3 Ways Load Management Can Optimize Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity

Every vehicle has a load carrying capacity recommended by the manufacturer. While you might be within that limit when you hitch up a trailer or load up the back of your truck, your handling can be affected when the back end sags. This can reduce control, cause uneven tire wear and add stress to your vehicle’s suspension and brakes. It can also cause performance issues with how your trailer tows. Load management solutions can help by supporting your leaf or coil springs to restore control and ride height.

To fix these issues, Les Schwab suggests a load management solution, including airbags or helper springs. Here are three different load management solutions that could work for you.

1. A Quick Fix for Unlevel Tow Issues

Before adding airbags or helper springs, try moving the weight in your trailer to accommodate your tow vehicle. In other words, rearrange your load so that only 10 or 15 percent of the fully-loaded trailer weight is on the tongue. If that doesn’t help, or if that isn’t feasible (for utility trailers, etc.), you may need airbags or helper springs.

2. Airbags

Airbag suspension systems offer extra support for normal and heavy hauling needs. These devices work like a heavy-duty balloon to keep your tow vehicle level when hauling something heavy. They also help manage the load to resist sway and give you more control. An on-board air compressor system, which is controlled by an analog or wireless controller, is an optional add-on to make it easier to adjust air pressure.

There’s a bonus: You can reduce or increase the air pressure according to the load. Choosing the right airbag system for your needs is important. Besides standard and heavy-duty systems, you’ll have a choice between analog and wireless controllers as well as single or dual path systems.

Airbag suspension before and after

Analog or Wireless Controllers

The difference between analog and wireless controllers is purely about convenience. With an analog system, you’ll have a controller in the cab of your truck to activate the compressor, which then pumps air into or releases air out of your airbags. A wireless controller means you can stand outside your truck and watch as the compressor lifts and lowers the back of your tow vehicle. Some systems include an option to utilize smartphone apps to make adjustments.

Single and Dual-Path Compressors

If your trailer or loads are evenly distributed, a single path compressor is fine. But if your loads vary with more weight on one side or the other, a dual path compressor lets you adjust the air to even things out.

3. Helper Springs

Helper springs are a lower cost alternative that do nearly the same thing as airbags. They help enhance your vehicle’s original equipment suspension to keep your vehicle level or flat when it’s being used for heavy loads, including towing. However, they don’t have the ease of adjustability of airbags.

Proper Load Management Starts at Les Schwab

Whether it’s for work or weekends away, stop by or schedule an appointment online to talk about your load management options. Our pros will ask all the right questions and help add safety and proper suspension to your next trip.

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