Inspect your air suspension system to prevent mishaps
  • October 21, 2023

Inspect your air suspension system to prevent mishaps

Since air suspension was introduced to trucks and trailers many decades ago, driving conditions and load stability have greatly improved. Through the years this system was improved. It is very important to have an inspection of the air suspension on the trailer and truck, because any air leak can lead to being out of service, in case you get an inspection in any state.

The condition of the hoses, valves, nuts that hold the air bags that have to be well configured should be checked. There should be no air leaks. That is why preventive inspection and maintenance is recommended to save time and money.

Important steps for an air suspension inspection:

- Perform a visually inspection of the suspension system before every trip
- Listen carefully for any air leaks
- Monitor the axle(s) and the height control valve while and normal operation
- Proceed with the substitution of damaged fixing parts.
- Torque the fasteners correctly to meet warranty specifications

Inspections must be carried out before each trip, then your mechanic must inspect every 3 months, it is very important to do so due to the wear and tear of the truck or trailer on each outing. Next, we will list for you the steps that as truckers you should follow:

- Verify torque values in each bolt and nut.
- Tight loose fasteners correctly
- Verify the manual to identify the proper torque value for each fastener
- Substitute damaged fasteners
- Verify is there is any loose pivot bolts. If it is the case the axles should be aligned before tightening the bolts
- Search if there are any missing or broken fasteners. Repair or replace it if is necessary.
- Examine welds looking for cracks at the hanger assemblies, axle subassembly and trailing arm hanger assemblies.
- Verify if there are any cuts or abrasion at the flex-member of the air springs and replaced it if is necessary.
- Look up for interference or obstruction at the air springs that could provoke abrasions or scuffing.
- Verify if there are any leaks at the air spring upper bead plate, in the air lines, the mounting studs and the piston and proceed with the replacement if necessary.
- Inspect the shock absorbers bushings looking for any signs of wear or looseness, oil leaks and dents. Proceed with the replacement if necessary.
- Check the structure of the following components:
1. Pivot connections
2. Shock mountings
3. Hanger assemblies
4. Brake interference, chamber or cam
5. Axle subassembly and trailing arm
6. Hanger assembly bracing at interface points
7. Axle-to-trailing arm connection

It´s advisable that the mechanics only use components and parts approved by the suspension system manufacturer.

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Mechanical Tips

Edic.: 192
Autor: Jose Luis Nogales
Date: 2023-07-07

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