factors to be wary of. The possibilities are limitless, which can sometimes make it hard to determine exactly which suspension lift kits are ideal for what you want.

Where do I begin?

As if determining which suspension lift kits to purchase weren’t complicated enough, installing truck lift kits can alter other components in your vehicle, sometimes causing unforeseen issues that could affect performance or be potentially detrimental to the vehicle itself. For example, drive shaft length, steering geometry, brake lines, highway performance and handling, gear ratios, and overall weight are just a few of the factors that could potentially be impacted by adding truck suspension lift kits.

Finding ample resources to determine what products you need can be difficult. Speaking with a mechanic can provide some insight. Reading factory service manuals, off-road magazines, internet message boards, manufacturer’s guides, and a number of other resources can help as well. But by far the most useful way to determine what truck lift kits are right for you and your vehicle is to consult an experienced and knowledgeable person who has a vehicle similar to yours and uses it in the manner similar to what you want to do. Not only can such a person suggest the correct products, but also likely has experience with installation tips and general drivability.

In the meantime, here are some of the basic elements of suspension lift kits for you to keep in mind as you plan your modifications.

What does a Suspension Lift Kit do?

  1. Clearance

    For starters, one of the foremost reasons for installing truck suspension lift kits is to raise the height of your ride off the ground to enable steeper ascent or descent off-road, and higher ground clearance. In general, it makes sense that when driving over boulders, slogging through mud, coasting across the desert, or even just making your way through the occasional forest trail, higher clearance facilitates negotiating certain obstacles. This can often be a tricky bit of artistry to manage, as higher clearance also raises your vehicle’s center of gravity, which can reduce handling.

  2. Larger Tire Fitment

    The general consensus suggests that larger tires equate to more traction, right? Well, not entirely. While larger tires may provide some improvement to traction in off-road conditions, there are other ways to improve a vehicle’s traction that are far more efficient than simply bulking up the rubber. Aside from the obvious stylistic discretion, the main reasons for adding larger tires are for higher vehicle clearance for improved performance in mud, deep snow, rocks, and deeply rutted trails. Certain tires designed specifically for off-road conditions can improve traction depending on the circumstances, but the added clearance is the most immediate and direct benefit of larger tires.

Factors to Consider with Truck Suspension Lift Kits:

  • Installation: Many manufacturers offer manuals for installing truck lift kits onto certain vehicles; however, some installations are quite intricate, requiring some welding or cutting in order to add some necessary components. In this case, having a trusted mechanic or a few knowledgeable friends is the best resolution.
  • Additional Modifications: Upgrading to truck lift kits with taller tires also means that a number of components may require part upgrades or some tuning to compensate. For instance, a truck’s engine is tuned at specific gear ratios to propel the vehicle. When adding taller tires, the gear ratios must be tweaked accordingly, since the engine has to spin much larger, heavier tires. Again, consult with more experienced individuals for further insight.
  • Highway Performance: Larger, wider tires can sometimes result in instability on roads or a noisy, uncomfortable ride, particularly at high speeds. Also, more aggressive off-road tires tend to wear faster on the highway, and traction might not be as great as you would expect on wet roads. In this sense, larger tires can sometimes be a gamble without any direction from an experienced off-road veteran.
  • Weight: larger tires are heavier, which can put a lot of strain on your suspension, particularly if it’s a stock suspension. Trusted, durable suspension components and lighter aluminum wheels can sometimes help to reduce the strain.
  • Handling: Adding truck suspension lift kits will undoubtedly raise the vehicle’s center of gravity, resulting in less stable turns. This is a common issue when installing truck lift kits, but is mostly just a matter of becoming accustomed to a vehicle’s change in performance.
  • Legality: Some suspension lift kits are such a serious change in your suspension system that it may not be legal. Check the suspension regulations within your country, state, or province to be sure.
  • A Few Useful Accessories: Before installing a lift kit, it’s a good idea to first examine if any components will be affected by your vehicle’s new height. Here are a few useful accessories that may need to be upgraded:
    • Brake Upgrades: Stock brakes can’t always accommodate larger tires, or will wear easily due to the added strain.
    • Drivetrain and Differential: Axles, gears, differential covers, lockers and more ensure that your drivetrain is up to par with your suspension.
    • Replacement Parts: Longer Control Arms and Track Bars to compensate for the additional height of your rig.
    • Shocks: For those taller lifts, longer shocks will ensure the smoothest performance both on and off road.
    • Other Parts: Steering linkage, slip yoke, drive shaft length, u-joint angle, and brake lines are all worthy of consideration before installing suspension lift kits.

