Balancing Act: How to Improve Handling While Towing

“Leaf-spring suspensions on trucks must be capable of hauling a maximum payload and still provide a comfortable ride under no-load conditions.” This is the opening phrase to the Nov. 2017 article in Trailer Life Magazine that discusses truck suspensions and how to improve ride quality without having to spend an arm and a leg for suspension upgrades. Many suspensions that are designed to carry heavier loads including truck campers, travel trailers and fifth-wheels, are usually equipped with overload leaf-springs… and that’s where the StableLoad comes into play!

Leaf SpringsYour truck's leaf springs are designed to handle heavy loads, but sometimes
they need help to improve ride quality and safety!

Before testing to see how the StableLoads improved the ride quality of their fully loaded 2012 F-350 regular-cab pickup, here’s what Ed had to say about the handling of the truck:

Installing SL

“Driving a predetermined test route with newly installed lower StableLoads disconnected revealed the suspension handled the weight of the camper well with only slight bouncing on smooth roads and minor body roll while cornering. However, when driving on a rough road with potholes and bumps, bouncing and body roll increased noticeably, as they often do when transitioning from smooth to rough roads.”

- Ed Bolduc, Trailer Life Magazine


The StableLoad

StableLoad IU fadeThe StableLoad suspension upgrade is meant to assist your truck with heavy loads associated with towing a trailer or hauling a truck camper. Installed on your truck’s rear overload suspension, it dramatically improves vehicle handling characteristics by "pre-activating" the stabilizing effect and keeping the springs actively under load.

“After engaging the lower StableLoads, the sag at the rear axle decreased to just 1/2-inch [after previously having a 1 1/8-inch squat]. The change in altitude of the truck, although small, could be felt in the driver’s seat. A trip down the same rough road resulted in a considerable decrease in bouncing and body roll. Even on smooth surfaces, the stabilizers improved the F-350’s handling noticeably.”

- Ed Bolduc, Trailer Life Magazine

Vehicle factory engineers designed suspension overload springs to operate a specific four-point system, and the StableLoad maintains all four points of contact in the springs rather than reducing it to two points of contact like other aftermarket suspension products. When installed on your truck, you have the ultimate stability and safety while towing a trailer behind your truck.

Fitments

“We also tested the lower StableLoads while towing several fifth-wheels and travel trailers. As expected, the stabilizers made a clear improvement in handling and controlling suspension bounce and body roll when towing heavy fifth-wheels. Sag was decreased, and the headlights maintained proper alignment.”

- Ed Bolduc, Trailer Life Magazine


Features of the StableLoad suspension upgrade include:

SL Installed

Dramatically improves safety, handling, body roll and porpoising while towing and hauling
Ability to turn on and off in seconds*
Universal fit for all vehicles with factory installed upper or lower overloads
Quad contact design complements the vehicle’s specially engineered suspension that automotive manufacturers have invested millions of dollars designing, while all other rear suspension products reduce contact to only two points
Quick no-drill installation**
Enhances airbag performance by lowering airbag overload air pressure and activating the factory overloads
Kit includes four StableLoads (outfits one complete vehicle)
Legendary Lifetime Warranty includes coverage for the vehicle factory leaf springs
Proudly made in the USA

* Applies only to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload).

** Does not apply to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload) A7311 (with Drill Kit).


Feel free to read the full StableLoad article from Trailer Life Magazine, and if you’re interested in purchasing the StableLoad suspension enhancement, visit one of our Certified Dealers near you. To contact us for more information or questions, you can reach out to us at support@torklift.com or call our tech support at 800-246-8132.

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kerstin

Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes, spoiling her cat Clio and daydreaming about future travels.

 

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New 2017 Fits Are Here for StableLoad!

StableLoad Picture 1

Many people are pulling their truck campers or trailer out of storage or buying new ones in preparation for some summer camping fun.

Of course there are basic things to do to prep, such as de-winterizing, cleaning everything out, getting groceries, etc. But one thing that many people forget over the long winter months is how much they hated the feeling of instability or sway while they were on their way to the campgrounds.

That's where we come in – we are here to help you prevent these common occurrences of handling issues with the Torklift StableLoads.

StableLoad Picture 2

 

New 2017 StableLoad fitments include:
• All Ford F150 trucks
• Ford F250 regular cab/super cab/extended cab/super cab
• 
Ford F350 regular cab/super crew/ super cab extended
• Ford F450 regular cab/ super crew/ super cab extended
• Dodge RAM 3500 crew cab/mega cab/mega cab dually
• Chevy 1500 crew cab
• Chevy 2500
• 
Chevy 3500
• Toyota Tundra double cab

Although this list is quite long, it doesn't show all the 2017 StableLoad fitments that we have, which you can find here. We are still looking for some Chevy long bed trucks and Toyota trucks for final testing. Our aim is to have the ones we have yet to test as soon as possible. Don't see your fit? Call us. With a couple questions and a picture, we can confirm over the phone: 800-246-8132.

StableLoad Picture 3

Now, we can hear you saying, "Well, what about sway bar, shocks or airbags?" You could always purchase those products, because the StableLoad is designed to work in conjunction with all of them. But what not many people know is how airbags affect your suspension. To put it succinctly: airbags for suspension take your four-point suspension system, turn it into a two point suspension system which can potentially lead to leaf spring damage and further feelings of instability while towing or hauling. You find yourself balancing your truck camper on the equivalent of two footballs.

On the other hand, StableLoad suspension products are designed to complement the factory suspension of your truck, maintaining that quad contact design and improving the handling, sway, body-roll and sag of your truck while you're hauling heavy equipment. One of the best benefits of the StableLoad is also the ability to turn on and off in seconds. Let it help improve your ride quality while towing and return back to your factory suspension when you're done – it's a win/win situation!

