Commercial vehicle axle shock absorbers control wheel movement to help keep your tyres in contact with the road. Shock absorbers are critical safety components that can affect tyre wear, stability, braking, vibration, driver comfort, and the life of other steering and suspension parts. Some of the key functions of the shock absorber are:
1. Control wheel movement
Shock absorbers work with a commercial truck’s suspension system to maintain tyre-to-road contact by controlling spring movement. This function is critical to vehicle stopping performance, steering precision and stability.
2. Protects springs and air bags
Shock absorbers work with a commercial truck’s springs - if a shock is worn, it can accelerate the wear of the spring and/or air bellow. It is important to remember that in case of replacing worn air springs, it is important to also replace worn shock absorbers.
3. Provides extension stop for air suspensions
If the suspension is extended beyond its limit, damage to the air spring can occur, resulting in a potentially expensive repair.
4. Transform movement into heat
Shock absorbers transform the kinetic energy produced by suspension movement into thermal energy, which is dissipated via the shock absorber housing thanks to its contact with the hydraulic fluid. In normal working conditions shock absorber temperature can be 100ºC to 150ºC. Extreme temperatures can cause degradation of key shock absorber components such as bushings.
5. Reduce maintenance cost per kilometer
Properly functioning shock absorbers help reduce operating expenses of commercial vehicles by extending tyre life and reducing wear of other suspension components such as air bellows.
6. Reduce braking distance
Shock absorbers help keep the tyres in contact with the road, increasing road holding performance and therefore reducing braking distance.
7. Ensure maximum safety levels
Maintaining firm tyre-to-road contact is critical to ensure safe steering, handling and load control. The status of the shock absorber can be a key factor in the service life of a commercial vehicle tyre.