Installing Suspension Lift Kits:

When it comes time to install a lift kit, there are two ways possible ways to go about it: install it yourself, or have a professional do the job. Naturally, each has its advantages and disadvantages, and when it comes to your rig, attention to detail is crucial. A general rule to follow is that even if you know you want a large lift, it’s best to start with a small lift and work your way up. This allows you to work out any kinks and hindrances along the way to make sure your kit works right.

  1. Do-It-Yourself

    Even if you’re not technically inclined, taking the time to learn the inner mechanics of your vehicle is a valuable experience that can save you time and money. An intimate knowledge of your rig can also allow you to make your own modifications to your vehicle if the need arises. There are numerous resources available that can usually guide you through the majority of the process; however, one must keep in mind that it’s a lot to take in, and tweaking the intricate components of your vehicle is no small matter. It’s always a good idea to have a second set of hands or an experienced individual assisting you.

    On the downside, even with the increasing availability of bolt-on kits, installing suspension lift kits is no easy task, particularly if you’re a beginner. Additionally, certain instructions or resources can sometimes be misleading or based upon the personal preferences of individual gearheads. Often times, after installing a lift kit you’ll find yourself spending hours tweaking the other components of your vehicle to get them back to spec. That’s a whole lot to take on, particularly if you’re inexperienced.

  2. Mechanic

    A licensed professional installing your lift kit is typically the best way to ensure that suspension lift kits are installed correctly, so long as you’re willing to pay the labor charges. A professional can perfectly tune your vehicle to your liking and see to it that all components are working as they should, all within a fraction of the time it would take even the most experienced gearheads to install it themselves.

    On the other hand, as is the case with regard to any mechanic, it might be difficult to find one you can trust to install the kit properly while not overcharging you for any unnecessary parts. Also, if you’re not a gearhead, anytime there’s a functional deficiency or your vehicle needs minor tweaking, you have no choice but to return to the mechanic for service.

Suspension Lift Sizes:

Small: A small lift consists of 1.5 or fewer inches, and will grant you a little more clearance and room to run slightly larger tires. The most common way to gain a small lift is by using coil spacers in front and long shackles in the rear.

  • Advantages/Disadvantages: Small lifts are inexpensive and easy to install with very few complications.

Medium: A medium lift is roughly 2″ of lift, and is a good choice for those looking for the best tire clearance, but aren’t planning on doing any off-roading. Common medium-sized lifts use spacer and add-a-leaf lifts, and sometimes come with new shocks.

  • Advantages/Disadvantages: You’ll notice changes in handling and performance: some good, some bad. You’ll also need strong rear springs, and if you plan to use an add-a-leaf kit, later modification for more lift may be difficult, since add-a-leafs are designed to lift stock springs.

Large: The largest lifts consist of 3 to 4″ or more for an aggressive look and the best off-road performance. A common large lift setup consists of new front coils and add-a-leafs in the rear, plus some combination of new front coils and new rear springs. These kits often include a matching set of shocks.

  • Advantages/Disadvantages: Large lifts are obviously the most expensive, and more complications are expected than with smaller lifts. On-road performance will also be affected, sometimes dramatically. But a large lift will transform your rig into an intimidating off-road machine that will stand out among a crowd.

Types of Suspension Lift Kits:

Spring Over Axle (SPOA):

SPOA suspension lift kits are most popular among serious rock crawlers looking for the utmost articulation (up and down wheel travel). These truck lift kits keep the tires on the ground for maximum traction, while correctly lifted springs lifts everything out of harm’s way, including the springs.

