How does truck sag affect my vehicle?

sag-towing-trailer-camperRear end truck sag from towing or hauling

Has the term ‘sagging’ ever been associated with something positive? If your truck or vehicle displays rear end sag when towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load, it’s important to address the rear end sag by finding a proper solution that levels the vehicle. Truck sag, also referred to as truck squat, is the visible effect of payload on the rear end axle, causing the nose of the vehicle to shoot upwards while the back end tilts downward. Some folks underestimate the severity of driving a vehicle in this position. The handling dynamic of your vehicle will suffer greatly.

With rear end sag, you’ll experience these side effects:tire-footprintUneven tire footprint

  1. Increased braking distance, inability to stop
  2. Steering is completely thrown off  -- steering is loose or has a feeling of ‘floating’ because the vehicle’s maneuvering capabilities are unresponsive
  3. Misaligned steering leads to increased tire wear and uneven tire footprint, which can potentially decrease your fuel mileage

wheel-drivingInability to gain controlWhen you’re driving with vehicle sag, you’ll likely stress to focus your mind and keep the vehicle in its lane on the road, often overcompensating with corrective steering because it’s significantly altered. It’s unsafe and difficult to gain control of a vehicle when operating under these conditions.

 

We introduced the StableLoad Challenge at a camping rally to those who tow or haul often. By placing 2,800-pound load in the back of two identical Ford F150 trucks, we had test-drivers experience the suspension of both vehicles, one with the StableLoad suspension stabilizer turned on, the other without.

 We parked the trucks side by side as we gathered test-drivers at the rally. Before anyone even drove the vehicles, rally-goers could physically see the difference between the trucks by the amount of sag. The Ford truck without the StableLoads suspension stabilizer had rear end sag while the Ford truck with StableLoads installed sat level.

challenge-sagTruck comparison on Ford F150 truck during the StableLoad Challenge

 How does the lower quick-disconnect StableLoad application correct rear end sag? The StableLoads effectively reduce the amount of rear end sag by pre-activating the vehicle’s factory overload leaf springs. Not only for trucks, the StableLoads universally fit on any truck, van, SUV and light commercial vehicles that come equipped with overload leaf springs. 

suspension for leveling

By occupying the gap between the leaf spring pack and lower overload, the stabilizing effect of the leaf springs are activated much sooner. With the factory suspension put to use as it’s designed, you experience a leveled vehicle and reduction in stressful handling characteristics such as side-to-side sway, body roll and porpoising.

stableload-graphic

The condition of leaf springs is different on each vehicle, meaning the space or clearance between the upper leaf spring pack and lower overload leaf spring varies. Each StableLoad comes with three specially designed wedges that are adjustable to accommodate this.

stableloads-partsLower Quick Disconnect StableLoad KitThe wedge plates are able to be removed one at a time (as needed) to accommodate applications where the space between the lower overload and main spring pack are limited. Each individual wedge plate is 1/4 inch thick and has special tapered edges built in. The more spacers or wedges that fit into the gap increase the level of effectiveness. However, if only one or two of the wedges are used, the stabilizing effects of the quick disconnect StableLoad are still noticeable.

 wedge-packLower StableLoad wedge pack
with 3 wedges
The wedge pack easily rotates into position when towing or hauling, much like an on and off switch for your suspension. With the ability to engage and disengage, the StableLoads allow the convenience of returning to your comfortable factory ride when you’re not towing or hauling.

Those who took the StableLoad Challenge were amazed at how StableLoads helped eliminate truck squat. When rally-goer Paul Bechtel test-drove the Ford F-150 truck with StableLoads turned on, he felt the difference in handling immediately.

paul-bechtel

“Wow, what a difference,” said Bechtel. “I have a lot more control. The ride is very smooth and porpoising is reduced.”




See the entire StableLoad Challenge by watching the full video:

Click here to learn more about the StableLoad suspension stabilizer.

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Top five problems caused by truck sag when towing or hauling

If you have a truck camper or towable (travel trailer, boat trailer, horse trailer, toy hauler or fifth wheel), you’ll notice a sag in the rear of your vehicle when you load the camper or hook up the trailer. 

For your vehicle to handle heavy towing or hauling, the added weight will start to engage your factory leaf springs to help support the load.

However, did you know that your vehicle’s leaf springs are only beginning to be put to work? It is using only a small percentage of their total capability. The vehicle must drop down several inches in order to come into contact with the overload leaf springs. Notice the rear or the vehicle sagging significantly in the vehicle below.

b2ap3_thumbnail_trucksag.png

Because the leaf springs aren’t fully activated, the additional weight causes the front of the vehicle to lift up and the rear of the vehicle to sag, producing these top five problems:

1)  Proper front end steering alignment is thrown off balance, causing the vehicle to have delayed steering response. The ride will feel unsafe and out of control.

2)  The braking distance is extended due to significantly less weight on the front tires. Braking distance is increased because the front of the vehicle is responsible for up to 70% of the vehicle’s stopping ability.

3)  The position of the vehicle’s front end causes its headlights to point upward.  This creates a nighttime road hazard by blinding oncoming traffic.

4)  Due to the misalignment of the steering, tire wear is increased and there is potential for premature tire wear failure.

5)  The misalignment causes an uneven tire footprint, which can decrease your fuel mileage.  This is due to the uneven load and vehicle riding unleveled.

In order for your overload leaf springs to help manage what you are towing or hauling, they must come into contact with the rest of the leaf springs. The StableLoad suspension stabilizer eliminates delayed contact and puts your springs to work sooner, eliminating truck sag.

b2ap3_thumbnail_engagedstableload.jpg

How is the delayed spring contact eliminated? The lower quick-disconnect StableLoads close the gap between your spring pack and overload leaf spring. By eliminating this gap, the leaf springs can activate when needed the most, providing a more safe and comfortable ride quality. Not only does this eliminate truck sag, effects of side-to-side sway, body roll and porpoising are also greatly reduced.

Roger Friend installed the StableLoads on his 2013 Ford F150 to help tow his Lance travel trailer. To put the suspension upgrade to the test, he measured the drop in his vehicle with trailer, both with and without the StableLoads.

SL-Chart- Sag

“The best feature of the StableLoads is the reduction of rear end droop,” said Roger Friend. “I am now able to tow my Lance travel trailer without use of my weight distribution hitch.”

By engaging the Torklift quick-disconnect lower StableLoad application, Roger is able to safely tow his trailer without the negative effects of truck sag.

The patented StableLoad suspension stabilizer is the only product available designed like an on/off switch that enables you to turn the system off when needed. Keeping the system off when not towing or hauling enables you to keep the soft, smooth ride. Flip them on, load your vehicle and continue to enjoy the same ride quality. No other suspension system has the versatility of an on/off capability.

Several Ford truck applications do not require drilling and are easily installed. Also, the lifetime warranty that comes with the StableLoad extends to the factory-installed leaf spring of your vehicle as an added bonus.

Click here for more information on the StableLoad Suspension stabilizer. 

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