Keeping Suspensions Working For You

The critical aspect is having components function properly together.

On an annual basis, there should be an annual inspection of hardware torque per application and bushings and wear pads, along with a check of wheel play.

Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems is introducing the new Composilite SC family of lift axles for steerable applications. It is the first compliant tie rod (CTR) assembly and dampening system with PerfecTrak technology, designed to help lower maintenance costs and increase uptime by providing a resilient, impact resistant tie rod assembly.


No matter the type of suspension, its operation is affected by the vehicle's alignment. Proper attention to alignment - making sure the vehicle tracks straight and true - helps maximize tire life and can help increase fuel economy. There are basically three main elements to alignment: caster, camber and total toe, says Hendrickson.

Camber is the angle formed by the inward or outward tilt of the wheel in reference to a vertical line. Camber is non-adjustable, and bending should not be attempted, Hendrickson emphasizes. If the camber is found out of specifications, the manufacturer should be notified. Refer to the appropriate suspension technical publication for axle alignment specifications.

Caster is the forward or rearward tilt of the steering axle kingpin in reference to a vertical line. Proper caster is important for directional stability and returnability.

Ride height, front and rear, is a direct influence on caster, says Hendrickson. Low ride height means low caster. High ride height is high caster. Total caster is adjustable. There are industry standards for caster wedges. If cross caster is found out of specifications, notify the manufacturer.

Total toe is the angle formed by two horizontal lines through the planes of two wheels. Steer axle toe is adjustable. Properly adjusted toe reduces wear to the leading edge of the tire and avoids road wander, Hendrickson says. Use industry standard toe adjustment procedures.

All PM items and their descriptions can be found in the technical publications found on the Hendrickson website: All information can be downloaded or ordered for no charge.

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