Features of the StableLoad include:
• Dramatically improves safety, handling, body roll and porpoising while towing and hauling
• Ability to turn on and off in seconds*StableLoad ou black and white
• Universal fit for all vehicles with factory installed upper or lower overloads
• Quad contact design complements the vehicle's specially engineered suspension that automotive manufacturers have invested millions of dollars designing, while all other rear suspension products reduce contact to only two points  
• Quick no-drill installation**
• Enhances airbag performance by lowering airbag overload air pressure and activating the factory overloads
• Kit includes four StableLoads (outfits one complete vehicle)
• Legendary Lifetime Warranty includes coverage for the vehicle factory leaf springs
• Proudly made in the USA

* Applies only to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload).
** Does not apply to the StableLoad Quick Disconnect (Lower Overload) A7311 (WITH DRILL KIT).

Below is a video showing you the installation process for the StableLoad:

Wherever your next adventure takes you — Torklift suspension upgrade products keep you safe and allows you to focus on one of the most fun aspects of a trip: what to do when you get there! If you have a 2017 Dodge RAM truck, a 2017 Ford truck or 2017 Chevy truck, we've got you covered with the StableLoad suspension stabilizer!

To find StableLoad fitments for your 2017 truck, learn more by searching through our automated application guide or give us a call at 800-246-8132.

 

kerstinWritten by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Three most common handling issues when towing or hauling

To help reduce poor handling and enhance the suspension of a vehicle, it’s proven that the StableLoad suspension stabilizer not only significantly improves all aspects of ride quality, but also provides overall safer experience on the road.

b2ap3_thumbnail_SL_Product_Box_OU.pngStableLoad suspension upgradeWe’ll take a look at the most common complaints of poor handling experienced when hauling a truck camper or towing a trailer to show why StableLoads are the first suspension modification you should turn to.  StableLoads engage and activate the stabilizing effects of your vehicles factory overload leaf springs, providing the support needed to handle extra weight.

StableLoads easily install on any vehicle including trucks, vans, SUV’s and light commercial vehicles that come equipped with factory overload leaf springs.

To put the capabilities of the StableLoad suspension stabilizer to the test, let’s examine real life experiences of people who tow or haul often.

Cue the StableLoad Challenge: an opportunity to see if others noticed improvement in ride quality from driving a Ford F-150 truck both with and without the StableLoad suspension stabilizer.  bruceThe challenge allowed attendees at a rally to experience the Ford F-150 truck’s suspension with a 2,800-pound load in the back.

Rally-goer Bruce Pound took the challenge to learn more about the capabilities of the StableLoad. During his test-drive with the StableLoad suspension stabilizer turned on, he mentioned how the StableLoads make a difference when it comes to the three most common handling problems.

Issue #1: Side-to-side Swayside-to-sideSide-to-side sway
When a vehicle is under significant load, the suspension is unable to provide proper support causing the truck to sway from side-to-side. As a typical complaint from those who haul campers, the camper creates a “top-heavy” feeling and it’s difficult to gain control of the vehicle, especially at higher speeds.

“I can tell a difference in the suspension itself,” said Pound. “You don’t feel as if you’re swaying -- the side-to-side sway isn’t there.”

To aid suspension and level the vehicle, many people turn to airbags. However, the side effects of installing airbags will actually increase side-to-side sway and amplify bounce motion. With airbags payload is balanced on an area roughly the size of two footballs, lifting the weight completely off the factory suspension, taking the truck’s factory spring suspension completely out of use. StableLoads put your suspension back into effect and work with factory overload leaf springs to trigger exactly what they’re built for.

Issue #2: PorpoisingporpoiseBounce and porpoising
Misalignment increases stopping distance, ability to steer without delayed response, increased tire wear and more negative characteristics. This results in the front and back motion known as ‘porpoising.’ A heavy load in the back of your vehicle tends to put additional weight on the rear axle, causing the truck to sag and the nose of the vehicle to tilt upwards. This unnatural positioning impacts the drivability and handling of the vehicle, causing forward and backward rocking.

The first thing that Bruce Pound noticed during his test-drive was the aspect of braking more effectively.  The distance needed to stop the truck was noticeably less and the porpoising effect when trying to stop the vehicle was completely eliminated.

“With the StableLoads the braking feels a lot smoother,” said Pound. “When I hit the brakes with that one [Ford F150 without the StableLoads], there was a lot of rocking.”

Issue #3: Body RollbodyrollVehicle body roll
When maneuvering winding roads and sharp corners, a vehicle carrying added payload is much harder to control. Vehicles with high center of gravity like truck campers or higher ground clearance are notorious for pitching and leaning over each side when turning.  

When cornering during the test-drive, body roll of the vehicle was significantly reduced.

 “There is a definite difference,” said Pound. “This was a much smoother ride.”

As the load transfers toward the outside of turns, StableLoads allow you to keep control of the vehicle’s direction by increasing stability.

b2ap3_thumbnail_engagedstableload.jpgStableLoads on leaf spring engagedSolution: StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer
One solution solves all three of these common handling issues, plus additional benefits.  The StableLoads also help by leveling the vehicle and eliminating sag, which can cause serious side effects not only to your ride quality, but the truck itself.

Torklift International StableLoad suspension stabilizer is the only suspension modification that can be adjusted for use. With the ability to literally turn the StableLoads on and off by engaging and disengaging them in seconds, enjoy the convenience of returning to your comfortable factory ride when you’re not towing or hauling.

Engaging StableLoad Suspension Stabilizer

The StableLoad Challenge made a huge impression on each rally-goer that took the challenge. Watch the full video of the StableLoad Challenge:

Click here for more information on the StableLoad suspension stabilizer.

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