Shackle Reverse (S/R) Suspension Lift Kits:

S/R truck lift kits are designed to provide a smooth ride upon mild terrain such as forest roads, desert driving, and scenic trails; however, high-speed driving on highways is not recommended.

Coil Suspension Lift Kits:

The choice of many of the world’s best-riding 4 wheel drive vehicles, Coil Suspension Lift Kits offer unrivaled ride quality and cheaper springs, but installation sometimes requires some welding. The end result, however, is a suspension lift kit that provides excellent articulation on the trail, and a comfortable ride you have to feel to believe.

Lifted Spring Suspension Lift Kits:

The most commonly used type of truck lift kits in the world, Lifted Spring systems are easier to install, and an excellent choice for first-time lifters in the off-road world. These truck lift kits allow you to run larger tires for additional clearance, while producing control on the highway.

Shackle Suspension Lift Kits:

As probably the most affordable way to add inches to your rig, Shackle Suspension Lift Kits are primarily for the truck enthusiast looking to add larger tires, yet are not intending to do much hardcore off-roading. Moderation is recommended with these truck lift kits, as Shackle systems are known to affect steering and sway control.


Source by Billy Han

Used Commercial Truck Vs New Commercial Truck


It can be a difficult decision to make when it comes to weighing up which option is best for you – a new, or used commercial truck. A great deal depends on just what task you will be needing the truck to perform for you. Is it a dump truck you are searching for or a refrigerated heavy vehicle? Whatever the type of truck you are looking for, there are some interesting common things to consider before you buy. Firstly let us look at buying a used commercial truck.

Some Things You Will Need To Consider When Buying A Used Truck. Your investment of money will most likely be your prime concern and of course a used commercial truck will be considerably cheaper compared to a new one. A used vehicle will give you reasonable reliability and performance but remember that the replacement of parts may be a big ongoing expense depending on the overall condition of the vehicle and its maintenance history. Compared to a new vehicle you may just end up paying the same or more than new price over your first 12 months on the road.

You can ease this burden with a good warranty from the dealer you purchase from, but even though repairs may be covered by the warranty, you will still experience down days where work is impossible due to the vehicle being off the road and in for repairs.

You may find that a used heavy or medium duty truck may save you thousands in the short-term; but may cost you dearly in the long run. The only exception is finding yourself a commercial truck in excellent condition, which is not an impossible task. It may take you several weeks to locate one, but you will be rewarded for your time and effort.

As part of your mission to find a suitable used commercial truck you should always check for any obvious damage that may have occurred during the trucks’ time on the road so far. This will alert you to any potential problems associated with accident repair that may end up costing you a great deal of money to remedy correctly in the future. A thorough mechanical inspection will also highlight any general repairs and maintenance that requires attention and will lessen the need to be searching for used commercial truck parts at a later date.

The Benefits Of Buying A New Commercial Truck. A new commercial truck will bring you many hours of joy and happiness! However the down side is that you will be paying a premium for a vehicle in first class condition. A vehicle in a work ready state will allow you to produce an income from the moment you drive it off the showroom floor. You will not have to worry about the cost of repairs, replacement of tires or suspension issues. A new vehicle is certainly a stress free option in this regard.

The reliability factor is an unseen advantage of purchasing a new commercial truck and can provide you with excellent peace of mind when you are miles from home. Less down time due to repairs, equals more income for you. Naturally the normal maintenance schedule of a new commercial truck will need to be implemented and sustained to ensure trouble-free travels, but this is such a pleasure with a new truck that it will hardly seem a chore.

If you are still having difficulties deciding between a new or used commercial truck and which will be the best option for you, then a ‘efficiency plan’ will help you to see on paper which decision is the best. Chart the advantages and disadvantages of either a new or used commercial truck and weigh up the differences. The results you get will decide the answer for you. It is a great technique which can be used in most decision-making processes.


Source by Sharon Tappenden