Taking your truck off road is an opportunity for a lot of fun. It won’t be a positive experience, however, if you don’t have the right suspension setup. Off-road trails are bumpy places and a street suspension is going to mean you feel every bump on the trail. Getting some top-quality shocks along with the best off road truck accessories will help you have a great time on the trail.
How Shocks Impact Off-Roading
A shock is the component of your truck’s suspension that absorbs the impact of your wheel against the trail and dissipate that energy, so it isn’t transferred to the cabin and you. While suspension systems perform many functions for your vehicle, shock absorption is the most obvious. It is the first thing many people think of when they think about suspensions.
In an off-road setting, good shocks are very important because trails are significantly more uneven than roads. If you are driving at even a moderate speed, you need shocks that can absorb all the up and down movement of the wheels. Even if you are crawling over rocks at a slow pace, the quality of your shocks will affect how gently you land once your wheels pass over a mound.
Shocks typically convert the kinetic energy of the wheel movement into heat energy. Good off-road shocks can quickly dissipate this heat and continue to perform. Lower-quality shocks will struggle to keep up with the continuous dampening that is needed in off-roading.
Types of Shocks
Clearly, your truck’s shocks are important and having some high-quality ones such as Bilstein shocks is a good idea. However, not all shocks are the same. Here are the major types of shock absorbers.
- Twin Tube: This relatively inexpensive design is typically not a great choice for off-roading. It can heat up quickly when in heavy use and has a small bore which increases resistance.
- Gas-Charged Twin Tube: This upgraded version of a twin tube design uses nitrogen to prevent aeration of the fluid inside. It is reasonably affordable and offers better performance than the non-gas-charged version.
- Monotube: This larger, stronger and better absorbing shock offers excellent performance for frequent off-roaders. This design is more expensive than twin tube shocks but is worth the investment for off-roading lovers.
- Reservoir: In this design, fluid is pushed from the shock into an external reservoir. This offers very consistent dampening. However, the more complex design is expensive and more prone to leaks.
- Coilover: This design features a coil spring around the outside of the shock. They are good for towing, load carrying and performance street use. They are expensive and may require special mounting.
Find the Right Shocks for Your Off-Road Truck
Shocks play a huge role in your off-roading experience. So, grab the best shocks for your truck today and get more out of your next off-road trail. For many people, monotube Bilstein shocks are the best option. However, it depends on the vehicle and intended use. No matter what you choose, an upgrade over OEM is almost always the right way to go.